Denver is putting on its dancing shoes and gearing up for the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Unless you have been living under a rock you know that it is coming to the Pepsi Center in August. And now that the DNC has announced that Senator Obama will deliver his acceptance speech to a crowd of 75,000 strong at INVESCO Field at Mile High, Denver PR firms are definitely stressing out. We all have our hands full figuring out how we can get our clients and ourselves a seat at the history table!

Along with the obvious historical implications of the Obama presidential campaign, this convention will make history in another very important way: the role that new media will play in instantly delivering the up-to-the-minute news on every speech, meeting, meal, deal and party taking place in every corner of town. Thanks to Twitter, Facebook and Digg, we can expect constant updates on what is going on and who is saying what, right down to what they had for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And with the help of laptops and mobile phones, we can expect every gaff and screw-up to be uploaded to YouTube within seconds.

To leverage all the capabilities that this new technology provides for those of us savvy enough to grok it, a new media Big Tent is going up:

Hosted by Daily Kos and sponsored by Google, this is a 9,000 square-foot, two-story showcase for bloggers and new media journalists complete with a stage for political discussions and a kiosk to make You Tube videos. A lounge will provide workspace, WiFi and refreshments, and the public can come to mingle with influential bloggers, journalists and community leaders. It sounds like heaven for people who get their news from the Internet and blogosphere rather than TV, newspapers and radio.

The most historic thing about all this is not really the technology. It is how the technology will be used to give even the little guy a voice. Under the Big Tent, the public can listen in on experts debating every hot topic and participate in the conversation through social marketing networks that actually make democracy democratic. For the first time in a long time, people can feel that their opinions matter and that their voices will be heard. Imagine the possibilities.

Denver public relations pros would be wise to consider how their companies or clients can participate in this truly American conversation. Even if they have nothing to say, they can still listen. Even if they can not sing, they can still dance to the music.

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