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Monday, February 20, 2012

Facebook's role in elections

Good friend Josh Barsch's Straightforward Interactive company has made a number of big splashes around the world with his clear understanding of Facebook and Google advertising. He is the foremost expert in this region.

He was recently featured in the US edition of the Guardian (a British news organization) for his work on Mayor Sam Kooiker's campaign against Alan Hanks. It's a good and interesting read here.

I seem to recall another advertising professional telling me and others that Hanks would "kill" Kooiker in social media. Didn't happen.


BF said...

Nice article.Too bad it has little or nothing to do with what the real situation was or what really happened.

BF said...

p.s. I'm not really in the mood to go into it any deeper. I'm happy with Mr. Kooiker right now. He's done a couple of things lately that have really changed my opinion about him.

Bob Newland said...

The Guardian piece (The Guardian? Really?) Mike linked to contains two sentences that caught my eye. First, the sub-head, "Last year, unknown Sam Kooiker took on two-term incumbent – and scored a stunning win, thanks to a targeted digital strategy."

Second, "...he was running against the two-term incumbent mayor, Alan Hanks, who was a household name in Rapid City...."

Sam was a long way from "unknown" among those who could vote in that election, thanks in great measure to the publicity he received in the ill-conceived censure debacle.

And neither are known to 99.999% of Guardian readers.

While it's possible that the deal went down the way it did because of the strategy outlined in the piece, all we really know is that Kooiker won the election by a fairly small margin.

Michael Sanborn said...


Agreed. Sam certainly wasn't an unknown and I suspect Guardian writers probably took some liberty there.

Also, while I believe Josh's Facebook strategies were effective, I do not believe they "made THE difference" in the election. Those strategies, along with others in the campaign, narrowed the margin between Alan and Sam, which ultimately resulted in a narrow win for Sam.

And Bill, I'm glad to hear your opinion is changing.

I think Sam is doing a good job so far. There are some things I wish he would do differently, and perhaps he will. Right now, he's a net positive for city hall.

BF said...

He's gotta put that Fish thing to bed. It's time.

Michael Sanborn said...

Not in his hands, Bill.

BF said...

Really. Who is it that could drop the charges then, Mike? The council?

Michael Sanborn said...

I don't believe that Sam can legally arbitrarily drop a pending civil suit without council approval and the advice of the city attorney.

BF said...

Makes sense. Thanks, Mike.