Zac Moffatt, a longtime Republican electronic media strategist, joined Mitt Romney‘s campaign as digital director last week.
We caught up with Moffatt to talk about his new role and how the campaign will leverage Facebook in the upcoming election.
What are your responsibilities as digital director of Mitt Romney for President?
My department oversees the development of the platforms that allows us to engage in: website, social media, web based video, reporting, analytics, email marketing, text messaging and online advertising to get out Mitt’s message about creating jobs and growing the economy.
How big is your digital team?
We have an integrated approach within the Mitt Romney team that allows us to leverage assets from across the campaign ranging from communications to policy to political and beyond.
What role will Facebook play in the campaign’s overall digital strategy? Is there any way to allot percentage of resources or staff time to Facebook vs. Twitter vs. other digital platforms?
I think Facebook will play a vital role in any 2012 strategy. The reach of its platform enables our campaign to engage on the issues that matter most to Mitt, such as his desire to turn this economy around, with a huge amount of individuals easily from across the country on a medium that people spend a substantial amount of time.
Our goal is to provide content about his successful record in the public and private sector as well as his vision in getting America back on track in every way possible. That way, people can understand more about Mitt on the mediums they chose to participate in – to create digital embassies across the Internet.
This can cover everything from Twitter and Youtube to full user experiences within a rich media ad unit. Given the size of our Facebook community –almost 1,000,000 — we continue to identify ways to engage with our community while also reaching out on other platforms.
How do you see the Romney campaign’s use of Facebook differing from your competitor’s?
I think we are providing rich user experiences within our Facebook page. This ranges from our photo uploading tools developed directly into the page to our streaming of all major events through our LiveStream tab. For our announcement last Thursday, June 2,we streamed the speech directly to our Facebook page through both LiveStream and YouTube (live) in their video unit within our page as well as on both sites homepage.
After our announcement last week, we asked people to share with us why they Believe in America on both Facebook and Twitter and the result of those thousands of responses can be seen here in a word cloud we posted on our site on blog this afternoon.
Will the candidate himself engage on Facebook?
Yes — Mitt take times to read through the comments and see what people are saying. Over the past two years he has provided thank you notes, photos and videos at numerous points exclusively for our Facebook community. These posts range from New Mexico with then candidate and now Governor Susanna Martinez to locations in Israel to National Call day in Nevada.
Is there a new Facebook tool or application that you are particularly excited about or will be particularly effective in this election cycle?
We continue to evaluate different solutions as we try to determine the best tools for our community for disseminating information about Mitt’s pro-jobs and growth record and his plans to take his real-world experience to the White House.
We believe our community will let us know what they think of the applications we develop and how we deploy them going forward. I think any tool that allows the user to experience Mitt’s message while on their chosen platform – in this case Facebook – - is something that gets us excited. We have been particularly happy with our current photo uploading tool that we developed directly into the page.
How has Facebook’s use in campaigns evolved since Gov. Romney’s last race? How will the campaign’s approach on Facebook differ from 4 years ago?
I think the two largest changes are the size of the audiences and the expectations of the users. In 2007 people were content with an entity just having a presence on Facebook. Now I think, in order to justify people sharing their time and energy with you, a campaign has to ensure they are thinking constantly about ways to be engaging and provide real value.
How has the role of a digital director in a campaign evolved since the last presidential race?
I think the very fact that there is a stand alone digital department with a Director elevated to same position as more traditional campaign functions like political and communication is a seismic shift in the way campaigns operate.