Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tweetup for mayors, part deux

Having witnessed a couple of spirited mayoral campaigns in the past 10 years, I am amazed at the influence of social media in this year's 2009 race.   Right now, I am still on the fence on who should replace Phil Hardberger.
However, I have narrowed my choice to Trish DeBerry and Julian Castro.   After tonight's tweetups with both candidates, it's going to be a difficult choice at the ballot box.
After taking part in both events with my son, Pete, the anthropology major at Lamar, I have to admit that while both candidates embrace Twitter, I have to get kudos to Castro for the way he handled his event.   With the help of Alan Weinkrantz, the public relations and social media expert, Castro had the better interview process.
Weinkrantz set up the interview for bloggers in an informal box, and I could almost reach out and touch Castro.  

 Castro had two journalists from the Express News and the Current as well as bloggers like me asking questions.  My son likened it to a radio call in show, except that the question makers were within five feet.
Here, Castro's charisma came out in the course of the 10 minutes I sat in on the interview.  Of the two mayoral candidates, Castro seems more approachable that DeBerry.

DeBerry's weakness in her event was that she viewed her event as a campaign stump speech.  Ryan Kelly, the chief analyst at Pear Analytics and one of DeBerry's social media strategist, did a good job of providing laptops for people to log onto Twitter and post observations.   However, DeBerry should learn from Castro's approach and allow people to sit at a table to ask her questions.
Yet, I like DeBerry's campaign stance.  She understands the value of small business, and she gives the impression that she will bring the outside approach to her job as mayor.
So while I am giving Castro "extra points" on his approach to his tweetup, I am still undecided on who will get my vote.    To me, the part that matters most is what each candidate thinks about the growth of technology and the processes needed to embrace it.  
With the campaign still having more than two months before balloting, there will be more time to learn about who has the best approach to the job.  Here's hoping that DeBerry and Castro can agree upon a tweetup where both are at the same event to allow people to ask their questions on the issues that concern them about city leadership in San Antonio.

3 comments:

Alan Weinkrantz said...

Matt, great, fair and balanced story.

Good writing!

Alan Weinkrantz said...

Matt, great, fair and balanced story.

Good writing!

JF said...

Which candidate will be better for San Antonio, and for San Antonio's technology community? Its not who has the better Twitter strategy.