Posts Tagged ‘Barack Obama’

Five lessons from the US election campaign

posted by Edward Jones

1. BE BOLD.

I was fortunate enough to attend a debate hosted by H+K last Monday on the US Presidential election, never ones to blow our own trumpet enough, it’s worth saying it was an excellent event. One of the panelists, Philip Stephens, a columnist for the FT hit upon the idea of Obama treating the first term of his Presidency as a delicate vase. Incidentally, the FT ran this cartoon (£) a few days later. The idea that Obama hadn’t been bold enough struck a chord with the audience. As I have sought the views of colleagues it is clear that in the UK at least, commentators think he could have been bolder, both in his Presidency and the campaign. That is the enduring hope for the second term.

2. IF DISASTER STRIKES. FOCUS ON THE DISASTER.

The President’s response to Hurricane Sandy served him well. Not least because of the ringing endorsement of the Republican, New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie. This WSJ On Leadership article is an excellent summary of its impact.

3. KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE.

It’s a simple enough concept and one we’re mostly familiar with. My colleague, Ted Robinson, who has followed developments more closely than most in the UK at least (I’ve asked him to write a post on this too), highlighted the confusion within the Republican camp with who they were targeting, asking:

“Are the GOP just communicating to whites or are they the party of social conservative hispanics? Lesson: decide who your audience is – does it surprise you?”

He had previously highlighted that…

“The Republicans have to win back California as they did under Nixon and Reagan – winning 49% of the pop vote and getting nailed in the electoral college sucks”

Quite. What drove this point on audience home for me though and brings me on to my fourth point is sophisticated use of digital…

4. USE DIGITAL. BE SOPHISTICATED.

The Obama camp, building on the success of their social media campaign and fundraising in 2008 have raised the bar. Again. They knew who they were targeting and they weren’t bashful about it, as this excellent piece from Will Foxton in the Telegraph attests.

5. DON’T OFFEND.

Romney’s campaign started to derail in the UK. Whilst the cynics said that doesn’t actually matter, it was only a part of a catalogue of well documented errors. Celebrated today on the Times website (£). 

For a view on what Cameron might learn, I can’t recommend Matthew D’Ancona’s piece in the Evening Standard today, highly enough.

FPS’ Friday Fiver

Hello All! August really isn’t showing any sign of slowing down is it? At the start of the week there was a collective pause for breath, but since Wednesday it’s been a case of deja vu with the world’s markets continuing to do their best impression of the Pepsi Max Big One. The focus of the Friday Fiver this week is understandably on these events, but we also find time for a bit of sporting action too. Thanks to Ed, Ross, Jonathan and new writer Helen this week.

Wither Angela, Woe Nicolas…..Tuesday’s summit between Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy was their latest attempt to tackle the Eurozone’s woes. However, no matter what they do to try and convince markets otherwise, politicians both sides of the Atlantic are still failing to win over investors’ confidence.

It's not all hugs and smiles in the Eurozone anymore - another tough week for Merkel & Sarkozy

Does democracy have any culpability for this? Well yes, it does. Merkel is finding it increasingly difficult to win domestic support for the continued underwriting of Eurozone debt – Germany’s latest growth figures won’t help her cause here either. She knows that the electorate are less likely to vote for a Chancellor who uses German money to bail out other nations, than one who does not. Despite this, the Eurozone’s survival largely depends on German financial commitment.

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