On my way home from work yesterday, I was delighted to hear the NPR report about Hillary Clinton‘s campaign stop in Iowa at a Maid-Rite because back in the day, when I went to school in Iowa, a Maid-Rite hamburger basket (which comes with thinly-sliced onion rings) with a strawberry shake was a regular meal for my girlfriend and I. Nummm.
But then I heard the down-on-her-luck waitress from the Maid-Rite that Clinton visited say that the Senator did not leave a tip. I winced. That is fundamental politics, folks. How do you not leave a tip for the working woman? I expected this story to overtake Clinton’s debate-flub story in the news cycle.
The only problem was that the campaign did pay a tip, a $100 tip on a $157 bill, to be exact. NPR had gotten it wrong.
In response, the Clinton campaign launched The Fact Hub, a rapid response microsite to combat inaccurate coverage. NPR quickly appended an editorial note to the original story on the web site.
The rapid response site is a great, if not obvious, idea.
The site includes blog-like posts rebutting various news stories and campaign issues, and YouTube video clips rebutting a given topic or story. The site includes an RSS feed to which you can subscribe.
That’s great as far as it goes but I think the campaign is missing a huge opportunity, here.
If I were them, I’d add to the site the ability for visitors to subscribe to a rapid response email update, a rapid response text message update, and a rapid response instant message update. This would allow them to respond in near real time.
I didn’t know the NPR story was inaccurate until I read the headlines this morning. That left from about 5 p.m. yesterday till 6 a.m. this morning for me to discuss or even blog about the story with a lot of people, spreading the falsehood in the process. Getting a text message shortly after the story aired would have obviated that problem.
I would also add MP3 audio clips from the candidate and/or campaign staff commenting on the story, as well as embedabble code for photos and video about the story in question for the blogosphere to use. Bloggers would love it because, hey, it’s additional free content that they don’t have to spend time creating and it makes their blog posts all the more richer. That would also encourage friendly bloggers to seed the blogosphere with the rebuttal.