James Barnes, a Republican strategist who directs social media innovation for Campaign Solutions/Connell Donatelli, has been honored as the “Rookie of the Year” by the American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC). Barnes’ honor is an AAPC Campaign Excellence Award presented for his groundbreaking social media persuasion work on behalf of Ending Spending, Inc. and other high-profile political campaigns and organizations. Other Campaign Excellence Award winners include “Strategist of the Year” Jim Messina and the Obama 2012 fundraising team as “Fundraiser of the Year.”
The Campaign Solutions/Connell Donatelli team, celebrating its 15th year in digital political consulting, received 12 Pollies awards from the AAPC for excellence in online fundraising, advertising, social media, viral marketing, and web development on behalf of clients during the 2012 cycle. The Pollie Awards are considered “The Oscars” of political consulting.
Although just on the outset of a promising political career, Campaign Solutions team member James Barnes has already made a significant impact on politics and public affairs. Many of his innovations have now become political technology standards, such as the first use of Facebook to personalize a political video ad (“The Ad About You“), the first use of a Facebook registration plugin for an online petition, the first Geo-Local-Social Game, and many more.
“James Barnes is one of the most gifted political talents I’ve ever worked with,” noted digital political pioneer Rebecca Donatelli, the firm’s President and Founder. “We couldn’t be more proud of this honor and we look forward to implementing James’ innovations to win more campaigns for our clients.”
Since 2009, the Campaign Solutions/Connell Donatelli team received 89 Pollie Awards from the American Association of Political Consultants including a record number of honors for online advertising and fundraising. The company also received 4 Golden Dot Awards from the Institute for Politics, Democracy and the Internet, and 4 Reed Awards from Campaigns & Elections Magazine. That same publication has bestowed its prestigious “Rising Star” award on 2 current and 5 former members of the Campaign Solutions/Connell Donatelli team.