The Obama campaign is preparing to expand its already sizable and costly digital media operation, seeking to hire and deploy several “one-man-band” videographers in key states to help boost grassroots outreach and fundraising.
The positions — billed as a “producer, cinematographer, and video editor” all in one — were announced in a job posting circulated Thursday by the Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.
The extra videographers in the field will help Team Obama tailor its message to local audiences and broaden their reach through targeted video sharing on social media and online.
“We’re going to run the most effective, creative, and innovative digital campaign in the history of politics,” the posting boasts. “And our digital team will be core to achieving the communications, fundraising and organizing goals of the cause.”
The perfect Obama campaign videographer is someone with “extreme adaptability, with an ability to multi-task and pivot on a dime” and has “passion for helping millions of Americans fight alongside President Obama and create change,” the posting says.
Team Obama had 592 staff on a monthly payroll of $2.2 million as of March 31, according to Federal Election Commission filings. Staff salaries made up roughly 15 percent of the entire monthly budget of $15.7 million.
The campaign’s top expenditures have been online advertising and outside digital media consultants, marketers and content producers — an investment that has blanketed the web with Obama-Biden banners and targeted web videos.
BarackObama.com lists 84 videos produced for the 2012 campaign, including several state-specific spots like this one for Wisconsin.
Do the videos make a difference in winning over voters? Political communications and social media expert Heather LaMarre at the University of Minnesota says they could.
“You can have all kinds of glitz and glamour with fancy videos, but at the end of the day, if people don’t have jobs or $5-a-gallon gas hits, none of it will matter,” she said.
“That said — all else being equal or, in the event that it’s a 45-45 split between these candidates, they’re fighting over the middle 10 percent — then they really could make a difference.”