Fusion’s #DearNextPresident Effort Shows Candidates Need a Wide Social Strategy

Take note, Trump, Clinton, et al

Headshot of Christopher Heine

Fusion is launching an initiative today with the hashtag #DearNextPresident, asking Americans—with a sharp focus on young, diverse groups—what issues they want President Barack Obama's successor to focus on. And contenders like Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Carly Fiorina and Bernie Sanders could probably learn from the media player's wide social strategy. 

The publisher will collect answers via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat until the presidential election in November 2016. To push the endeavor wide, spots featuring Salma Hayek, Kristen Bell, Rachel Bilson and other celebrities will run on Fusion TV, various digital platforms and over-the-top video channels.

The effort will also entail offline activations to create buzz in cities like New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Boulder, Colo., where young people will be asked to complete the phrase "Dear Next President, I wish you would…."

The project is the latest brainchild of Hillary Frey, Fusion executive editor, who has been cultivating a "news junkie" audience among Gen Y readers since she joined the company several months ago. 

Many people considered 2012 to be the first hashtag election, and Fusion's campaign underscores the new reality for politicians who want to connect with young voters. The difference in this election is candidates have to go through many more social channels than they did four years ago.

Some contenders have been quick to bring their message to platforms ranging from Twitter to Snapchat, while others are neglecting certain corners of the Internet. For instance, Trump, the GOP front runner, has been ignoring his once-popular Vine account, which might be a missed opportunity to reach millennial voters.

@Chris_Heine Christopher Heine is a New York-based editor and writer.