Bloomberg Businessweek’s recent profile of Barack Obama‘s campaign manager, Jim Messina has a particularly interesting detail about how Steve Jobs helped steer the Obama campaign to take advantage of new ways to share content during the 2012 election.
According to Bloomberg reporter Joshua Green, Messina began his work as campaign manager by meeting with executives from companies like Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft to get advice on how to take advantage of providing content through emerging technologies.
One of the executives Messina met with was Jobs, who had some tough love for the Obama administration.
In two long, private conversations, Steve Jobs tore into Messina for all the White House was doing wrong and what it ought to be doing differently, before going on to explain how the campaign could exploit technology in ways that hadn’t been possible before.
“Last time you were programming to only a couple of channels,” Jobs told him, meaning the Web and e-mail. “This time, you have to program content to a much wider variety of channels—Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, YouTube (GOOG), Google—because people are segmented in a very different way than they were four years ago.” When Obama declared for president, the iPhone hadn’t been released. Now, Jobs told him, mobile technology had to be central to the campaign’s effort. “He knew exactly where everything was going,” Messina says. “He explained viral content and how our stuff could break out, how it had to be interesting and clean.”
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