NPR recently covered the rise of Republicans' effective use of social media. The GOP has notably utilized YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, blogs and more this year. Both politicians and grassroots activists have taken advantage of new media to get their message across. Here is an excerpt from NPR:
Republican strategist Mindy Finn, who helped Virginia Gov.-elect Bob McDonnell find his voice online, tells NPR's Liane Hansen that GOP politicians are now turning to social media even faster than Democrats.
"Members who don't have a lot of say or don't have much of a voice in Congress can use social media to talk directly to their constituents, to voters and to activists," says Finn, a partner and blogger at the political consulting firm Engage.
It's a way for politicians to get out information without waiting for coverage from the traditional press, Finn adds.
"For a member of the House of Representatives particularly, it's very difficult for them to get a lot of press beyond very local district press. They don't get a lot of national attention necessarily," she says. "In the past, they might put out a press release and nobody picks it up. But now if they build up a network of blogger support, if they have a presence on Facebook or on Twitter, and they put out that same information, it can go virally across the Internet."
Finn says the 2008 election was "a big wake-up call" for Republicans. "Not only was it obvious that Republicans were behind when it came to using new media and technology, but the voters were in an uprising. The polls showed that the American people just did not like the Republican Party. And so, that provided an incentive to try a little bit harder — to try new ways to get the message out," she says.
The following video was featured in the NPR report: