Obama might have to shift social media strategy now

Most communicators agree that the Obama campaign understood social media. David Almacy, former Internet & e-communications director for the current Bush administration,...

Most communicators agree that the Obama campaign understood social media. David Almacy, former Internet & e-communications director for the current Bush administration, said he knew the campaign got it when he heard an Obama radio ad that directed listeners to text message the campaign.

"[When I heard the ad] I was sitting in my car at a stoplight," Almacy said. "I was not at my desk or my computer, yet I was able to get more information."

But when asked whether Obama can leverage his online network as president, Almacy, who is now VP of digital strategies at Waggener Edstrom, said maybe not.

"In some ways he can and in some ways he can't," Almacy said. "What people don't seem to understand is campaigns operate under completely different guidelines and policies than...the federal government."

For one, people might not be as comfortable giving out their cellphone numbers, e-mails, or Twitter accounts to the federal government as they would for a campaign, he speculated. Also there are different rules to grapple with, like some federal government sites cannot link to other sites that are not .gov or .mil.

"Things like that would have to be reviewed or changed," he noted.

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