Public Policy: August 2012 Archives

Get out your buttons and your boaters… IAB is headed to the 2012 National Political Conventions. This year, Tampa has the privilege of hosting the Grand Old Party August 27 - 30, meanwhile the Queen City, Charlotte, NC will host the Democratic Party September 3 - 6.


While placards, straw boater hats, and political buttons remain delegate wardrobe de rigueur as much today as when we “Liked Ike,” this isn’t your grandma’s political convention. Like buttons have a whole new meaning Ike couldn’t begin to comprehend, and the conventions will no longer know the physical limitations of the past as attendance goes digital with Google+, Facebook, Twitter, and a host of new apps and services that enable social media hang outs, groups, and tweetups.

“Have Twitter, will travel?” Don’t fret, two years in the making, the Host cities, national political committees, and the networks all anticipated the importance of going mobile at the conventions and have been working tirelessly to build out the regions’ communications networks to ensure you don’t miss a minute due to lag time or poor connectivity. Earlier this month, the Democratic Party released its mobile app that will allow users to watch the convention through live stream, navigate the city with friends, share photos, and keep a digital scrapbook. The Republican Party also just released its mobile app a few days ago leading up to kickoff.

And with all this digital connectivity, comes opportunity. A large, captive audience of politically enthusiastic consumers with their eyeballs glued to smartphones and tablets; as POLITICO reported recently, Tampa and Charlotte will see unprecedented levels of mobile advertising by outside groups, issue advocacy organizations, and local retailers and restaurants.

Even more important than the digital political explosion we will witness in two shorts weeks, will be what the candidates and their campaign surrogates and keynote speakers have to say about their visions for the future of an economy dependent on innovation. A National Political Convention is about formally voting a candidate to be the party’s nominee for President - but in contemporary history, it is even more about setting the Party Platform, the principles that will define how the Party’s candidate will govern if elected.

Vital to our industry, and the broader Internet economy will be the elevation and recognition of our issues to the National Conventions’ platforms. How the future Administration intends to engage with Congress and global regulators on Internet policy like governance (ITU), privacy (at home and abroad), and infrastructure (broadband/wifi) is critical to the future health our industry and the broader marketplace to come.

Stay tuned for updates from Tampa and Charlotte…

About the Author


Sarah Hudgins

Sarah Hudgins is Director, Public Policy, IAB. Follow her @SarahAHudgins.