Catalyst Conversation: The Obama CampaignAug 09


Prepared by : Alex Johnston and Ryan Coleman

The GCG discussion focused on the wild success of the Obama Campaign. Members sought to want to determine what differentiated this campaign from previous campaigns and social movements and evaluated this campaign in terms of the Message, Tactics and Tools that were used.

Obama’s campaign was rooted in a message: CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN. This mantra along with the tools that were made available empowered and engaged the masses to become involved.

Key questions included:

  • Can this campaign be replicated?
  • What was unique about the tools and the strategies made available to cause the masses to swarm towards this movement?
  • What role did the image, brand, character and passion of the leader (President Elect Obama) play in the success of the campaign/movement? Could other figures be plugged into the Obama Machine and still be as successful?
  • Having the message, tactics and tools are useful but showing the masses how to use these strategies to get involved and take ownership in the movement is the pinnacle of the Obama Success. What key points from the implementation of the Obama Strategy can we translate into our current organizations?
  • What are the key factors in its success? What other fields or industries could this approach be applied to?
    Can we make any predictions about how these changes will affect the future of the democratic system?

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