Plouffe was the campaign manager for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. After winning the election on Nov. 4, President-elect Obama credited Plouffe in his acceptance speech, calling him “the unsung hero of this campaign, who built the best political campaign, I think, in the history of the United States of America.”
Plouffe is credited with the campaign’s successful overall strategy in the race for the Democratic Party presidential nomination and the general election by maintaining discipline over communications to deliver a consistent campaign message through a broad spectrum of media channels.
Obama's success owes a lot, of course, to his message of "change," but there was something more subtle at work, too. It was not just the message and the man and the speeches that swayed Democratic voters, it was the way the campaign folded the man and the message and the speeches into a systemic branding effort.
Reinforced with a coherent, comprehensive program of fonts, logos, slogans and web design, Obama was the first presidential candidate to be marketed like a high-end consumer brand through a spectrum of new media communication channels.
Obama's campaign staff out performed opponents on the ground by adopting new and innovative web-based and cellular-based media strategies to recruit supporters, put supporters to work, organize supporter actions, turn out voters on election day and (of course) to raise unprecedented amounts of money — all contributing to a crucial edge in the 2008 primary and general elections.
The Obama campaign is widely credited for its unprecedented use of New Media for everything from fundraising to volunteer coordination. Another just published book, "Yes We Did!: An Inside Look at How Social Media Built the Obama Brand," by Rahaf Harfoush, takes a comprehensive look at the campaign's use of technology leading up to election night and explores the strategic insights that organizations can apply to their own brand. (click book image to go to Amazon)
Peppered with interviews, photos and anecdotes from key members of the New Media Team, this book reveals how the combination of an unwavering strategic vision and collaborative technologies including blogs, social networks, twitter, SMS messaging, and a state of the art campaign website empowered a formidable online community to elect the world's first "digital" President.
Author, Rahaf Harfoush witnessed the "disruptive innovations" of this pioneering new media campaign firsthand when she joined Obama's New Media team in Chicago for three months. From the book's forward: "The Internet and an extraordinary social movement enabled him to come to power and youth were the engine of his victory.
Anyone who watched Obama dutifully address ten different Inauguration Balls on January 20, 2009, could see that the Youth Ball audience most energized him. Speaking to 7,000 young people he said “thank you” to a generation, explaining that his campaign was “inspired by, was energized by young people all across America.”And, in yet another recognition of the anniversary of Obama's innovative digital-age campaign comes the HBO Documentary: "By The People: The Election of Barack Obama."
Said the newly inaugurated president, “Young people everywhere are in process of imagining something different than what has come before us: Where there is war they imagine peace. Where there is hunger they imagine people being able to feed themselves. Where there is bigotry they imagine togetherness. The future will be in your hands if you are able to sustain the kind of energy and focus you showed on this campaign…. You are going to make it happen.”
The story of the new media group described in 'Yes We Did' is a truly amazing one. Through the internet and other digital technologies a group of young people changed just about everything: how money is raised, how people campaign, how organizers organize, and how the electorate comes to understand the issues, make choices, and become engaged in political action. Who better to tell this striking story, and draw some lessons from it, than one of the most talented soldiers of the campaign—Rahaf Harfoush. Rather than the ofﬁcial account, this book is a tale from the trenches of young volunteers working with a new set of weapons and tools—the digital media."
Interwoven with the drama of the campaign is never-before-seen footage of Obama behind the scenes, as well as interviews and candid moments with wife Michelle Obama, the couple's young daughters, Malia and Sasha, and senior campaign staff, volunteers, reporters, supporters and opponents.
It premieres Tuesday, November 3 at 9pm only on HBO. For more information, log onto HBO.com."