The Republican National Committee is taking a page out of President Barack Obama’s re-election playbook, looking to Silicon Valley to find a technological guru to reinvent the Party’s digital efforts.
Even before the official review of its 2012 failures was in, Republican Party chairman Reince Priebus visited the nation’s technology mecca earlier this year to learn more about integrating technology into all aspects of the Grand Old Party after Obama’s crack team trounced Mitt Romney’s efforts on the web. A group of top operatives and officials will release their complete examination of what the party did wrong on Monday in Washington.
Implementing the recommendations of the review, the Party is also looking to hire a Chief Technology Officer from Silicon Valley or the “private data world” by May 1 to begin the process of bringing the party up to speed by the 2016 presidential race.
“We’re committed to doing what no other party committee has done by restructuring our data and digital teams to be the central focus of the RNC and integrated into everything we do,” Priebus said in a statement to TIME. “We need to change how we are communicating with every community across America and this is a big step in that direction.”
According to a Party spokesperson, one responsibility of the Republican CTO will be to “develop digital campaign colleges in ‘high tech’ cities” to build relationships between the party and the technology industry.
In 2011, Obama campaign manager Jim Messina met with executives of some of the nation’s leading tech firms both to recruit talent and to learn best-practices of modeling a campaign after a tech start-up — with detail including seating strategies and the best flooring to promote collaboration.
The Republican effort doesn’t appear to be as all-encompassing, but is seen internally as the first step toward recovering from their defeat.
The full list of technological priorities from the RNC:
- Recruit and hire chief technology and digital officer before May 1st to fundamentally change the role of digital, technology and data at the party committee level
- Task this chief technology officer to integrate digital, technology and data teams at the RNC
- Craft budget that integrates digital, technology and data into the entire RNC organization
- Create internal staff training programs to bolster digital capabilities across all RNC staff/departments
- Expand RNC Political Education to develop digital campaign colleges in “high tech” cities to foster relationships within the tech community
- Road show to ensure state parties, campaigns and activists understand how data and digital can benefit them and educate them on what the RNC has to offer
- Develop and test political technologies dedicated to driving voter turnout in the 2013-2014 cycle