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From the moment Charlotte landed the 2012 Democratic National Convention, I knew I wanted to play a part. As a communications professional and Charlotte resident, I was not going to pass up the chance to participate in this historic event.
An estimated 15,000 members of the media representing outlets from around the world came to the Queen City to cover the convention. There were 450 volunteers assigned to the Communications Team. We were split into teams such as Surrogate Communications, Talk Show Row, Digital Media, Public Engagement, and my team, Studio 2012.
Studio 2012 was a multi-media studio built within the convention hall to provide regional and local television and radio outlets access to prominent surrogates and elected officials at the convention. The studio housed two television studios and a radio studio and was fully operational 20 hours each day.
Our team was responsible for targeting media in battleground states to book 126 hours of air time over the course of the convention. We were successful in securing hundreds of interviews with spokespeople ranging from household names including former Governor Howard Dean and General Wesley Clark, to newcomers such LGBT activist and Iowan Zach Wahls. The work was fast-paced, challenging and fun, and provided a fascinating first-hand look at how communications teams operate during a national convention.
The interactions I had with convention attendees in the streets of Uptown and the hallways of Time Warner Cable Arena, and being a part of the events making national headlines, including President Obama’s nomination acceptance speech on Thursday night, made the experience a thrill.
Watching my city play host to thousands while craning to catch a glimpse of a celebrity here or there was a reminder that for all the speeches and meetings, the convention was also a time to have fun and celebrate Charlotte’s time in the spotlight. The crowds have returned home and the streets are back to normal, but the 2012 DNC left an impact Charlotte won’t soon forget.