It used to be that covering a political debate meant schlepping from a campaign bus to being put into an unimpressive side room with folding chairs, suffering through slow Wi-Fi and praying for a power outlet. Worse yet, only a select few could actually report from inside the debate room. It was hardly the recipe for fair and comprehensive coverage of a campaign.
The way the press covered elections needed to change. So, Google and the RNC turned to us and asked, “how can we make election information universally accessible and more useful?”
What unfolded was a complete evolution to the conventional Spin Room / Media Center. Creative design and execution included the media spin room with LED video walls, interactive maps, work stations, lounge areas, interactive cafes, and a Youtube sponsored hubs. The modular design traveled and adapted to five distinct venues throughout the country.
Our team collaborated with Google Engineers to extract data that would've been most important to viewers and voters.
In each city, we choose products and food to reflect the local flavor.
The Google Media Center was meant to be the go-to destination for the media.
In this Spin Room 2.0, Google showcased real-time, minute-by-minute data visualization based on Google Trends. In addition, they provided relevant voter opinions by showing Google Consumer Survey results. And they broke out the power of VR with 360 YouTube for the reporters which immersed viewers in the spin room experience. All of this was done on the backbone of strongest technical infrastructure ever for a debate.
Google’s media center created value for news outlets across the country by providing real time data only accessible in the spin room. Editorial managers no longer begged “why would I pay to send a reporter to some remote destination just to watch a live stream of what was happening in the next room?”
The media center wasn’t just a win for reporters. The space was intentionally planned to make the room easy to navigate for candidates and their throngs of staffers and security detail. Candidates were hanging out longer to talk to reporters because there was “organized chaos” - a candidate would finish a scheduled interview with a TIME Magazine reporter then turn around and bump into the CNN set to do another hit on a TV show.
In the final analysis, this jointly held event has set the standard for any future media centers. The candidates appreciated a fair and equitable information center, the media was able to excel at their jobs and we created an environment to help everyone win.