"...a savvy digital whizz..." - New York Times Magazine
Vincent Harris is CEO of Harris Media and Chief Digital Strategist for Senator Rand Paul. Previously he has worked on the digital side of three Presidential races, having run all online operations for Texas Governor Rick Perry and Speaker Newt Gingrich’s 2012 campaigns. Vincent also oversaw the digital strategy for Ted Cruz, whom many have credited his successful use of the web as part of his incredible underdog win. Under Vincent’s watch, the nationally acclaimed firm, Harris Media, has grown into a successful company with over 20 employees proudly headquartered in Austin, Texas. Vincent is a strong believer in the power of the internet as a tool to influence the public arena, and his firm’s successes have been noted in numerous publications and news outlets. His expertise stretches from practical application into academia where he is working towards a PhD at the University of Texas and is blessed to be guest faculty at Baylor University. He was named the youngest “Rising Star” in Politics by Campaigns & Elections Magazine and was recently profiled in Bloomberg, where he was dubbed “The Man Who Invented the Republican Internet.”
A Long Digital History
Vincent began his online activity in 2004 where he created a popular blog that was soon read by politicians and notables across Virginia. His blogging experience led him to the campaign of Governor Mike Huckabee, when he hopped on board his Presidential campaign, serving as one of two staffers specializing in online communications. Vincent traveled with the Governor from (as Gov. Huckabeee would say) “an asterisk in the polls” to Iowa Caucus winner, where he worked to organize blog interviews, gather content, and help the Governor’s campaign become one of the first to ever utilize Twitter. He organized the Iowa “Blogger Bash” on the eve of the Caucus that received national attention.
“Vincent was one of those special young men in whom I see remarkable potential. Humble and polite to the point of being over the top, he was incredibly talented in understanding the power of the Internet and the potential of using a blog to create a daily log of activities and information and to build an online community.” – An excerpt from Do the Right Thing (2008) by Gov. Mike Huckabee
After Governor Huckabee bowed out of the race, Vincent spent two years working for Texas Senator John Cornyn where he oversaw an aggressive web outreach program on Sen. Cornyn’s re-election campaign, before being brought to direct the NRSC’s web operations.
Vincent led Harris Media to run daily operations for Governor Bob McDonnell in Virginia, a campaign which was noted by many in the press to be the first Republican campaign to embrace new media technology. Under his watch, the campaign raised over $1.4 million online.
During the 2010 cycle, Harris Media ran successful digital initiatives in 7 states, including having an instrumental role in the win of dark horse Rick Scott, who overcame all odds to narrowly win Florida’s gubernatorial race. Governor Scott’s innovative use of the web was featured in the National Review, numerous Florida papers/blogs, and even led to a case study by Facebook corporate.
Vincent was tapped in November 2011 to run digital operations for Texas Governor Rick Perry’s Presidential race. The unique and effective methods of online advertising Vincent utilized for the campaign were featured in ClickZ, AdAge, Politico, and earned Harris Media a spot as a finalist in Campaigns and Elections Reed Awards. The day after Governor Perry bowed out of the race, Harris Media was hired by Speaker Newt Gingrich in a digital role. Speaker Gingrich was the first Presidential candidate to adopt Facebook’s “Timeline” feature (both in a positive and contrasting light) which led to profiles on the popular social media site Mashable. Harris Media also designed and developed the Presidential candidate’s website at Newt.org.
Vincent’s expertise concerning online advertising and digital communications is unmatched in the political space. He has been featured in the Examiner, Bloomberg, CNN, Mashable, Politico, The Richmond Times-Dispatch, Campaigns and Elections Magazine, the front page of the Washington Post, Fox News, Details Magazine, AdAge and Advertising Weekly. Vincent has been a guest lecturer at American University, the University of Texas, and has spoken at the National Federation of Republican Women, National Association of Attorneys General, the Trans-Atlantic Conference in Brussels, International Republican Institute in Turkey, Leadership Institute, Conservative Political Action Conference, and at the annual Shift Summit among others. He has participated in numerous radio interviews discussing the impact of technology on government. Vincent has a passion for international travel and has journeyed abroad numerous times to train political activists including two visits to post-Mubarak Egypt to train newly formed political parties on ways to mobilize and raise money online.
Vincent’s expertise goes beyond practical expertise into academia. Vincent began teaching at Baylor University in the Fall of 2014 and enjoys spending time in Waco. When not on the campaign trail, Vincent is engaged in new media research while pursuing his PhD at the University of Texas in the Department of Government. His academic research is centered around citizens use of the web to engage governments and campaigns. Vincent’s work has been published in academic textbooks and he continues to write papers and articles on social media’s impact in the public space.
Off the Clock
Following in his grandfather’s footsteps, Vincent majored in Religion at Baylor University in Waco, Texas where he met his wife Chelsea. A native Virginian, Vincent has adopted Texas, and enjoys listening to Texas Country music, floating down the Guadalupe, and going to Galveston Island. He is a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity, Riverbend Church, and the Austin Chamber of Commerce.