Priebus: RNC Using Tech Tools, Ad Campaigns in Quest to Grow Party

Image: Priebus: RNC Using Tech Tools, Ad Campaigns in Quest to Grow Party

Tuesday, 18 Mar 2014 10:23 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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The Republican National Committee has made a multimillion-dollar investment in technology, including data management and predictive analytics that are "revolutionizing how our campaigns understand what matters to each individual voter," Chairman Reince Priebus said, calling the new technology "the best in politics."

"We've collected data from commercial and political organizations to make sure that we have the most current information needed to contact voters effectively," Priebus writes in an CNN op-ed piece released Wednesday. "Not only are we making the data better, we are improving how other Republicans can access our data and provide data back to us."

Priebus noted it's been one year since he announced the first actions the RNC would take in response to its Growth and Opportunity Project, a 100-page report that explains how the party underperformed in the 2012 general election, including Republican Mitt Romney's failed bid for the presidency.

"Today, I can report that we've fundamentally reshaped the way we do business," Priebus said, pointing out that "the power of our new tools and new strategy was on display last week, when we helped David Jolly win an important special election in Florida's 13th Congressional District. That victory has Democrats worried about November."

The RNC's new technology includes a new voter relationship management tool, GOP Beacon, which lets field staffers and others download and see data, and a new connecting tool lets committees, candidates, and vendors receive data automatically, sending it back in real time to be analyzed.

The committee has launched Para Bellum Labs, a startup-style initiative, opening a field office in Silicon Valley, to develop the technology tools, Priebus said.

In addition to the data resources, field staffers get a "communications playbook," that includes media lists, events to attend, research and social media help, access to media training, and more.

The RNC is also working to grow the party and attract new members among minorities and women, two groups that often lean left.

"This isn't just one person's story," Priebus said. "It's the story of our field staffers across the country — state directors, data directors, and Hispanic, black, and Asian-American engagement staffers. The RNC has also hired staff dedicated to engaging better with women, youth, people of faith, and conservative allies and groups."

He noted that 91 percent of the RNC's staff is now working out in the field, and supports teams of precinct captains.

"We've recruited more than 12,000 captains nationwide," Priebus said. "Those captains have teams of volunteers whose job it is to maintain lasting relationships with sets of people in their communities. They're listening to their concerns and making sure they hear about the issues they care about."

The effort is also including work with state parties and sister committees, and the RNC has invested "millions in our state parties to date," Priebus said.

The RNC is also working toward having a nominee who enters the presidential election in 2016 in a position of strength by changing the presidential primary process, Priebus said. This includes working to have "better debates, handpicked moderators, and an earlier convention.

The RNC is also launching a massive ad campaign in 14 target Senate districts this week to answer the question, "Why should I be a Republican?"

Priebus said, "People have told us that we need to better communicate what it is Republicans stand for."

The ads will feature people for all walks of life saying why they are Republicans.

"As for me, I'm a Republican because I believe all Americans, regardless of where they come from, regardless of where they're going, should have the chance to create their own American dreams," Priebus said.

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