26 minutes | Nov 29, 2017

005: Politics, Progress and Digital Strategy with Caleb Gardner

Our country's current political climate can be frustrating to witness. We have an endless, circus-like news cycle. President Trump is active and provocative on Twitter, and businesses, now, more than ever, are engaged in social issues, whether they want to be or not.   It’s overwhelming and exciting that social media has created a space where we are constantly connected. The potential for establishing meaningful relationships is endless. There is also pressure for businesses to live up to their marketing campaigns and that means a lot of work goes into developing digital strategies and building a brand.   Caleb Gardner was the former Social Media Manager for Barack Obama. He is also the co-founder of 18 Coffees, a company dedicated to helping mission-driven organizations gain a foothold in a digital world. He is here today discussing his career in politics and digital strategy.   Caleb is a believer that technology can be a great opportunity. It can be a platform for individuals and companies to communicate their values, take a stance when their values are challenged, and help create social change.   In today’s episode, Heather and Caleb discuss the values and mission of President Obama and his administration. They talk about the rules President Obama broke and the boundaries he pushed. They also talk about how it feels like some of the progress made during President Obama’s presidency is being undone.   The feeling of regression is a bit maddening, and it feels urgent to continue the fight for social change. Caleb feels the urgency too, but he also has a great “big picture” perspective.   Right now, people may feel like they are “holding the line,” progress may be slow and in this moment it may feel stalled, but Caleb believes change is coming, He believes it’s important to trudge on and accept that maybe things won’t change today or tomorrow, but over time, after diligent, concentrated effort, the signs of progress will be evident.   Key Takeaways: [:04] Today’s guest, Caleb Gardner, is introduced. [1:22] Caleb explains his work and passion; his role at 18 Coffees, his political involvement, and being a father. [2:58] Caleb answers the questions: How did you get a job working for Barack Obama and what was it like working for the President? [5:23] President Obama broke and reshaped a lot of rules. What did Caleb learn from being involved in that process? [6:20] Change can be achieved if there is a purposeful movement toward doing so. [7:20] Caleb jumps into work that he feels is impactful to combat feelings of defeat, stay motivated, and stay focused on what issues and policy that matter to him. [9:20] How to stay in tune with politics but not get caught up in the drama. What is the balance? [10:32] The intersection of business and politics is discussed. Specifically addressing the apprehension of having a political stance as a business. [13:33] Companies who want to remain apolitical are still faced with political situations. [15:42] Business leaders are becoming more vocal about socials issues; is this their responsibility? [18:22] Marketers can communicate socially relevant messages, but companies must practice what they preach. [19:51] Caleb talks about his new company and how he encourages people to get more involved politically by finding out what matters to them and what they can contribute. [22:11] “Holding the line” on social issues is addressed. [24:52] Thank you for listening. Follow us on Twitter @prtini, and use the hashtag #rewritetherules. Please like, share, and review if you like what you heard today.   Mentioned in this Episode: Prtini.com/about @prtini 18coffees.com @18coffees Calebgardner.com @calebgardner Soundcloud.com/adamsinger
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