Commissioner Gary Storke became the latest candidate to add social media outreach to his campaign when the mayoral hopeful launched a Facebook page. Earlier he’d rolled out a blog. With this addition to the World Wide Web all Elkton candidates have a presence on the web except for Charles Hicks and if that situation changes we’ll let readers know.
These new media products, such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, and much more allow office-holders and candidates to reach voters directly, bypassing the traditional outlet for reaching the citizenry in Cecil County, print media. Especially these days when our legacy media publishers aren’t providing as much local news coverage, it allows candidates to communicate directly and share his or her message.
At the county level some advocacy groups, such as the Young Republicans, demonstrated the ability to leverage the power of social media and they also use it as a virtual gathering place for those wanting to communicate directly with them.
Four years ago, we largely had traditional campaigns in Cecil County. Those hopefuls were out waving signs, distributing flyers, purchasing newspaper ads, and attending rallies. Most of them had static web sites to support the field-work. In comparison, this is an enormous shift in the way politicians and advocacy groups reach the public. While a candidate would not want to rely solely on this tool, it will only grow as others see the value of direct outreach at virtually no cost since the traditional marketing methods have shrinking audience share.