Business Book Reviews
YES WE DID
An Inside Look At How Social Media
BUILT THE OBAMA BRAND
BY RAHAF HARFOUSH
The Obama campaign was able to quickly build a brand using Social Media as the major tool to reach out to the masses. The American public could find out about pertinent campaign, personal, and ideological information as it related to Barack Obama at the touch of a key pad instantaneously. Rahaf Harfoush the author, a new-media strategist and a campaign headquarters volunteer for Obama was able to give a “behind-the-scenes look at the campaign’s use of technology, from its earliest days through election night.” Many campaigns of the past were run through television, polls, in newspapers, print magazines, internet news reports & commentary, and even through the outcome of political debates. This campaign used Social Media as the vehicle to get into the homes, businesses, dorm rooms, church’s, internet cafe’s, laptops and smartphones of the entire world simultaneously to participate in one cause.
Rahaf Harfoush in her introduction details how the Obama campaign made an impact: “The team’s brilliant use of technology to build relationships, transmit information, and organize offline action has redefined modern politics. Beyond that is has permanently changed the nature of our interactions with politicians, a fact that is sure to have social and cultural implications as well.” Here is what the book says about the campaigns strategic use of various social networking sites: “The campaign used social network sites to increase their messaging reach and create relationships with supports outside of MyBO (Obama’s site). Barack Obama recognized the opportunity to connect with specific demographics and this was the first candidate to build profiles on social networks that targeted minority communities, including MiGente, Black Planet, FaithBase, and AsianAve. The idea was to bring the campaign into the online communities where voters were already spending time.” “Overall, the Obama campaign had a presence on sixteen social networks including: Asian Ave, Black Planet, Digg, DNC PartyBuilder, Eons, Eventful, Facebook, Faithbase, Flickr, GLEE, LinkedIn, Mi Gente, My Batanga, MySpace, Twitter, and You Tube. The book shows that by intelligently, strategically using what may already be within your grasp can lead to an unparalleled success and complete victory. These Social Media tools were within the reach of all of the campaigns at the time but were dormant. The Obama team activated these tools and put them to bear on the American public and the globe enabling unlimited interactivity, donation avenues, and real-time campaign updates. Regardless of your politics you will gain much from the insights contained within these pages. Check it out!!
Bloomberg by Bloomberg
Michael Bloomberg with Matthew Winkler
Before becoming the now 3 term mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg had already become a billionaire by starting his own business and turning it into a global phenomenon. Michael Bloomberg built a technology empire (creating computer terminals which present global financial information at your fingertips) before it was fashionable and it was not done in Silicon Valley. These computer terminals allow corporations to manipulate & analyze this data to truly be able to get a view of what is going on in financial markets worldwide. The book also talks about Bloombergs’ television programming: “Bloomberg Information Television is a twenty-four-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week, multi-screen format all-news program, anchored in New York, Sao Paulo, London and Tokyo.” The Bloomberg corporation also has a publication called of course: “Bloomberg Magazine”. In his book he describes it: “Our first magazine (Bloomberg Magazine) has a monthly circulation of 140,000. That’s a lot of readers, but still it’s of narrow interest. Its constituency is clients who rent our $1,100-per month analytical terminals. Each issue of this “how to” magazine gets read cover to cover repeatedly by these professional investors.”
The book also details how Bloomberg started building his company before the politics, the acclaim and money. Even though he had $10 million to start his company he expanded and multiplied his investment. This book is valuable for those attempting to build a quality corporation big or small. The principles of hard work and being the best apply for all types of ventures. He details vividly the grind he and his colleagues were on in the beginning to build their brand and company. Here are some quotes that speak on his early days: “Today, Bloomberg has the very best service and installation professionals. But back when we started, the original half dozen of us, after finishing our regular jobs, would go into clients’ offices on weekends and do these functions as well. During the summer, with the air-conditioning turned off in those sealed skyscrapers, the heat sometimes hit 100 degrees Fahrenheit under the new customers’ desks where we crawled to lay our cables. Amid old McDonald’s hamburger wrappers and mouse droppings, we dragged wires from our computers to the keyboards and screens we were putting in the place, stuffing the cables through holes we drilled in other peoples furniture – all without permission, violating every fire law, building code, and union regulation on the books.” They don’t talk about this type of grinding in the media. We only see the accolades and hear about the money. There is much more business insight and knowledge contained within these pages. A very powerful, inspiring read. A must have!!!