The Book Publicity Blog

News, Tips, Trends and Miscellany for Book Publicists

What the elections can teach us about media (and social media)

I met up with my running group at the New York Running Company last night.  The store was nearly empty, save for a handful of people glued to the television.  Outside the Time Warner Center, a gaggle of people was clustered around the television in the window of First Republic Bank.  Meanwhile, the TV-less seating area in front of Whole Foods — usually packed 24/7 — was empty.

Which is ironic, because in 2008, you don’t need a TV (or even a computer) to follow the news.  I whipped out my phone and between Twitter and my friend’s Facebook status updates, I knew how many electoral votes each candidate had and which states had been called for Obama or McCain.  In fact, several articles this morning focused on the social media expertise of the Obama campaign: Ad Age, The Buzz Bin, and Christopher S. Penn’s Awaken Your Superhero among others.  Those of you who have Facebook accounts know that many people “donated” their statuses to a candidate or virtually “got out the vote.”  (And still others, wary of publicly declaring a political affiliation, simply exhorted friends vote.)

While we can’t guarantee that what works for politics will work for books, we can say that many consumers — although maybe not the ones glued to the TV in front of the Time Warner Center — are interacting and being influenced in new and different ways.


Down the Avenue posts front pages of various American and foreign newspapers (both hard copies and websites).  The American papers, of course, feature massive Obama headlines … so do the foreign newspapers.  I was amused — when have we ever cared that much about what was going on in other countries?  (And how many UK / European / Asian bestsellers have you tried publicizing only to have them, well, uh, not be bestsellers here?)


November 5, 2008 - Posted by | Social Networking | , , ,

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