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February 29th, 2012 HEIDI GROOVER | Elections
 

You Really, Really Like Me!

Brady’s and Smith’s social-media campaigns are friending voters. And @Hales? #Zzzzz.

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Jefferson Smith, Eileen Brady and Charlie Hales hope you’ll “like” them. Brady also wants you to see pictures of her family and eavesdrop as she says “I love you” to her son. Smith weighs in on the Trail Blazers and has a Twitter account for his dog, George Bailey.

Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have become mandatory for modern campaigns: updating supporters and shaping the candidate’s image with a self-consciously natural intimacy.

In the race for Portland mayor, Brady and Smith have both done well in connecting through social media.

Natalie Sept, Brady’s campaign manager, says the campaign wants to use social media to help Brady appear accessible—and, she adds, Brady writes her own posts and tweets.

“Anything from Eileen is authentically from her,” Sept says.

Hales, meanwhile, has a Facebook page and Twitter account whose missives are far from habit forming. (He’s the only candidate on Google Plus, which he doesn’t use much.) He’s also running a more traditional campaign, knocking on thousands of doors.

Campaign Manager Jessica Moskovitz acknowledges a generational gap in Hales’ target audience: Older voters engage early on, she says, and are less familiar with Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

“We don’t want voters to have to learn a new technology to talk to us,” Moskovitz says.


The Candidates on Social Media

Eileen Brady: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube
Jefferson Smith: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube
Charlie Hales: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+

 
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