A recent article in New York magazine makes some fascinating arguments about President Obama as the multi-platform, ubiquitous communicator-in-chief. The article suggests Obama and his team are deliberately – and effectively – managing this sustained communication output to brand the president, influence public opinion and direct policy discussions. Obama is described as the ultimate “content provider.” Though there are critics to this saturation strategy, it appears that the public still likes hearing from the President and assigns him considerable equity as a leader. One key implication of this strategy, the author suggests, is that messaging becomes a dynamic, demanding 24-hour contact sport.
Of course, what’s not mentioned in the article is that many other politicians – or even pundits – are also making every effort to leverage the vast and protean media landscape. It’s just that they are not as consistently effective, and lack the global platform and profile of the President. Furthermore, it’s increasingly difficult to stand out among the profusion of media noise, as numerous companies and bloggers can testify. Despite the apparently insatiable demand for information, there is a saturation point for most users. The challenge for content providers – and their communication partners – will be to avoid just adding their own fire hose to the mix and figuring out where and when it makes most sense to communicate.