I was on the opening panel at the AAPC Conference in NYC today. Diane Rinaldo from Yahoo was the moderator for our panel and she did a fine job. I can't say I learned a lot from the panel, but then again it was on online advertising which I've been doing a longgggg time. I did get a lot of great questions from the audience, probably more than I expected so I'm pretty sure we did well. I caught two other panels in between meetings and here's what I learned.
- Mindy Finn played clips from the documentary Primary reminding all of us how far we've come in the political world. It seems like ancient history watching JFK make phone calls to see how the voter turnout was in a certain district or when they just stood in line shaking hands.
- Brendan Burns gave a good presentation on using social media at the Lance Armstrong Foundation. It was great to see someone so enlightened when it came to using Facebook and other social networking tools. Brendan reinforced that a) check to see what others have already done with your brand in places like Facebook b) don't try and control the message but seed it with information c) get involved with the community by providing widgets, communications, and applications d) when you try to control the message yourself don't be surprised if you have no followers
- Brendan also proved once again why the worst form of online advertising you can do is to buy banner ads (directly) on the social networking sites. I get why these companies try to get a piece of the ad dollars, but really it is about letting go of your brand and letting these folks turn into evangelists for you; pushing messages there will fail no matter how cheap they are.
- I had originally intended to leave during Becki Donatelli's (and my boss) panel on Online Fundraising because I had already seen three of the presenters. However, Becki smartly had everyone condense their decks down to 2-3 pages and then we went right into a discussion. Another surprise was that Andrew Rasiej from Personal Democracy Forum and techPresident was also on the panel. This panel besides my own was a highlight from the day and I got out of it a) a more organized minority is more powerful than a disorganized majority b) all candidates at all levels must have some demand for what they are trying to accomplish; no amount of smart marketing can get you to the finish line without it c) open source government and not just open source campaigns will be coming in the near future due to the ease of use of social networking tools, cheap technology, and low bandwidth cost d) show your donors actually giving money because it helps motivate friends e) focus not just on donors but the most networked individuals
Then I had to leave in order to get home (I actually made it back from Columbus Circle in about 2 hours and 15 minutes and most of that was on the subway-path). However, I'm glad I made it in. I learned something and met some interesting people.