Saturday, September 02, 2006

Local Legislative Candidates Fail To Capitalize On Blogs

Running for a state legislative seat in Indianapolis/Marion County is not an easy task. Paid media is extremely costly, and getting good earned media can be challenging. Because there are multiple Senate and House races in the area, the mainstream media tends to ignore most of these races.

Candidates for these races can, however, effectively use local blogs to communicate their message and stir up interest for their campaigns. Senate Democratic candidate Russell Brown, who is challenging Sen. Jim Merritt in District 31, regularly sends news items to area blogs, which occasionally earns attention. But besides Brown, area legislative candidates have largely ignored blogs.

When Democratic challenger Susan Fuldauer first announced she was running against House Speaker Brian Bosma, area blogs touted her candidacy as a serious challenge without any prompting from her campaign. Since then, her campaign has completely ignored blogs, even after they promoted a fundraiser for her's and Rep. David Orentlicher's benefit.

Orentlicher is facing a difficult re-election challenge in his Republican-leaning district. Neither Orentlicher nor his Republican challenger, Kathy Densborn, have utilitzed blogs to get out their message.

State Rep. candidate John Barnes (D) is challenging Rep. Larry Buell (R) in another hotly contested race. Again, neither candidate has used blogs to promote their campaigns. Coverage of the race has been virtually non-existent to date.

The profiles of other area legislative races is so low they aren't even worth a mention here. It is difficult to understand why these candidates would ignore the easiest method of communicating their message to area voters. I suppose if it's free, they assume it isn't worth doing. Oh well, it's their loss.


Anonymous said...

Blogs just haven't hit the mark yet, for whatever reason. They will.

One reason may be, that politicians tend to lump all blogs together. The hatefulness and shrill tones of some bloggers, push people away. There's little or no attempt by some bloggers to push for facts--just throw some crap at the web and see what sticks. Mainstream media has its faults, but it doesn't do that.

And, although I'm certain he likes the promotion, John Barnes isn't a representative yet.

Anonymous said...

I have found that area blogs have provided a useful mechanism to communicate with a number of voters and have received a large amount of positive feedback on the items you have posted here.

I am a little surprised that I am one of the few who regularly sends news releases to bloggers. I think the alternative media can have an influence on some voters who trust your view of the world. In fact, I include copies of the posts from AI in my packets I provide to groups I speak to and other reporters.

I appreciate the fair way I have always been treated on AI and am a regular reader.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Thank you for your comments Russell. I think the legislative races are so important and yet they get so little attention by the mainstream media, particularly in urban areas like Indianapolis. Blogs can help fill that void at least a little.

Anonymous said...

this isn't on the state level but it seems us bloggers are having a really grand time promoting Eric Dickerson's campaign.

Wilson types, and we sit back, point, and laugh.

Wilson46201 said...

he who laughs last, laughs best ...

Anonymous said...

Don't be so sure that blogs aren't being used. Because of the veil of anonymity, a lot can be said without issuing a press release.