As part of gearing up for his 2012 re-election bid in the newly-configured 3rd Congressional District, Congressman Jon Runyan announced today that his campaign would be re-launching its political web site, offering expanded digital campaign capabilities, and invited constituents and voters to check it out in the coming days and weeks.
In 2010, then-challenger and first-time political candidate, Runyan, was lauded by national tech publications such as Fast Company and PCMag.com for his creative use of social and digital media to reach voters and grow his online presence beyond traditional, politically-targeted voter groups.
The efforts clearly paid dividends, as Runyan’s campaign Facebook page now boasts more fans (7,780) than both of New Jersey’s United States Senators’ campaign pages combined (Menendez 4,587 and Lautenberg 2,141).
“In 2010, we defied the odds and became the first challenger from either party to defeat an incumbent Member of Congress in New Jersey since 1998 – and social media was a big part of the reason why,” said Runyan. “I want to build on that success.”
“People of all ages are using technology in so many different facets of their lives and are connected more than ever, especially via mobile smart phones,” said Runyan, an avid IPhone user. “To truly be accessible and transparent, elected officials and candidates for office need to embrace all forms of communication in order to reach people in a genuine, authentic manner in places where they interact. If we rely solely on traditional channels, we are under-serving not only those we are elected to represent, but, frankly, ourselves.”
Runyan’s new site will offer the addition of a new Foursquare page/account and future audio and video podcasts that are subscribe-able on iTunes (as well as downloadable directly from RunyanForCongress.com).
Foursquare, which recently launched pages for brands similar to those on Facebook, has over 10 million users and is easily incorporated into the candidate’s Facebook and Twitter feeds. By Runyan “checking in” at stops throughout the district, voters will know when and where the Congressman is throughout the course of the campaign in real time – whether they follow him directly on foursquare, or on his other aforementioned social media channels.
Additionally, residents and visitors checking into spots themselves in Burlington and Ocean counties will be greeted in places by tips from Runyan about the best that venue has to offer.
For those wanting a more passive fill of 3rd CD politics, Runyan’s iTunes podcast allows for his regular audio and video features to be delivered directly to your multimedia library and onto your portable device for playback in the car, on the train or at the gym. Both platforms are intended to create an interactive digital experience between the Congressman and the electorate as never before seen in the state.