A panel of local and state politicians discussed how they utilize advertising to get their message out to the masses. The panel talked about how and why successful candidates must utilize advertising and social media to run successful campaigns and to continue to build relationships with constituents and voters once they are in office. Political strategist, Keith Plunkett, moderated the panel discussion. The panel of experts includes: Mick Bullock, Lt. Governor Phil Bryant’s Communications Director; Quinton Dickerson, strategist for the Phil Bryant for Governor campaign; Senator Michael Watson, representing District 51 on the Gulf Coast; and Senator David Blount, representing District 29 in Hinds County.
The audience interacted with the panel members in lively discussions about the implications of managing the message in social media applications and what happens when comments from “friends” and “fans” are negative. All agreed that the forum must be open for all opinions, and that these social networks are good ways to get a feeling about their constituents’ opinions on certain issues.
One of the most important uses for social media in a campaign at this time is to develop and expand the candidate’s grassroots campaign and outreach. Once in office, it’s important to use this communications base to stay in touch with constituents and continue to build that grassroots network. Elections are won and lost at the grassroots level, and social media now offers candidates effective ways to build and maintain those relationships. Many candidates now have official office and campaign staff members whose sole responsibility is interactive and social media—these channels have become that important.