In the media:
Stratège digital insatiablement curieux doué d’un parcours professionnel unique, Caleb Gardner a été pendant plus de trois ans le conseiller principal de l’OFA, groupe de défense des intérêts politiques de Barack Obama. Il dirige aujourd’hui l’agence qu’il a co-créée, 18 Coffees, société de conseil en stratégie et innovation digitale. Il revient pour nous sur ses expériences et nous livre son regard sur les rapports entre technologie et communication. Rencontre.
Just three years after Iran’s crackdown on the Internet, in 2012, the country’s supreme leader Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei joined Instagram, a service technically banned by the state. @khamenei_ir has 4643 posts, 1.6 million followers and follows just 12 accounts on the popular photo sharing site owned by Facebook. Ayatollah Khamenei’s account is a far cry from the typical Instagram fare. Here you won’t find artistic portraits of a plate of chelo kebab or candid shots of the Ayatollah cuddling kittens. Instead, the page is filled with propaganda including videos of his speeches, some over a minute long. A feat that left many users wondering how the Supreme Leader managed to beat Instagram’s non-negotiable 15-second cut-off. It was a technical glitch, said Instagram.
Caleb Gardner’s About page begins with “I used to work for Barack Obama” in big, bold red letters. To be more precise, he was the lead strategist of the former US President’s digital program, the largest of its kind in the political sphere. We caught up with Gardner, who now runs a digital strategy and innovation collective called 18 Coffees, and asked him to give us his insider tips, dos and 'don't even think about it' when it comes to handling social media for politicians, presidents and PMs.
Caleb Gardner is the founder of 18 Coffees, a digital content strategy and community development firm. Before that, Gardner worked as social media manager for Barack Obama. So, what has Gardner learned from working with one of the most powerful men in the world? What has he learned from collaborating with Fortune 500 clients at 18 Coffees?
Everything we say, do, tweet, or blog about makes up who we are online and many are missing the mark. For those of you having a difficult time managing and executing your communication strategy online, you can look to the following ten digital communication strategists. These people are experts in managing company brands, client brands, and their own. There is a lot that can be learned from them.
“Visual content requires more time dedicated to it to get right,” says Caleb Gardner. Brands only have a few seconds on Instagram Stories and Snapchat to make an impression, so every detail and every second counts. Cicero describes the kind of talent needed by such forward-thinking marketing teams as, “Swiss Army-knife people — people who have the capacity to think and create good looking content online at a much faster pace than ever expected before.” No small feat!
Many community builders dream of the far-off day when every program in their community runs smoothly, obtains measurable results, and brings people together flawlessly. That’s the elusive dream of a well-run community at scale.
But is such a dream obtainable?
If anyone knows the answer to that question, it is Caleb Gardner.
This month, President Barack Obama’s former social media adviser Caleb Gardner highlighted the danger of filter bubbles – a phrase invented by the internet activist Eli Pariser.
“More likely than not, you get your news from Facebook,” Gardner told students at Northwestern University in Illinois. “Forty-four per cent of US adults get news on the site, and 61% of millennials … if that doesn’t frighten you, you don’t know enough about Facebook’s algorithm. If you have a parent who’s a Trump supporter, they are seeing a completely different set of news items than you are.”
Anytime a minority of people in this country wants to change, and by minority I mean a minority of people who hold a specific belief or believe that change should happen, they have to convince a lot of people and a lot of their legislators to believe the same thing in order for that to actually get done.