Panel recommendations for local candidates attending #campaigntech

By Henri Makembe on 11.10.11

campaigntechAs I announced last week, I will be attending CampaignTech conference. The agenda looks packed with great speakers covering a wide array of topics.   Unfortunately, one can’t go to all the panel.  so if you’re local candidate running next year, which panel should you attend?  As always, I like to list the sessions that I think would be helpful for those folks.


9:00 AM: Opening Keynote Conversation: Political Leadership in the Digital Era – The speakers on this panel have all been involved in local politics in various regions of the country. As candidates, they actively used technology to get elected and have continued use  technology to keep in touch with constituents after they got into office.

10:15 AM: Building your Campaign Technology Vision: Insights from the 2011 Innovator Award Winners –  This panel is stacked with wickedly smart folks.  They will help understand the bigger picture behind using technology during your campaign is key. You may also get some glimpse at what’s next.

12:45PM: Digital Advice from the Political Party Committees  – Party committees have a lot of resources to offer to local candidates but unfortunately many candidates don’t know about them till it’s too late. For example, did you you get great CRM tool from the DLCC at $39/month if you’re running for local office?  Attend this panel and ask about what other tools/training are out there.

2:00PM: Be the Next YouTube Candidate – Did you know Youtube is second biggest search engine after Google? Yet many local candidates don’t take advantage of video during their campaign.   Attend this panel and get some tips and tricks.

3:15PM: Finding Your Blogger Voice as a Political Candidate – Though blogs have been around for more than a decade, local candidates still fail to use it. Why? I’m not quite sure. A campaign blog can be a chance to make your policies more personal and connect with voters (and the media) on another level. Attend this panel and get some tips from former local candidates and consultants who used blogging affectively during campaigns


9:00AM: Digital Kung-Fu: How to Handle Social Media Blunders as a Candidate – If you use social media, at some point you’re going to make a mistake — just ask the Scott Brown campaign.  Learn how to handle those blunders so you don’t shy away from social media during your campaign.

10:15AM: What to Expect as a Digital Candidate – This one is pretty self explanatory.

11:20AM: Mobilizing Voters and Volunteers – I’m moderating this panel. What other reason do you really need?

2:00PM: When to Reply: Responding to Facebook Conversations as a Candidate – As a campaign, Facebook is a must. However, most campaigns do not have any policies or response when things get ugly on Facebook. Attend this panel to get some ideas, learn the do’s and don’ts of dealing with supporters and detractors on Facebook.

That’s all I have for you folks. Enjoy the conference.  Did I miss any or are there others you would recommend?