Monday, December 11, 2006

Segolene and the internet

The Peer to Peer Foundation has an interesting post on how the Segolene Royal team has utilized the internet as a means of connecting with voters. According to her internet strategist Benoit Thieulin, the key to success was using the internet to bring in new people and ideas instead of simply using it as another media platform for advertising her message.
When Sego came on the scene about one year ago, France had already a thriving blogosphere, with many politicians operating individual blogs. But Ms. Royal asked her staff to do something altogether different. What matters, she said, was to engage with communities of non-members to the party, not just adding a new canal for egocasting herself. And this is then what Benoit and his team set out to do. They had no preconceptions, but were from the right generation and had an open mind, seeing participation not as a threat, but as an opportunity. When they started their forums, they very quickly reached about hundred messages per day, and in this first phase, set up a team of about a dozen volunteer moderators and synthetizers, making sure to be entirely transparent about the foundation of such interventions, which had as basic aspiration to obtain a civil debate focused on policy proposals. Sego positioned herself as the politician who would be determined to listen, and she also indicated there were to be no taboos, such as for example the possible negative effects of the 35-hour week.

(...) what mattered was that this became a means to draw in non-party members in her campaign, especially young people, who would then propulse her success, against the initial almost universal opposition of the party apparatus. Her web strategy then, was not at all marginal, but the key aspect of her drive, the very reason for her success.


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2 comments:

mbauwens said...

Ha ha, it's not really the "Peep to Peer" foundation, but "peer to peer"

Boz said...

Hah, thanks for finding my mistake.