From the Editor - Now Obama's comms test really begins

Even the most cynical of us had tears in our eyes on Wednesday morning as Barack Obama delivered yet another incredible address.

Danny Rogers
Danny Rogers

His 20-minute speech in Chicago was pitch perfect and addressed every important stakeholder group, from opposition politicians and McCain voters to 'people huddled around radios in far flung corners of the world'. It was visionary, it was humble, it managed expectations.

But even before that he had emailed the millions of people who had expressed their support and signed up digitally to the Obama phenomenon.

We were not only witnessing potentially the most capable politician of our generation, but a new level of mass communication that will come to define our age.

We were witnessing the culmination of years of disciplined, strategic campaigning by the Obama camp. It is mind-boggling to think how many speeches have been written, how many events have been planned and how much work has gone into creating the right narrative.

Privately the Republicans concede they were out-thought and outplayed.

Obama's ability to reach out to minority groups, even communities that barely speak English or understand the electoral process, and win their votes, has stretched the boundaries of professional communications. But Obama's victory could only have been achieved through inspirational leadership, to keep this machine motivated and focused.

Six months ago I asked if charm was sufficient for Obama to become president. And he has answered that question emphatically.

Despite fierce opposition from reactionary forces and a number of personal challenges, he has shown the force of personality and determination that must underpin any comms campaign.

We all stand humbled by this achievement. But of course his place in history has yet to be decided. Even as Obama signed off that early morning email, he said he would 'be in touch soon about what's next'.

This is a critical comms campaign. And it has only just begun.

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