Last week, I listened to NPR’s Marketplace with Kai Ryssdal on a future with Google-powered elections. For any internet strategist, it appears obvious (to me, at least) that Google AdWords would be a critical part of a candidate’s election campaign checklist. And I was happily surprised to hear that Google has a division dedicated to the task: Elections & Issue Advocacy.
Awareness, Cash and Bias
But there’s a rub — awareness, cash and perceived bias. On a state and national level, AdWords awareness and cash are high on the list. But for the local candidate seeking a city council seat, they may stick to the same routine for a lack of awareness and cash. Back to the checklist: Candidate. Check. Candidate position. Check. Web site. Check. Facebook page. Check. Google AdWords. Umm, what’s our budget?
Lastly, there are perceived bias issues, which are explored in more detail on Alfred Yen’s blog. Google could tweak the information in a candidate they favor; become a political powerbroker, or account holder personal information. While these are valid points, I’m not as concerned.
Here’s the NPR story. What are your thoughts?