Note To Politicians: You're all marketers

Politics, in large part, is about storytelling.  The art of it boils down to what stories you tell, how you tell them and if they spread.  Let's focus on the latter. 

In the past, I've watched with interest our municipal election unfold.  To my surprise, none of the candidates (mayoral and ward councilors) used any type of social networking.  One did toward the end of the race and the local newspaper wrote a story, not about the politics of the candidate, but that he posted a video to YouTube.  He achieved some short-term publicity but his message of the day, part of the story he needed to tell to get votes, went unheard.

More recently, the same politician contacted me for advice on how to "market his campaign" given campaign time was drawing near.  I told him "he was a marketer" and he needed to maximize all the ways in which his story could spread to potential voters (citing this example as one of the best I've seen.)

Politicians need to give voters a reason to talk about them.  Thoughtful reasons, honest reasons and reasons that are worth spreading to other voters.  The best thing that can happen to my advice-seeking political colleague is to hope none of the other candidates realize they're marketers  until after the election.