June 24

Jim Margolis GMMB at the House of Lords

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House of Lords
House of Lords

I was lucky enough to be invited by Baroness Mary Goudie to listen to Jim Margolis, Senior Advisor to the Obama Presidential Campaign at the House of Lords yesterday.

Firstly, I have to apologise for the terribly un-British way that I queue hopped, elbowed and hustled to get through security in time for the 11am start. It seems that with schools out, busloads had arrived at precisely the same time.

I digress, or I should say, I am not sure where to start. So I’ll start with wow. This is what it’s all about. The use of social and digital media to take Obama’s message to the people – in a way the people want to digest information.

Mr Margolis, who is Senior Partner at GMMB talked about Obama’s consistency of message. A consistency that emerged in 2004, and stayed the course. And Margolis attributes this to what he considers their best asset of all – Obama himself. The campaign claimed the message of change, with four supporting pillars that underpinned all of their communications – unity, reform, honesty and hope. And we all know that consistency of message delivers trust. Yes we do. Oh sorry. Yes we can.

How they did this was revolutionary. And had this race been run four years ago, none of this would have been possible. Four years ago, YouTube and Twitter did not exist and Facebook was purely an Ivy League tool. And who would have thought to advertise on billboards that existed purely in online games? Genius.

The clip from The Economist Marketing Forum gives us three perspectives, three vital perspectives for our own beleaguered political landscape. And I am wondering how the people behind our next elections here in the UK will use what is referred to as the ‘changed political media ecology’? I suspect that those learning the lessons from Obama’s campaign will romp ahead. I do wonder too whether we can get our act together…



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