The Republican Debate in South Carolina was held last evening (1/10/08), and by some of the candidates websites, you'd never event know they participated in one. I know, presidential debates can be one of the most boring things you can watch. Sometimes watching Rocky for the 50th time seems more enticing to me. But, by a sort of odd happening I tuned in last night, and I got intrigued, not really by the debate itself, although parts were rather interesting and funny.
Twitter, my friends, can lead you on trips down roads you wouldn't think you could go on. That was me last night. I'm following all the candidates that have Twitter and use it. Right now, Barack Obama and Fred Thompson are the two most active Twitters. Last night I get a tweet from Thompson's campaign, that they are live blogging the debate. I thought to myself - "WOW, now that's a change!" So I went off to investigate.
Sure enough there was actual live blogging that was going on. It was even more live than what we see for Search Industry conferences, there were times in the post and what was happening. It was actually pretty intriguing. But what it aimed to do, it did - it got me to turn on the TV and watch the rest of the debate. It got me interested because of what they were posting about what Fred was saying in the debate.
This wasn't about whether or not I support him as a candidate for President in 2008 - it was more about aiming to get people to the blog, then to give them a reason to turn on and watch Fred's performance. It worked, and I have to say the guy made me chuckle, but it also made me listen to what he was saying.
After the debate was over I went around to the other candidate's blogs who participated in the debate. By some of their blogs, you'd wonder if they even participated. By some of their sites, they seemed to treat the debate as a blip on the screen. So lets take a quick look at each of these.
Republican Presidential Candidate Promoting The South Carolina Debate
During the debate and before the debate, nothing was on his blog about his participation in the Republican Debate in South Carolina. It wasn't until after he appeared on Hannity & Colmes after the debate did something go up. A YouTube video was posted of his appearance there. Later a post clarifying his stance on the surge in Iraq appeared, I believe this was to counter John McCain's claim of being the only candidate to come out in support of the surge. Giuliani's main site has a link to the multi-media center which also features the YouTube video of him on Hannity & Colmes.
Now you would really think this candidate, with all his internet fame, would be using his blog and video channel to promote his appearance in the South Carolina Republican debate after being locked out of the New Hampshire one. Nope. As of this morning there's nothing on the blog about the debate either before or after it. The only inkling that he was participating was a small "upcoming event" announcement on his front page. I was hoping for some video in his "Video Channel" section, but there's nothing there yet.
This guy has got millions in the bank for his campaign, you would think he might spend a little on it promoting his appearances at the debates. He's got 5 sons, who help run his blog, at least one of them was there to write about it right? Unfortunately not the case this time. The only mention of his appearance in the Republican debate in South Carolina was in the Flash piece that scrolls by on the front page, which you all know can't be accessed by the spiders (from my knowledge they aren't using Adobe's SDK).
His blog announces the Republican Presidential debate in South Carolina, but that's it (but hey there are now using that Tag feature I mentioned in his review that they weren't using before). There's nothing about it being displayed on the front page of McCain's site, and I'm not finding any videos of his appearance either. Not even a clip from his appearance on Hannity & Colmes either, and he was pretty funny, too, calling Colmes a "bum" and reminding the two hosts he use to call them both "homeless bums". It'd be nice to see that humor side of John McCain displayed on his site.
Huckabee has got promotion of his appearance in the South Carolina Republican debate front and center on the main page of this site. The promotion leads you right into the blog post which features photos of the event. That's a nice way to promote it, but no videos of his performance. There are links in the blog post that lead the visitor to other parts of the site where he has his stand on some of the issues, but nothing in the way of video clips from his performance on the debate.
I saved him for last, because out of all of these other candidates, they guy's campaign team really stepped it up to promote his performance in the debate. They used Twitter to say "hey come look", then they used live blogging to get people to turn on their TV. Now they are using a ton of video clips from the debate and the reactions of the focus groups to really show what Fred Thompson did in the Republican debate in South Carolina last night. That's even beyond the live blogging they did.
The front page of the website has a nice "Welcome" piece for those seeing the debate and wanting to learn more, it links into the blog. The only thing missing here? Put one of those videos on the front page of the site. The man's humor can be quite endearing, and people like to see some of that in a candidate.
The clear winner in promoting his appearance in the South Carolina Republican Debate last night on the internet is Fred Thompson. Kudos to his blogging team, you did a heck of a job, you got me to turn on my TV to watch something I'd normally consider more boring than wet paint drying.
Interested in seeing the other reviews done by Search Marketing Gurus? Check out the online marketing strategy reviews for Republicans John McCain, Ron Paul, Fred Thompson & Duncan Hunter, and Democrats Barack Obama, Bill Richardson, Chris Dodd, Joe Biden and Dennis Kucinich.