The Command Post
2004 US Presidential Election
September 01, 2004
New York | Another Comparison

The RNC blogger-facing media operation is significantly more efficient, and impressive, than the DNC. In Boston, we had some very good-hearted and hard working media folks, who were clearly near the bottom of the food chain, trying to bring us interviews, and trying to find out who we wanted to see. And they, at times, delivered.

But the RNC has Betsy, a very professional and impressive person who, in the past hour, has brought us the winner of the MTV “Holla” contest, Jim Towey, and Alan Simpson, and she’ll have two more Senators here by 4:30.

Here’s the key difference: The DNC treated us as oddities … the RNC seems (at my first blush) to be treating us like journalists. Not CNN, but journalists still. The placement on Radio Row is the first indication of this … my seating is no worse than Sean Hannity’s … and the liason they’ve assigned is another.

I still think most of us are here to amplify spin (just as in Boston), but they have indeed made us part of the press machine in a manner to which the DNC can’t compare.

I leave it to you to decide if that makes blogs a “legitimate” rat in this race, but it’s a different race in New York nonetheless.

Posted by Alan at September 1, 2004 03:22 PM | TrackBack

Gee, could it be that like anything that is a “first” you were “oddities?” The RNC has the benefit of watching the DNC operation, listening to you guys whine about how your treated and then build on it.

Posted by: derby [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 1, 2004 04:34 PM

I wish to echo the earlier question, minus the reference to whining.

Do you feel that the RNC did better because the watched the DNC’s process?

Also, do you feel that this treatment lends credibility to your efforts? Or does it diminish the standing of other “journalists”?

Are the venue’s themselves part of the difference? Is MSG more workable than Fleet?

Posted by: skip [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 1, 2004 05:11 PM

Good questions, both (although I’d ask Derby to read through the 80- or 90-odd posts I made from Boston and illustrate my whining). They may have learned from the experience, but this is so complete it’s my strong sense that it’s much more a function of how they run a convention than they’re calculating how to handle bloggers. My gut is that they said “they’re in,” and then just made us part of the same process the rest of the media is part of.

MSG is not more workable than Fleet … if anything, it’s harder to find your way around.

Posted by: Alan [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 1, 2004 05:35 PM

Sorry about the characterization - it was unfair.

Posted by: derby [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 1, 2004 07:10 PM

No worries! I agree there was whining … just not much here.

Posted by: Alan [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 1, 2004 09:36 PM

My gut is that they said “they’re in,” and then just made us part of the same process the rest of the media is part of.

I tend to think your gut feeling is spot on Alan. As someone who has worked in Marketing in a very large, 4th largest in the USA, metropolitan city, and also several years in event planning, I’d say the RNC did decide to expand the media arrangements to the bloggers very early on, it helps to streamline the work planning and it places those arrangements under the same event coordinator. By doing so, they have expanded the definition of media to include bloggers.

So regardless of why it was done, it was done. And it will dictate the future of how it is done.

So congrats to you and others that opened the doors to the bloggers. From this point on, as long as there are bloggers, there will be accommodations. The nature of those accommodations will most likely dictated by your worthiness.

Actually, personally, looking at the way the RNC compares to the DNC in overall marketing and campaign planning, the RNC has it hands down.

Posted by: TexasGal [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 1, 2004 11:54 PM

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