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SALEM -- Social media is playing a major role in Oregon's District 1 Congressional race. Both the Suzanne Bonamici and Rob Cornilles campaigns are aware it takes a combination of media to create success.

You ve probably seen the television and newspaper ads but have you received the emails? The District 1 race follows a social media strategy that became the trademark of the Obama presidential campaign.

Obama established the first modern campaign in terms of social media. It had dramatic impact. It was also a way of energizing a younger generation of political types, said Ron Tammen, the Director of PSU s Hatfield School of Government.

Volunteers still work the phone lines at the Cornilles and Bonamici campaign headquarters but each campaign also has a staff member designated to work the lines of social media.

We have Facebook, Twitter and a very robust Web site we keep updated, said Mary Anne Ostrom, Campaign Manager for Rob Cornilles.

The deputy campaign manager for Suzanne Bonamici explained the benefits this way: It s a two-way conversation, a way to reach out to people and find out what messages are working, said Thomas Wheatley.

Facebook pages for both campaigns have more than 2,000 likes. The posts also request volunteers and are filled with reminders about the candidates' upcoming appearances.

Photos of Bonamici and Cornilles in action are another special feature.

Unlike say 50 years ago where you had to mobilize people and go out into communities, today you can sit in the comfort of your office and reach thousands of people, said political analyst Tammen, and it s virtually free.

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