Using Online Tools to Get Women Into Office


Hashtag: #BH12ElectWomen | #BlogHer12

Jill Miller Zimon | | @Jillmz
- I was very comfortable in the online space, I was very vocal.
- As a candidate I was all about using those things.
- You really need to know your demographics before using your online tools.
- Online can't replace, it supplements.

Debbie Walsh | | @CAWP_RU
- I bring that sense of where are we, what are we were we are.
- There is a problem and the real problem is not women winning elections, the real problem is women not running for office.
- We know that women make a difference when they are in office.
- We see that women do work together and they make a difference to women and children.
- Being friendly now is front page news, breaking news.

Why don't women run for office?
- Because of family constraint, it's tough.
- When they run with young children they get asked who's going to take care of the young children.
- Money - the cost of running a campaign
- Less confident, they think they don't have the tools or skills to run a campaign.

Why do they run?
- They are trying to make change.
- They are seeing that the way to make change is by running for office.
- Women are starting to realize that if they are not on the table they are probably on the menu.

Joanne Bamberger | | @punditmom
- Mothers of Intention.
- Women are the majority users of social media, facebook, twitter, pinterest.
- The average gamer online is a 43 year old woman.
- Mom bloggers 75% of them say they always vote, as far as presidential elections.
- How can women embrace those tools, as far as running for office.

Sabrina L. Schaeffer | | @SL_Schaeffer
- Social media has helped create an information explosion.
- Women are underrepresented across the board.
- As far as social media, women are not online the number one users, but also more active.
- We organize the world differently.
- More political debates.
- On the ground organizing. Better communicators.
- These are women that are able to organize actions.

Courtney Johnson @theycallmecojo | Mitt Romney's Campaign
- It is harder for women for reason like (hair, makeup, etc...)
- What about your kids?
- When women run for office their children seem to be put on the table? How are they raising them.
- Social media, Twitter is just another media where you can mess up and anyone can jump in.
- At the same time it is a great place to engage.
- You can build followers and send your message to so many people.
- On Facebook you can have a landing page and set up candidate stuff on there.
- It's great way to create buzz.
- Integrating Twitter and Facebook together.
How do you translate followers into votes?


Q. What do you think Obama did in his last campaign to turn followers into votes?
A. He did not really have a twitter account at the time. What he did really well was he was able to connect. It was the ability to write his emails and connecting. It was about the engagement, how do you go from having a twitter account and crafting it into something that will engage.
For successful twitter or Facebook accounts, there is something very connecting, very inviting. He used text messages. All of what he did was incredible. But what it takes is that politics is a contact sport, human contact. You can't completely rely on social media to make that count. It has to be personal.

Sunlight Foundation. The smartphone is the new tool of communication, being to communicate with people is what we should be looking for. How do you stay one step ahead?

Q. What kind of research, whether women are concerned about this social media trail?
A. It should be a big one. Spend time talking about what they put on their Facebook pages. Everywhere you go it's public, even though you won't put it on your page someone can.

As important as all kinds of social actions is, we need women inside, because we need those voices inside, they can make an issue about those public issues. There's also the double standard for those who have young children. Women need to go in with their eyes open.
- Even if you delete it (on Facebook), it is still there.
- The best way to take these things, be closed, be transparent, recognize these things are out there. Find a way that you are going to respond.
- I did not shy away from these stuff because of these things.

Q. Double Standards and bias. What can we do for creative ways that elected officials can go against it?
A. We've come a long way baby (book)
- It is hard in a lot of ways to deny the news outlets. That can back fire and produce bad media
- The women's media center: sexism sells, but we're not buying it (video)
- When we are a single voice talking about this, I think it makes a difference.
- Coming together is the important part. Supporting other women.

Q. What happens if we can't have our best women (Katie Couric) running for office, how are we supposed to feel?
A. Running for office is not for everyone. Women don't run for office because there's so many other opportunities, choices for women. We have choices.

I think Katie not running for office is a huge cop-out. She probably what it sounded like what she said. (Jill Miller Zimon).

Q. How are we building the women that are going to run for political office tomorrow, today?
A. The likelihood is much bigger now for kids to see. They are growing up aware of political things. Expecting them that they may start to care for things. How you influence the discussions, contribute to the discussion. I am hopeful about it by seeing women run. It takes a lot of time to get these kind of societal changes. (Jill)
- Many of the organizations are raising awareness for teens.
- Let girls be girls.

Slides (45 slides) @SarahGranger (Slide is called: Strategies for Online Engagement)