GOP Chairman Reince Priebus Rolls Out Social Victory Center on Facebook
HH: We begin today with chairman of the Republican National Committee, Reince Priebus. Mr. Chairman, welcome, good Friday to you.
RP: Hugh, how are you, pal? I hope you’re doing well.
HH: I am terrific, and I’ve got to tell you why we called you up today. This morning, my phone rang, and it was Lee Habeeb. He’s the director of content for all of Salem Radio Network. And he said to me, have you seen what the RNC has done on Facebook? And I hadn’t seen what you’d done on Facebook. He wants to come talk to you. I hope you sit down with you.
HH: But this is amazing.
RP: (laughing) Well, I know you and I have talked a lot about this stuff, and you’re very into social media and that technology. I am as well. So here’s what we did. You know, nowadays, for the listeners, I know you get this, but nowadays, you know, so many organizations get caught up in revamping their websites. And in politics, the problem is that millions of users are not going to sit down for three or four hours to try to figure out all of your, even as cool as you can make your website, and as easy as you think you can make it, people aren’t going to sit down for three or four hours to try to figure out all your own little quirks and how you do things, and boxes you need to fill out. So what we did is we took the Facebook platform, and we’re the first political organization to do this, we set up a separate political platform using the Facebook apparatus, which you know, you’ve got 250 million people that are using this platform, something that people are familiar with, that you can sign up at. If you go to Facebook/GOP, you’ll see an icon there that says Social Victory Center. You click on that, that sends you to a virtual victory center that the GOP has put together, you’ll get exclusive content. You can do things like download your absentee ballot, no matter where you’re listening from. If you’re in Missouri, Tennessee, North Carolina, you can load in your absentee ballot, print it out, we’ll tell you where to send it. You’ll get videos that are exclusive to that center. And here’s the other thing that makes it really neat. You, if you were to sign into this Social Victory Center, you’ll have the ability to let all of your friends know what you’re clicking on, if you like a video particularly, you think a video is well done, you click on it, all your friends will see it. And it has the ability to spread things virally, like Amway on steroids. Now here’s the last thing. If you’re in a state, like let’s just say you’re in San Diego, and you’re not sure whether the presidential election is going to California, but you want to participate, what you can do is go to this Social Victory Center, and we will let you make phone calls into Nevada, or maybe a closer state in the presidential election, or Colorado, or maybe you’ll call into Ohio, and you’ll be able to phone from your own home using the Facebook apparatus, and making phone calls and making voter to voter contacts across this country. So it’s been incredible, and the response has, it’s just been insane here.
HH: No, it is the best thing I have seen the RNC do in the 30 years I have been watching the RNC do things. And so www.facebook.com/GOP…
RP: That’s right.
HH: …because it’s clean, it’s very sharp, I don’t know who your design team was, but they got it right. It mixes the very best of things like Hotair with of course the platform here, and it’s tied into Twitter. How long did this take to get going, Chairman Priebus?
RP: It took us about six months to get this thing done. And we just wanted to use the Facebook platform to do it, because people are much more willing to participate in something that they’re familiar with. And so the average user of Facebook uses Facebook about 8 hours a month. That’s an average. So people in this country are used to it. The average user also has about 260 friends. And so the benefit of every, of all the people using it, and then all their friends seeing it, and then those friends using it, it just has a real cascading effect that so far this week, we’ve just been, it’s exploded. And so we feel good about where we’re at, and now with the President’s launch tomorrow, it was just great timing for us to finally get this thing done and get all the kinks worked out of it.
HH: Now I think, I’m talking with Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee about the new social media technique at Facebook, the Social Victory Center, www.facebook.com/GOP to go sign up, which I’m doing as we speak, by the way, just to prove how easy it is. What about the older people in the party who have been doing politics for a long time, and maybe they’re not so interested in a new technology. I see Dean Heller is one of the guys who just signed up, and so Dean’s the Senator from Nevada, and he’s running for reelection. He obviously gets it. Any resistance at all from the old guard?
RP: You know what? I’m telling you, my parents are on Facebook. And I would tell you that I think that’s why it’s so good to use a platform like that, is that I think people are reconnecting with friends all over America. It’s not something that’s very hard to use. It wouldn’t be that successful if it was. And so I think it allows people, no matter where you’re at, to be involved in the political process from your own home, or your own iPhone or iPad apparatus. And so I think it’s going to work well. It’s certainly something that we need to have out there as an option. The Obama team has nothing like it. Listen, they’re toting out Julia, which I’m sure you’ve already talked about Julia.
HH: (laughing) Wasn’t that a plant? Didn’t you sneak someone into the DNC to do the Julia thing?
RP: Yeah, right. Honestly, I mean, I don’t think we could have made the case for ending the European nightmare in the White House than have Julia trotted out. I mean, God forbid, if my daughter ends up growing up and being like Julia, I’m going to have a heart attack. And so, I’ll tell you, no parent in America is wishing for their daughter to turn into Julia. I think it’s a great example of everything wrong with this country. And the fact we would highlight somebody being taken care of from cradle to grave, you know, I think we ought to return back to the days of James Madison and the Bill of Rights, and what we founded this country on, which is freedom. And so…
HH: That is such a good point. So Mr. Chairman, in terms of…you’ve got no one saying we’re not going to do it. You’ve got everyone on board.
HH: Is there anything else coming that we don’t know about?
RP: Yeah, there’s quite a few things coming that you don’t know about. We have, we will probably be ramping up, I don’t want to put a number on it, but I think you’re going to be shocked when you see how much time and resources, between Mitt Romney and the RNC is going to be putting into this Social Media Victory operation, and just the media and digital reach. I believe in it. I think between consumer data donors and communication, it’s a great way to microtarget. It’s what we do, it’s what we have to do. You know, it’s not all about top line messaging. A lot of times, it’s just about…
HH: Getting to people.
RP: It’s really door to door contact.
HH: Getting to people.
RP: Putting ballots in the box.
RP: That’s what we have to do, and so we rolled out this Hype & Blame campaign, and basically the theme for the weekend is the candidate that came on board as the candidate of hope and change is now the President of hype and blame, blaming everyone under the Sun, and doing it in grand fashion, of course. And so that’s what we think we’re going to see more of from this president, and we’re going to call him out on the carpet every single day of the week.
HH: All right, one more question while we have time, and when Habeeb comes to see you, greet him and say hello, we want to link arms with you on this. But now the key thing up in Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren is on fire. I’m going to spend the rest of this hour talking about this. Scott Brown’s already a great candidate. He’s already rallied a lot of support, and people can contribute to him via Hughhewitt.com. But the Elizabeth Warren-affirmative action-Native American thing, Mr. Chairman, does that leave a mark? I mean, I think it’s so obviously unfair that people are going to remember this.
RP: Well, I think so, too. And that’s why, you know, one of the things that she doesn’t understand is that I think staying on message and watching your mouth is a pretty important concept in politics. But you know, when your philosophies are so different than the mainstream of America, you tend to get caught in a mousetrap. And I think we’re going to see more of that from her. And you know, the good thing is, I’ll tell you what, the blessing in Massachusetts is not only is Scott Brown a good candidate, but we’ve got a guy at the top of the ticket named Mitt Romney, who is not going to do that bad in Massachusetts.
RP: If you put those two together and a flawed candidate like Elizabeth Warren…
HH: Things look good in the Bay State. You bet.
RP: I think so, too, actually. I feel pretty good about where we’re at.
HH: Mr. Chairman, Reince Priebus, thank you. Have a great, great weekend. Thanks for staying late to talk to us. Once again, it’s www.facebook.com/GOP.
End of interview.