19 November 2008

Mobile Lessons From Obama

Newspapers should take a leaf out of Barack Obama’s phonebook when it comes to mobile strategies, says a digital director.

Ted Mann from Gannett New Jersey points to the president-elect’s SMS and iPhone campaign applications and suggests that they may be “instructive to newsrooms”.

First up, Mann discusses Obama’s geotargeted text alert service which sent announcements to registered users about events and news in their area.

Writing on the Courier Post’s Mojo Dojo blog, Mann says newspapers could deploy a similar tool to send breaking news alerts to journalists in the field.

“If every reporter signed up for a newsroom alert on their cell phones, an editor could quickly issue a kind of all-hands-on-deck text to tell everyone about a three-alarm fire in Camden, or a bridge collapse in Philly, or whatever.”

Next up, Obama’s iPhone service with its Call Friends option which scanned the user’s phonebook, and a Get Involved feature listing local meetings.

Mann asks: “How great would it also be if newsrooms could use mobile apps in much the same way - incorporating a phone book of all newsroom personnel (so you can always get Joe the Reporter on his cell phone, even if you don’t have the number)?”

He concludes: “If the overall effort to coordinate newsrooms via text and mobile were any bit as effective as the Obama campaign has been, maybe the newspaper business could find a way to thrive again after all.”

Visit Mojo Dojo for the full story.

[HT - Fitz and Jen.]

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