Saturday, May 14, 2011

# Morattiquotes, the campaign on Twitter

Just hours before the elections administrator, you can already draw some balance, at least in political communication. And one thing is certain: not the best idea came to us communicators, but a user of Twitter, which I think is organic to some party or electoral staff. I'm talking AndyViolet Twitter user, to which I publicly praised for the insight and the birth dell'hashtag # morattiquotes.

This semantic brick is technically a meme, or the linguistic atom passing from mouth to mouth, the building which is the basis of word of mouth, that look that comes in a niche and becomes progressively heritage of a community. In other words, every catchphrase is technically a meme. At this point someone will think I'm exaggerating, that after what happened in those hours is just a chain letter of political satire, these big words that should not be bothered to update to 160 characters on Twitter.

But I think # morattiquotes is much more. First of all, you may want a definition of hashtag: This is the keyword used in an update on Twitter and marked with the graphic sign "#", you need to self-categorize your update within a stream communication that unifies all the content they carry the same keyword, making it more readily available to those looking for specific information by topic, on the network.

In other words, if I want to say something about Libya, Libya # write in my update, and if I check for updates on Libya, I'll go on Twitter and I will try # Libya. This makes Twitter the most interesting source of information at the time in the world: it is no coincidence that most of the scoop or the events of recent world history (by the attack in Madrid cabled to the publication of Wikileaks, the mission to strike Bin # morattiquotes Laden) has taken the first step right there.

The chain of tweets that bring the hashtags # morattiquotes however, has a feature that we saw in Italy is still very rare and will become increasingly a staple of European political communication: the creative process is a generic type (grassroots Americans would say) in a campaign election.

This meme has in fact a feature that usually deters people from participating, or the political color of the commitment. In this case, however, # morattiquotes have exacerbated the cognitive demands for political participation. Each # morattiquotes is a political message is a statement of position, is the construction of an imaginary, is the call to an ironic and light key moment in the campaign for the authorities of Milan.

And that goes for both writers, both for readers and is obliged at least to think about the political meaning of this sudden and spontaneous popular participation. Quell'hashtag Pisapia made all volunteers, even if the person who wrote the update it does not reside in Milan. And, more importantly, none of this was born (apparently) in an Election Committee.

It is here that the extraordinary political change should be recorded: # morattiquotes is the first case (that I remember) in which the setting of the Berlusconi administration as a national referendum on the government and on his person has become a boomerang. After the battle in Milan has become a national challenge to the will of the premier, all have become interested in local elections in Milan.

This created the substrate of opinion that favored the birth of # morattiquotes. All have written, all they have read, they all shared: it has happened throughout Italy and policy implications of a huge teasing of only 160 characters will certainly be the most significant days of press releases, posters of mountains of abuse, endless costs for public relations, hours of meetings.

# Morattiquotes is no cost (economically, in terms of time and effort) to all: who created it, who participated, those who will benefit in consensus and popularity, in Milan as the center-left as one of its Twitter followers. The lesson for politicians, political parties and their staff is clear and unequivocal: do not throw money to buy space to campaign for shiny, or invent creative solutions to try to sell the unsellable.

Rather, create empathy with your constituency and political reference, delegated the creative process and public communication (that both will still campaign for or against you, whether you like it or not), spend your money to monitor the network and make mainstream what is already very popular on the web, and you have a solid campaign, shared, empathetic, credible and therefore effective.

Each campaign has three purposes: to convince their vote (every day that passes is the real key to success), as opposed to convince the electorate not to vote or otherwise de-motivate rather, make the few undecided on their side. # Morattiquotes reasonably could have made progress on all three variables.

In addition, it has already obtained a first obvious result, perhaps the most feared by a public figure, even more if political opponent has made, in this case, Letizia Moratti, ridiculous. Considering that this was at no cost and without Pisapia they may be, is a small miracle. Perhaps the only miracle of this administration.

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