This week we are chatting with Adam Compton, Assistant Director of Development for NC State University, on how digital technology affects political campaigns, but also how these practices can be applied in higher education.
Adam was talking about Political Digital in A Carolinas Digital Philanthropy Day, where Hubbub were also attending.
– What’s the impact of digital technology on political campaigns?
Digital technology is shaping the way campaigns operate and how they connect with voters. In today’s campaigns, grassroots starts with tech. Our ability to organize, mobilize and fundraise is greatly affected by digital technology. It’s the medium that allows you to communicate your message to your audience. From the early days of Howard Dean to Bernie, Trump and Clinton – digital technology is shaping campaigns.
– Are the recent political campaigns an indication of how digital media will affect future campaigns?
Yes and no, we saw a lot of improvements and changes in campaigns this cycle. Two things happened, the reliance on text messaging and data. Text as a medium to communicate played an important role. I think Bernie Sanders really kicked off the new age of text messaging with many organizers using it as a way to engage with supporters. In addition, both the Clinton and Trump campaigns were using texts as a way to not only communicate, but also raise money and drive actions. In the past, we saw very few asks for money, but this cycle was a big change. I think we will continue to see that in future cycles. In regards to the data, I think we learned a couple of lessons – data and polling, in particular, is not an exact science. Our data is only as good as the data coming into the system and how we analyze it.
– What can we all learn from the digital integration in political campaigns? Which practices could be used in higher education?
Test everything – data is your friend
Donation forms should be simple and quick
– From your own experience, how can digital technology increase the engagement with alumni?
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