Dayton spends 28K on a social media consultant. Worth it?

Mark Dayton shelled out $28,000 to social media consultant Nicole Harrison this year, according to MPR’s Tom Scheck.

What does $28,000 buy a candidate for governor? Is he listening to the expensive advice? Well, let’s see. Dayton hasn’t sent a message on Twitter since March (and it was a banal tweet at that):


Dayton appears to have given up his campaign blog about the same time he abandoned Twitter. His Facebook profile lists 5,000 friends, but seems rather unexceptional:


Citing client privacy, social media consultant Harrison wouldn’t say what she does for the Dayton campaign, except that she remains on retainer. Campaign spokeswoman Katie Tinucci refused to go deep into campaign strategy, but defends her candidate’s social media efforts, saying Dayton maintains his own Facebook profile and wrote all his tweets.

“A year ago Mark had never heard of Facebook,” Tinucci said.

But Twitter wasn’t his bag.

“He found 140 characters to be extremely limiting,” Tinucci said.

Still, Tinucci says if Dayton comes out on top August 10, he might become a tweeter again.

“Mark is now convinced that if he wins the primary he’ll get back on the Twitter,” Tinucci said.

What do you think? Is Dayton to be criticized for letting his social media efforts wilt, or did he make a good decision? Maybe all this Twitter, Facebook and blog stuff is really just a big distraction without much value for a Minnesota candidate?