Veikko Eranti, University of Helsinki
Juho Lindman, Hanken School of Economics
The 2008 United States presidential election won by Barack Obama offers an interesting global benchmark on how to organize an electoral campaign. Local contextual variation exists in how social media changes organizing in electoral campaigns. In this article, we focus on one of the copycat campaigns: the Finnish 2012 presidential elections and at the campaign of Mr. Pekka Haavisto (The Greens candidate). More specifically, we are interested in the organization and funding of the campaign. The paper is a case-study based on several data sources and methods. As was evident with the Obama campaigns, a social media campaign builds on generic positive messages. For Obama, those were "hope" and "change", for Haavisto "change" and "future". These kinds of campaigns thus have a new dynamic, that we describe. Our results describe a power shift: from professionalized and mediatized electoral campaigns that are tightly controlled by party organizations to open-ended social media campaigns, where themes and campaign materials are created by independent yet often professional volunteers.