“Neither presidential candidate is talking about solving the oil problem. So we’re going to make ’em talk about it,” Pickens says.
The basic Pickens Plan is to reduce US dependence on oil by developing wind power and increasing the use of natural gas as fuel. Energy Outlet crunches the numbers here, and the announcement Pickens made yesterday has already generated enormous media and blog coverage – not to mention nearly 10,000 members in 24 hours.
The Pickens Plan incorporates many varieties of social media tools, including MySpace, YouTube , Facebook, Twitter.
I love Pickens’ ideas and the fact that he’s speaking out. I’d like him to succeed on a huge level, influencing national sentiment and the election. Yet, the campaign, without immediate and ongoing interaction from Pickens or at least a factotum, seems a stilted view of social media, with the form, but not the substance of real engagement. The social media execution comes across as corporate, even though Pickens himself is immensely appealing.
Whether the campaign will succeed on the social media front depends on a variety of factors, including whether Pickens himself will be involved, how responsive the campaign is to participants, and whether the ads touch a nerve.
Clearly, Pickens wants to influence the election, and I’m glad he does. Lackluster, befuddled McCain, and trying-to-please-everyone Obama are still not proposing sweeping plans that could lead to real change. Pickens’ outreach is the kind of campaign I hoped we’d be seeing from Bloomberg and Gore, whose WE campaign is a bit of a bomb.
The planners appear to have overlooked blog advertising, which offers a cheap and highly targeted opportunity. And if there’s blogger outreach, it hasn’t reached me. In the Pickens Plan forums, a lot of topics have few, or no, responses. User-generated videos are few and far between.
Compare the richly funded Pickens Plan to the recent more grassroots campaign by Firefox to achieve a Guinness Record for the most software downloads when it launched its (buggy) version 3.0. “Social media is not an isolated fad; it’s becoming a pervasive part of many people’s every day media mix and we try hard to participate in ways that are true to the way we’ve always approached our marketing,” said Paul Kim, vice president of marketing for Mozilla. “We make it fun, we make it easy to participate and we communicate in ways that are authentic — something our community appreciates.”