Virtual World Attention

The internet's a big old place and it's easy to get drowned out by all the hubbub, but use it wisely and you could be leading an army of supporters a million strong.


Barack Obama's presidential campaign was won by the little people harnessing the power of the internet. By coordinating millions of people and managed to raise millions of pounds from small, individual donations.


We've got some info from the experts but you must remember that with the internet, to some extent, you can make your own rules. If you have a great idea for a new tool or website that would help with campaigning there are people out there with money who could help you make them happen (see our useful links).


Shouting 'lovely oranges, five for a pound' and winking at the ladies won't cut it in the online market - it’s a bit too big for old-fashioned salesmanship. Here are some very modern, very effective tips for reaching an audience in the millions.



To let followers know in short, simple sentences what they are up to.


A photo-sharing site that lets you share your photos with anyone who cares to take a peek.


Video-sharing sites to show the world what you’re doing.


To blog about their campaign activities. A successful blog can lead to thousands of followers.

Moblogs is a mobile blogging service that works on lots of different platforms. It was set up by Battlefront mentor Alfie Dennan.


Here's Alfie on how to use Moblogs:

  • 1Making sure your phone is ready to send email and MMS is easier than you think, make sure you call your operator and ask for the settings if you experience trouble at first
  • 2If you want to avoid MMS or email, the Shozu application uses only your data connection, and can be set to upload in the background as well as upload to a broad variety of sites
  • 3Mobile blogging is all about the content. The context shines through the content, so it's bite sized blogging which can be done daily. The comments people leave on your pictures/video is often more interesting than the content itself!
  • 4Voice to text services such as the Spinvox blog service mean that even where you don't have a data connection you can still blog effortlessly. This is especially important when considering online activism and getting information out of data monitored countries/states such as China, as evidenced recently by the illuminating mobile blogging originating from the Sichuan province after the devastating earthquake.
  • 5'Communicate the now' or 'capture the moment' as the adverts like to say. You never know what's going to happen, so make sure your camera phone is handy for those moments that might just happen to you.

To make these sites work for your campaign you have to maintain them and tell people about them. How?

For Battlefront we researched every website, forum, blogger or group who was interested in the same stuff as us. We put them all in a spreadsheet and then told them what we were up to via emails and alerts. Of course, they wanted fun stuff from us too, which they could tell other people about - so we set about making 'viral' videos. Everything we’ve learned is available for you too in our Viral Video section.

Sony BMG digital marketing manager Dan Ayers advised us:

Think about who ultimately has the authority to effect the change that you're campaigning for. Then think about the best way to reach those people. What's important to them?

The internet is largely a meritocracy, which is great news if you have a cracking idea and you know your subject inside-out. Even then, you will probably need a great promotional tool as well, so that everyone gets to hear about your idea.

Authenticity is crucial, don't ever try to fool people.

Duane Raymond is a real whizz at using the internet for campaigning, in
fact he is an expert in 'ecampaigning', which means doing campaigning by
only using things that begin with the letter e, like emails, electronic
devices and elephants; he talks about 'the essential four'.

  • 1Email communications
    What email communications are you going to send about your campaign?
  • 2Your website
    What you need to provide in a campaign website?
  • 3Expertise
    Do you need a team of high tech geek wizards on standby?
  • 4Campaigning Actions
    What ‘actions’ do you want people to take when they come across your campaign?

To find out what he means by these and to read his full article on the e-campaigning essentials use the link below.

Here are some more resources from Duane and his e-campaigning experts.

If that’s given you a taste for e-campaigning, Fairsay also run training courses.

Here’s advertising expert Jeremy Garner explaining how to get attention
in the virtual world for your campaign.

You have to get people talking about your campaign. Communication has become much faster now, thanks to MSN and email. And to talk passionately about an issue or campaign, people have to believe it is theirs. By that, I mean they have to believe in your idea so much – or become so interested in it – that they begin to tell others about it as if it was their own idea.

Of course, getting the attention in the first place can be the tricky part, but there are ways of doing it. The main challenge here, I think, is doing it on a very limited budget. But, whatever you do, it still has to stimulate the emotions in some way, and get your audience to feel something. They can feel angry, elated, surprised, tickled - the important thing is that whatever you are saying, and however you are saying it, must draw some sort of response. Your campaign will resonate much more then. People are likely to return to your campaign too, time and time again, rather than just notice it once and forget about it.


Social networking sites can be used for campaigning as well as 'researching' people you find attractive. Here's how.

Here are the headlines for their top tips for social networking.

  • Check out existing groups
  • Make sure you have the time
  • Set up a fan page
  • Promote offline
  • Avoid message overload
  • Don’t be too corporate
  • Be reactive and proactive
  • Experiment with Social Ads
  • Engage your friends and colleagues
  • Keep up with the changes

And there’s information about how to use Facebook applications, Groups and Fan Pages.

They recommend that you use the SuperBadger application on Facebook to send campaign emails to individual people.

Daunted by the notion of launching a whole campaign online? Don’t be. Read this instead.