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September 29, 2008

Conference Calls and Web Meetings: Changing the Direction of the Political Campaign

By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

As you can likely imagine, political campaigns have changed significantly over the past one hundreds years. TMC (News - Alert) recently looked at these changes as the Democratic Convention in Colorado marked the 100th anniversary of the convention in Denver.
While this comparison was drastic – six phones lines then compared to the telecommunications technology available today – much has even changed over the past ten years.
Technology today has made it much easier for us to capture information relevant to our needs. It has also made it easier to communicate and drive initiatives regardless of location.

Conference Calls and Web Meetings are introducing a new way of communicating that is eliminating borders and geographic locations. In regards to the political race, it has created significant opportunity.

These technologies are changing the way that political campaigns are run today and making it possible to reach a far greater and wider audience than ever before. While staying on the campaign trail is still important, these candidates are no longer restricted by their physical location.

Conference Calls and Web Meetings allow for real-time collaboration and interaction, regardless of the physical locations of their participants. A scheduled Web Meeting allows for interested parties to sign on to a designated website and listen to a candidate and then interact with that candidate via question and answer sessions. Such an event can be held live or can be played on a website as long as necessary to communicate a message.

With the advent of television and the proliferation of advertising across this platform, candidates were given a medium in which to communicate their beliefs, goals and ambitions.

The challenge with this medium is that candidates generally only have 30 seconds to communicate their message, and the number of times it is played has to do with the amount of money they have to spend in a particular market.

Web Meetings now make it possible for the candidate to communicate the details of their message and make it available for any interested parties to download and watch. Viewers can also capture interactions between the candidates and meeting attendees to discern his or her ability to handle the tough questions on the fly. 

Conference calls can work in the same, even allowing for interaction with a Web meeting at the same time. If a candidate is not scheduled to come physically to a particular town or city, he or she can have the same impact with technology that they try to achieve in person.

This technology broadens their reach, exposes more potential voters to their platform, and ultimately helps to contribute to the successful communication of their message in their drive for support.

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for To read more of Susan's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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