Social Media Strategy Fits The Kitzhaber Brand

Provide Oregonians a free undergraduate education. Create a state-run micro-loan program for Oregon startups. And help strengthen the creative economy. These are some of the ideas Oregonians are providing to John Kitzhaber, who is running for Governor in 2010.

Ben Jacklet at Oregon Business writes:

The Kitzhaber campaign’s website for ideas has received dozens of suggestions from Oregonians ranging from jobs for the removal of ivy and blackberry bushes to a statewide microloan program for small business start-ups. This ongoing call for ideas, and the democratic crowd-sourcing tactic of allowing readers to vote in support of promising suggestions, is a refreshing innovation.

I don’t know that asking constituents to sound off is “refreshing innovation,” but I am glad to see someone finally use the term crowd-sourcing correctly. The way it’s being used in the context of advertising is all wrong. A contest where one winner gets paid and all the other participants do not, is not crowd-sourcing. It’s a contest. Genius Rocket for instance, does not seek wisdom from the crowd. Insanely cheap labor is what they’re after, and apparently there’s plenty of supply.
Back to social media’s application in the political realm..I’d like to see the “conversation” grow into something more powerful. Social media can be used to organize, and that seems like a much more powerful use of the technology than a new and improved online forum.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. Thank you for writing about the Ideas for Oregon Project. While we are excited about its effectiveness even in the short time it has been in effect, we absolutely agree that social media is a powerful organizing tool and we are committed to building the ideas project well beyond a “new and improved forum.” Oregonians organized around real conversation and collaboration on policy and ideas are at the core of real progress and we are most excited about this.