Sunday, December 19, 2010

Innovations in Communications

Any organization that wants to advocate with the public needs to be able to use all available tools for communication. These tools include electronic media, print media, broadcast media, and telephony.

In addition to the public sphere, an organization needs to have an internal communication space in which insiders can candidly plan and strategize without exposing our weaknesses to the opposition.

The electronic media is the newest and is the most dynamic these days. Many older folks have been able to get on board in a variety of ways such as email, discussion boards, and weblogs. The younger generation, however, is continuing to challenge today's communication landscape with newer methods. Social networking, texting, internet conferencing, and even gaming consoles are adding more communication options. Political organizations which wish to have a broad appeal must be active in as many communication platforms as it can manage since the omission of any communication pathway will result in failing to get the message to the devotees of that particular pathway.

Our goal must be to communicate in all directions using all the means available. Our messages must be fresh, topical, and relevant. We must be active on issues at all jurisdictional levels. This ensures that we always have something to say that is meaningful. And it demonstrates that we are indeed politically active at all levels. The effort to pursue communication at all levels is a mechanism that will help us build our activity at all those various levels. Communication is the blood of our body politic. Whatever else this organization does, it is the communication that holds us together.

But there are limits in real life and we can't do everything at once. We must prioritize and delegate. I think our first priority should be the printed newsletter. It should have good content, an attractive appearance, and broad access. It can both consolidate and feed our other lines of communication. It can be a common source of reference where essential data of the organization can be found. Even those who can not be present in any other way can participate through meaningful printed media. The newsletter should report on our activities, offer a means of interaction and discussion, and help connect like-minded people in all sorts of ways.

Innovation Articles

This article will serve as a link list to other more specific articles on topics having to do with potential innovations the local party might pursue. At this time it is simply a placeholder.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Overlap with BCDCC

Since the 8th LD lies entirely within Benton County there is a great deal of overlap between LD and County Party activities. It doesn't make good sense to wear out our volunteers performing activities that address almost exactly the same audience with almost exactly the same active participants. It should also be noted that due to population concentration in the Tri-city area there is also opportunity for joint action and coordination with the Franklin County organization. Therefore it is reasonable to have some understanding of what works best at the LD level, the county level, and the metropolitan level. There is no official governmental jurisdiction for the metropolitan area but there is a natural organization in place called the Tri-city Democrats.

The backbone of the Party is, of course, precinct committee officers (PCO's). A new batch of PCO's have been elected this last November. Sadly we have many more precincts than we do PCO's. Via the appointment process, it is possible for every single person who wishes to be a PCO to be appointed to that position. Being a PCO carries the challenge of representing the Party to supporters in a given geographical locatian and of representing the location to the Party. Appointments for PCO's are under the purvue of the County Central Committee but I'm sure the County would find it helpful if the LD organization would make recommendations for potential PCO appointments.

A properly functioning LD organization should essentially be focussed on LD issues. The most essential of these are the LD elections and support for our LD candidates. The LD organization should be able to relieve the County organization of its heavy lifting in this area and allow the County more freedom and resources to deal with issues and candidates at the County and higher levels.

There is an opportunity the 8th LD organization has by virtue of its overlap with the Benton County jurisdiction. It can serve as a test lab for new ways of doing things. Any successful techniques can be offered to the county (and even the metropolitan area) for emulation. Any failures can be handled and lessons can be learned without doing violence to processes at the higher levels. With this in mind, let's take a look in some following articles about some new things to try.