As the potential of the Internet has been recognized for organizing, communicating, and fundraising in political campaigns; one man has become indispensable to many of west Michigan’s Democratic candidates in realizing that potential.

Clifford VanMeter and his company Arctos Media Inc. is the designer and developer behind many of the major campaign Web sites of this election cycle.

“Web sites are only part of the equation these days,” said VanMeter. “We are also advising our clients on fundraising and communications tools, and on social media integration with sites like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.”

Video in particular is a vehicle that VanMeter specializes in.

“I’ve been lucky enough to have gained some recognition in that arena,” he said. “I was a technology journalist for a major national magazine, and I’ve been a past speaker at technology trade shows, contributed to a number of books and written one of my own on Web video.”

A veteran of the last election cycle, and working with many of the same candidates from that cycle, Arctos Media has developed the specialized skills necessary to take full advantage of  new media tools.

“Political campaigns require a very specific approach,” VanMeter said. “We’re now taking what we learned in the last election cycle and applying it here. Both what worked, and what didn’t. It makes our message far stronger.”

Just about 3 years old, Arctos Media has a business clientele that includes numerous manufacturers and e-tailers, both in the United States and abroad, and a political clientele that includes Kalamazoo County Commission president Dave Buskirk, state House candidate and former Kalamazoo City Commissioner Sean McCann, current state representative and candidate for state Senate Robert B. Jones, and Kalamazoo City Commissioner Don Cooney, candidate for U.S. House of Representatives in the 6th District. They also provide onsite IT support to a number of local organizations, including the Kalamazoo Democratic Party.

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