Tucker Bounds on Sidewire: 'Our platform endeavors to cut through the noise'

The former comms guru for John McCain and Facebook wants to cut through the crowded political media landscape, not just be another voice in it.

SAN FRANCISCO: The staff at newly launched news platform Sidewire is more than aware of how saturated the news environment is, even more than a year before the 2016 presidential election. That’s why its goal is to aid the user, not add to the clutter.

Tucker Bounds, Sidewire cofounder and former Facebook director of corporate communications, said a lack of top news streamlined in one place prompted his decision to launch the platform along with business partner Andy Bromberg.

"Our platform endeavors to cut through the noise and provide users with a place they can find the most important news," said Bounds, Sidewire’s co-founder and former Facebook director of corporate communications.

The company describes itself as a "two-sided network," with political newsmakers at one end and a "network of news-readers" on the other. The first group includes politicos and journalists from national publications and networks such as ABC News and The New York Times. They curate the content on Sidewire by linking to articles and adding their own opinions on the subject.

The platform launched in time for the second Republican presidential debate, which aired on CNN last Wednesday.

Bounds has served as cofounder and president of Sidewire since mid-2014 after a three-year stint as director of corporate communications at Facebook. He has also worked as a partner at Quinn Thomas Public Affairs, deputy communications manager and communications director for Meg Whitman’s 2010 campaign for governor of California, and deputy communications director and national spokesman for John McCain’s 2008 White House bid.

Bounds has also worked for the American Insurance Association, the Republican National Committee, Sen. Gordon Smith, and the Bush-Cheney 2004 re-election campaign, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Sidewire’s creators also have a deliberate approach for reaching politically educated audiences.  

"Most immediately, we’re building an audience in the early primary states. We put a great deal of focus in reaching out and testing the app before it launched with people in Iowa," said Bounds. "Those engaged in the election are of extreme interest to us."

The platform also aims to simplify newsmakers’ ability to publish content on a variety of social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, with the push of a button.  

"We’re excited about what we’re building because we see it as being a place where campaigns and communicators can go, just like they have gone to their influencer email list," he said. "We’re looking at that upstream participant in the news cycle, providing communicators a way to promote their great content right into the bloodstream."

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