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How the Pritzker campaign fought off “fake news”

Monday, Apr 16, 2018

* McLatchy has a story about candidates combating “fake news” with a particular focus on the Pritzker campaign

So the Pritzker campaign hired Democratic data science group Civis Analytics to conduct an in-depth online survey studying voters who had been exposed to fake news. What it found unsettled the campaign: Even attempts to correct the information didn’t fully undo the damage. Worse yet, the damage was even greater for female candidates.

[Campaign manager Anne Caprara] wouldn’t share details from the survey, or even describe what it found when testing the effectiveness of various responses to fake news. But after reviewing the survey results, the Pritzker campaign launched an aggressive response operation that, in their view, at least minimized the damage.

“What it told me as a campaign manager is you can’t ignore anything,” Caprara said of the survey. “You can’t assume that something is absurd or ridiculous … you have to treat all pieces of information that are coming across your candidates as something important and something critical you have to take a look at.” […]

Most digital strategists argue that a campaign’s best defense is to simply have a large online presence, one that regularly and aggressively communicates with its supporters and potential supporters online.

That was the Pritzker campaign’s approach. It asked its own supporters to flag material they found questionable on Facebook, Twitter, or elsewhere. When the campaign saw something it needed to push back on, it had the capability to do so with an online ad quickly, said Caprara, who said she was meeting with Pritzker campaign digital director Megan Clasen until the last day of the March primary.

“The unique part of digital spending is you can adjust those targets quickly, and really hone in on whatever group you think needs certain pieces of information your candidate,” Caprara said.

Caprara declined to specify all the ways in which the campaign combated fake news, or whether they think the efforts were completely successful. But she did say that Pritzker won his competitive Democratic primary by nearly 20 points.

Thoughts?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

15 Comments
  1. - wordslinger - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 10:58 am:

    –Most digital strategists argue that a campaign’s best defense is to simply have a large online presence, one that regularly and aggressively communicates with its supporters and potential supporters online.–

    That takes money.

    What a racket that Facebook crew has. Take the money of those spreading the fake news, requiring the victims to give you more money to combat it.


  2. - ad tech guy - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 11:05 am:

    Civis collects data and uses it much like Cambridge Analytica is accused of doing. Rauner’s digital operation does the same thing. These companies have built big databases filled with points on individuals that they then use to target and test messages. This is how private industry has been doing it for years, but now bigger political campaigns are doing the same thing.


  3. - Steve - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 11:08 am:

    JB did a pretty good job all around . The proof is his large victory . Not many Democrats believed “fake news” about JB. Primary voters are pretty well informed. Lastly, JB really doesn’t have to campaign much because his lead is so large . JB can’t spend a lot of time downstate because he has much of the state locked up. I highly doubt fake news online will influence many voters in Illinois… this election cycle.


  4. - Iggy - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 11:10 am:

    JB although not a true progressive, a billionaire, and not an every man by any stretch of the imagination. was literally everywhere. Facebook, Spotify, twitter, Instagram, Youtube, and probably countless other digital media platforms that I personally do not frequent. The sheer volume of JB in my face was enough to make me think that he was the only guy running in the race.

    JB was constantly on tv so he was always seen by the olds and he was constantly on commercials for streaming services like crackle and hulu which was seen by the kids.

    I would say being able to outflood your opponents with a never ending warchest was the right strategy and the best strategy for JB. and clearly it worked.

    BVR will undoubtedly be following the same strategy and JB will continue his. Which leaves us with a race where debates no longer matter, policy doesnt matter. even the content of the tv and digital ads doesnt matter. What matters is volume. Who ever blows up your digital world more will have the slight edge. Facebook has already flagged you as a republican or a democrat so you will typically see more of one party. what it all comes down to who will actively engage volunteers and who will run a better field program. Can the third string Rauner team muster some magic and re capture the energy of 2014? Can JB and his merry band of Hillary Clinton “organizers” infiltrate precincts and knock doors and not just lit drop? I haven’t a clue. But I would that Biss Voters are probably more likely to go hold their nose and vote JB over Ives voters doing the same and voting for Rauner. Central and Southern Illinois Republicans have stayed home before and they will do it again.


  5. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 11:13 am:

    ===Primary voters are pretty well informed.===

    What do you base this on?

    ===JB really doesn’t have to campaign much because his lead is so large .==

    Huh?

    Campaigns are fluid, we have no idea what’s going to come out or happen these next 7 months.

    ===JB can’t spend a lot of time downstate because he has much of the state locked up.===

    Campaigns can’t think anything is locked up for 7 days, let alone 7 months. Yikes.

    ===I highly doubt fake news online will influence many voters in Illinois… this election cycle.===

    You must’ve missed the whole “Blame Madigan” meme that blames Madigan for Rauner vetoing “stuff”, and not blaming Rauner for his vetoes.

    I’m hoping this was snark, lol


  6. - JoanP - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 11:21 am:

    = Lastly, JB really doesn’t have to campaign much because his lead is so large=

    =JB can’t spend a lot of time downstate because he has much of the state locked up.=

    Leads disappear. No candidate can take anything or anyone for granted, or assume that there’s a segment of the electorate she doesn’t need.

    Hillary Clinton learned that the hard way.


  7. - Boone's is Back - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 11:26 am:

    ===you have to treat all pieces of information that are coming across your candidates as something important and something critical you have to take a look at===

    This is absurd and unrealistic, unless you’re managing a campaign with unlimited resources- like JB’s.


  8. - Stuff Happens - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 11:31 am:

    Is this a plan to neuter fake news, or is it a plan to rewrite narratives that aren’t helpful to the campaign?


  9. - Anon221 - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 12:19 pm:

    Maybe take a page from the anti-bullying campaign that produced the eye emoji to identify fake news in campaigns… or anywhere for that matter-

    https://tinyurl.com/ya82ed3h


  10. - cdog - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 12:30 pm:

    Who’s definition of “fake news” was Pritzker team using? The liberally biased network monopolies version, or the internationally accepted real facts? /s


  11. - Billy Baroo - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 1:14 pm:

    I don’t do the Facebook thing, so not sure about all the fake JB news on that wonderful platform.

    The only JB news I came across was that he conspired with Blago, he avoided taxes every way he could, including questionable tactics, he wants to raise taxes but he won’t say how, he wants to legalize marijuana and he wants to spend lots of money on free healthcare.

    Is all of that fake news? Well they sure fooled me.


  12. - City Zen - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 1:31 pm:

    Does JB’s tax plan count as fake news or no news?


  13. - My thoughts - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 1:35 pm:

    @Stuff Happens

    In seeing how the Pritzker team would remove references to the Peco Pallet strike from user comments on Pritzker’s page, only their version that is not helpful to the campaign.


  14. - Arsenal - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 2:47 pm:

    ==Is all of that fake news?==

    No, the legalizing weed thing is true. The rest just proves that making brucerauner.com your sole source of news is no better than getting it through Facebook.


  15. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 9:56 pm:

    ===But she did say that Pritzker won his competitive Democratic primary by nearly 20 points.===

    Dunno if I’d go there.

    This is also the same Crew that can’t decide whether or not more Blago tapes exist.

    Boastfulness on winning spreads… its enough to say you won.

    Unlimited resources still don’t change the facts…

    They won by 20 points…

    They have no idea if more tapes exist.

    Fake news or not, unlimited resources notwithstanding, the boastfulness of a winning spread is something that infests a campaign, as much as it bolsters a Crew.

    I dunno if I woulda said it.


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