Sen.-elect Scott Brown's campaign used new media to help power Brown's upset victory in a heavily Democratic state.
Washington (CNN) – Sen.-elect Scott Brown's new media director acknowledged Tuesday that the Massachusetts Republican's campaign was so inspired by President Obama use of 21st Century tools in 2008 that they made technology a major part of their campaign to help Brown win the late Sen. Edward Kennedy's seat 14 months later.
"Obama's campaign used it really, really well and it got a lot of coverage and as a result our activists read it and said 'Hmm, why can't we do this? "We can do this too,'" new media strategist Robert Willington said in an interview with CNN.
Willington and two of his colleagues from the Brown campaign were the featured speakers at a gathering of conservative bloggers and online activists at the Heritage Foundation.
Willington explained that the Brown campaign was at an organizing disadvantage in the heavily Democratic state and decided to use social networking services and platforms to build grassroots support and raise money
"We knew the odds were stacked against us," said Willington, who later added, "So when we first sat down, we decided to do things a bit differently."
The campaign created an iPhone and BlackBerry application – "Walking Edge" – that provided volunteers with the ability to immediately transmit information about prospective voters back to the campaign. This allowed the campaign to create a stronger get-out-the-vote operation.
In addition to "Walking Edge," the campaign used Twitter to issue updates on the day it staged a $1 million "money bomb"; purchased locally-targeted Google ads that directed supporters where to volunteer; established a social network on Ning.com that allowed supporters to organize amongst themselves; and an aggressive text messaging campaign.
Even though Brown has yet to be sworn in as Massachusetts' junior senator, Willington is already turning his attention to 2012.
"I've told Scott [Brown] and the campaign Election Day is in 31 months," said Willington. "We don't have any infrastructure other than what we just built and it was built on the fly, for the most part. But we need to keep the organization going . . . keeping them engaged and keeping them motivated is the next phase."