When President Obama announced on May 9 that he was in support of gay marriage, it only took a matter of moments (in the timing of Facebook responses) to see that a lot of people were in support of his support. Just on Jezebel.com’s Facebook page alone, there were over 8,400 “likes” and in Twitter world, his tweet of “Same sex couples should be able to get married” was retweeted over 57,000 times within the first 24-hour period.
So, when GOP ticket presidential candidate, Mitt Romney announced later within that same week that he would be revving up his campaign by adding more web developers and data specialists to his own staff, that definitely is a move that we all should have seen coming. There is simply no way that either frontrunners can ignore technology’s power if they really want to make a dent in this presidential race; especially when it comes to winning the votes of the younger voters.
There’s absolutely no way around the fact that there are some huge benefits to the fact that social media is something that can be legitimately relied upon. Polls can be reviewed at a quicker pace, announcements and updates can be sent out within a moment’s notice, and perhaps, what excites the campaigns most of all, is that social media can also assist in their budget not being over taxed (no pun intended). After all, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn…all of these kinds of websites can be used free of charge while being able to reach millions and millions of people.
If you take a look at Romney’s campaign website page, you will notice that he is fully aware of cyberspace’s campaign potential. On it, they are currently looking for business analysts, copywriters, web project managers, web solutions architects and more. One of the positions even specifically states that the person hired must be knowledgeable when it comes to Salesforce software and email/text messages testing capabilities (the location for these positions does mention Boston, MA, by the way, so these being telecommute is pretty doubtful). Also, a lot of these jobs are looking for people who are not just tech savvy, but degreed as well. So, if you’re someone with a political management degree and you’ve been wondering how you can use it, if you’re a Mitt Romney supporter living on the East Coast, this might be the (at least temporary) chance that you’ve been looking for.
Of course, there are still active staff members who are not technically a part of the tech side of Romney’s campaign who are still doing what his website says: utilizing the digital space of the presidential race. They are posting pictures online and using Twitter hashtags in their updates and announcements. And, as the Romney team further collaborates with the Republican National Committee in preparation for the general election, there will be even more digital-based positions that will be made available.
It is a “race” and so different people have views as to why Romney’s shift has taken place at the time that it did; that it probably was in direct response to President Obama’s aggressive digital push. Honestly, it was probably always something in the makings. But again, even if it wasn’t, last week’s digital results as it relates to the President’s same-sex announcement should put all of us (including Romney) on notice that without the use of technology, neither candidate stands a good fighting chance.