I'm The RNC's First Female Digital Director — Here's What I Want You To Know

Photo: Courtesy of Samantha Osborne.
Samantha Osborne is the Republican National Convention's first female digital director.
Editor’s note: Samantha Osborne is the digital director for the Republican National Convention. The views expressed here are her own.

About five months ago, I moved back to my hometown of Cleveland to help plan one of the largest political events in the world: the 2016 Republican National Convention. As a millennial Republican woman, I simply couldn’t pass up the opportunity to be on the convention team during such a historic year for our party. The fact that it was happening in my hometown was even better — I couldn’t wait to show Cleveland to the world.

But perhaps even more importantly, I’m proud to be the first woman in convention history to hold the position of director of digital operations. I’m a digital professional in my 20s who also happens to be a redhead, a novice rock climber, and an avid sports fan — go Cavs! Throughout my career, I’ve often found myself the only woman (and sometimes the youngest) in the room. That’s part of why being here and leading the digital operation for an event that will bring more than 50,000 visitors to Cleveland is so thrilling.

Throughout my career, I’ve often found myself the only woman (and sometimes the youngest) in the room.

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The convention offers us a platform to express why we are Republicans and what we stand for. I’m proud to be a part of a party that empowers all people to reach their full potential.

My generation — and especially those who belong to the tech community — believes in accountability. And as a strong, independent, millennial woman, I believe our country needs less government intervention in our lives. We need less regulation and lower taxes in order to allow for a strong economy. Ultimately, the Republican Party supports the kind of vision I believe in: In this country, with hard work and determination, we can achieve anything.

We’ve never built a digital operation the way we’re building this one.

Come July, thousands of delegates from all 50 states plus the territories — as well as approximately 15,000 media members and hundreds of volunteers — will make their way to Ohio. We’ll gather to officially nominate the Republican Party's candidates for president and vice president, and to formally approve our party's platform and rules.

As someone who has dedicated her professional life to the tech world, it is encouraging to see both our presumptive nominee embracing digital in his campaign, and our convention integrating digital into everything we do. We have the power to connect thousands of people in Cleveland, and also millions of people around the world interested in joining in.

To achieve that goal, every day, my team of seven and I build out digital content to promote the convention across numerous social and digital platforms. It’s our job to create a memorable digital experience for all convention attendees and Americans at home, which is why we’re integrating digital solutions across all aspects of the event.

Come July, thousands of delegates from all 50 states plus the territories — as well as approximately 15,000 media members and hundreds of volunteers — will make their way to Ohio.

We’ve never built a digital operation the way we’re building this one. We’re the first to work with Snapchat and Instagram as part of our daily convention messaging efforts. We’re sharing Liberty the elephant’s travels across the country as Liberty travels to Ohio. We have bigger partnerships with Google, Facebook, and Twitter than ever before, and are excited about some announcements in the coming weeks. Our goal is to bring the Republican Convention to every living room in America, and to engage with anyone interested in being a part of the conversation.

This marks my second convention, and this time around, it’s been especially incredible to also experience how Cleveland has changed since I last called “Believeland” home. There’s also something special about coming together with a team of over 100 men and women — most of whom are under 30 — to put on an event of this scale.
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