As tragicomedy goes, Election 2016 has been an unprecedented multiplatform always-on real-time can't miss global phenomena and unprecedented hit.
Who would have guessed a mash-up of House of Cards, Game of Thrones, The Hunger Games and South Park could have sustained audiences around the world with 9,065,000 episodes over four years?
Thank goodness it's almost over (although producers are rumoured to be lining up a sequel - Election 2020, and a spin-off - Midterm 2018), but it's not too early for PR and marketing people to begin answering some of the huge questions raised over the course of this relentless contest:
- What's to be done about the proliferation of fake news sources (topic of the article below)?
- How should leaks and hacks be handled? Reported? Believed?
- Do the rewards outweigh the risks of a social-media based campaign (Trump) versus a paid-media campaign (Clinton)?
- Are the echo chambers of social media platforms like Facebook a marketer's dream or democracy's lament?
- WTH is going on with journalism today?
- What happens to the integrity of data when fact-checking and polls become click-bait?
- Are there any proven psychological paths to overcoming confirmation bias?
- Who's going to use the enormous clouds of data accumulated, and to what end?
- Should bosses tweet?
- Whatever will we argue about tomorrow?
I have a feeling we'll be grappling with these and many other questions for a long time to come, regardless of who wins.
Enjoy the show.
And to the news media have gone the spoils. With Mr. Trump providing must-see TV theatrics, cable news has drawn record audiences. Newspapers have reached online readership highs that would have been unimaginable just a few years ago.