Corie Stephens from Rare (articles / @) reports that Rand Paul will live stream his movements on the campaign trail for the entire day, concluding with him watching the Democratic presidential debate later tonight on CNN and commenting on Democratic candidate positions.
The live stream can be watched via the campaign’s UStream channel (http://www.ustream.tv/channel/drG5ycpCUmE) and should be accessible through the campaign’s website and Facebook page.
Much is often made of candidates who deploy technology and social media during elections, and whether or not it is effective.
The concept of opening up your campaign’s daily operations to the public through a live stream is unique, and if done well, the effort can show a candidate and the campaign’s staff in a new and interesting way that may attract voters.
However, there is not a compelling reason to tune in to Rand Paul’s campaign today other than to just see what’s going on, and unfortunately for today’s effort – that is just not enough.
If the Paul campaign wanted to attract scores of new viewers through its website, Facebook or UStream channels, they should have taken a page out of Obama’s mobile and social media handbook. Obama’s campaign staff collected millions of mobile numbers offering people who signed-up exclusive announcements before they were released to the media. In fact, it often forced members of the media to sign-up as well to ensure they would not miss anything.
Neither Rand Paul nor his campaign has any major announcements scheduled (that we are aware of). If they did, they should have teased it by now. And at this stage of the campaign, devoting resources (money) to technology and marketing efforts needs to be done with careful thought to maximizing the return. In this case, the buzz seems to be that the campaign is doing something with technology, but that does not really interest voters.
When you are competing for media attention and consumer eye balls, you need to give your audience a reason to change the channel and watch you instead of someone else. In order to do that you need to give your audience what they want, not what you want to deliver.
For example, whatever your opinion of Donald Trump may be, you have to recognize that he and his campaign have tapped into issues that voters care about and address other topics in a way that is newsworthy and interesting. Millions of people and the media want to tune in to see what he is going to do and hear what he is going to say.
This does not mean Rand Paul and his campaign need to mirror Donald Trump’s campaign.
But it does mean that they are not accurately taking the pulse of voters.
In some respects, campaigns are a lot like start-ups. You need to be fast to market. You have intense competition. You need exceptional execution. And you have a short amount of time to make consumers believe in what you offer. When you roll out a marketing effort like today’s live stream without a lot of substance or excitement, you are headed towards becoming another failed start-up.