Technology Shifts Political Campaign Strategy

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Vik Vad campaign uses new media in bid for Travis County Tax Office.

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"I believe in technology," Vad exclaims, "I think that we now have a situation where voters can be much more aware of what officeholders and candidates are doing day to day, and we also get to see a bit of their personal side as well."

Now that the South by Southwest festivities have ended, Austinites can return to the normal pace of life. For the past 10 days, Austin was abound with musicians, creative artists, entrepreneurs, social media gurus, and a slew of new products and services on display around the city. But in this election year, political strategy also relies more heavily on social media and technology, and campaign strategists are taking notice.

Vik Vad, who is running for the Travis County Tax Office, has successfully utilized social media to rally the voter base, as well as to attract swing voters looking for more information about the candidates. “It is really our volunteers who have pitched in their efforts for this, I cannot take the credit," Vad states. "They have updated the campaign Facebook page and Twitter account vigorously, while rallying the grassroots supporters to join in too. It is great to have this show of support!"

Social media has become a recurring tool for most political campaigns, since there are many more active users of all demographics in this presidential election cycle than in 2008. Through Facebook or Twitter, a candidate can quickly send a message out to their followers, and receive feedback almost instantaneously. It also enables the constituents to make suggestions or draw issues directly to the politician, shifting the power more favorably to the public. "I believe in technology," Vad exclaims, "I think that we now have a situation where voters can be much more aware of what officeholders and candidates are doing day to day, and we also get to see a bit of their personal side as well."

However, social media is just one tool in the campaign's war chest. Vad still believes in courting the vote the old-fashioned way, by shaking hands one-on-one. Vad has been meeting with local civic groups, community associations, and political organizations to take his message directly to the voters. "It is still fundamentally important to meet people face to face," he says. "There will never be a substitute for that. And not everyone desires to, or is able to use these new forms of communication, which is perfectly understandable."

With the rise of social media and advanced networking technology, one thing is certain: political campaigns and government offices will be required to engage constituents through any and all channels available.

For more information on the Vik Vad for Texas campaign, visit http://www.vikvad.com , the campaign's website. Or, "LIKE" the campaign's Facebook page located at facebook.com/vadfortexas. The Twitter account to follow is @vadfortexas.

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Nikhil Kulkarni
Vik Vad for Texas
(512) 665-0545
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