Tag Archives: Campaign

Mobile Marketing and the Political Campaign

Mobile Marketing and the Political Campaign

Elections in the United States are given more coverage than just about any other event on the planet. As they are unique in terms of their scope and often complexity, the ability to innovate has long been a requisite for successful election campaigns.

Elections in the United States are given more coverage than just about any other event on the planet. As they are unique in terms of their scope and often complexity, the ability to innovate has long been a requisite for successful election campaigns. As the last few cycles have shown, the way candidates have embraced new media, particularly mobile marketing, has been a huge factor in their chances of success.

Going back to 2004, the presidential campaign of Howard Dean made the first electoral use of the Internet as a mass fundraising and recruiting tool. Where other campaigns engaged in the traditional strategy of acquiring funds and recruiting volunteers at rallies and other organised events, Dean’s use of the Internet helped him to build a campaign fund far in excess of his early rivals. While Dean was ultimately unsuccessful in his bid for the Presidency, helped in large part by the now infamous ‘Dean Scream’, the ramifications of his media strategy have proved to be substantial.

The 2008 Presidential campaign saw the emergence of the then little known Senator from Illinois, Barack Obama. Largely written off against the seemingly unstoppable juggernaut of Hillary Clinton, the Obama campaign looked to the Dean strategy and used new media to build itself an extensive network of dedicated grassroots supporters. Mobile marketing proved a huge part in this. Mass texting allowed Obama to communicate directly with

San Diego, Orange County, Palm Springs California Political Lawyer Analyzes Political Campaign Finance Laws

San Diego, Orange County, Palm Springs California Political Lawyer Analyzes Political Campaign Finance Laws

As the 2008 Presidential Election goes into high gear, people from cities such as Del Mar, Rancho Santa Fe and La Jolla in San Diego to cities such as Laguna Beach, Anaheim, Irvine and Yorba Linda in Orange County, from Santa Maria to Santa Barbara to Ventura and Oxnard, to Rancho Cucamonga, Fontana, Ontario, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Fullerton to Indian Wells, Palm Springs, Palm Desert and La Quinta both individuals and candidates are having questions about campaign election finance laws and are looking for a California campaign election finance lawyer who can advise them.

In the world of political campaign finance law, in the past few elections, the most important issue has been soft money. Today, soft money is still important, but it ranks with the money being raised and spent by national party committees and with the greater use of the internet, 2008 has brought individual contributions to a higher level of importance that ranks in importance with soft money and national party money.

While soft money or unregulated money can be spent for any advertising that stops short of expressly advocating the election or defeat of an individual, it is that broad definition that allows it to still be used in advertising that goes so far as to allow the advertising to mention a candidate, and virtually call him or her out for their position on an issue. Such advertising is in many cases blatant negative advertising.

Corporate and labor PACs raise money from restricted individuals. Labor PACs raise money from their union employees, corporation PACs from managerial employees and stockholders and their family members.

In the last 60 days before a federal election, PACs hands are untied and they can not only advocate political issues but also mention federal election candidates in their in their advertising.

Under the Federal Election Campaign Act, an organization becomes a political committee by receiving contributions or making expenditures in excess of ,000 to influence a federal election.

A 527 Group (which falls into the category of soft money) avoids regulation by the Federal Election Commission because they allegedly use and raise money only for the advocation of issues. Because the line between issue advocacy and candidate advocacy is so thin, the use of these groups is a source of heated debate about soft money. These Groups are not bound by the same restrictions on PACs.

An example of a 527 Group in the 2004 federal election campaign was the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth which ran advertisements on television that blatantly attacked John Kerry. The Group was later fined by the Federal Election Commission for specifically advocating the defeat of John Kerry. But by then, the damage had already been done.

Different rules apply to state and local elections. An individual intending to campaign for any elected office needs to know election finance rules and should consult with a political campaign finance attorney as soon as possible in forming their campaign.

The Sebastian Gibson Law Firm serves all of San Diego, Orange County, Palm Springs and Palm Desert, the Coastal Cities from La Jolla and Del Mar to Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, Irvine, Santa Ana and Irvine and up to Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo. We also serve the Inland Empire cities of Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga, Temecula, Riverside and San Bernardino and all the cities in the Coachella Valley.


Visit our website at http://www.sebastiangibsonlaw.com if you have a

political campaign, election, campaign finance or other political election issue, we have the knowledge and resources to represent you as your California Election Lawyer and California Campaign Finance Attorney or your attorney in the areas surrounding cities such as any of the cities in the Coachella Valley including Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Cathedral City, Indian Wells, Yucca Valley, Joshua Tree, Rancho Mirage, Desert Hot Springs, Twentynine Palms, Thermal, Indio, Coachella, La Quinta, or cities in San Diego, and Orange County, such as La Jolla, Del Mar, Carlsbad, San Clemente, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Huntington Beach, Anaheim, Santa Ana, Buena Park, Rancho Cucamonga, Ontario, Riverside, Temecula or Fullerton.

Using Buttons and Badges Effectively in a Political Campaign

Using Buttons and Badges Effectively in a Political Campaign

Political campaigns can be tense and stressful. There is so much to do and often not enough time to do it. If you are a candidate or campaign manager, you should not be without a button maker machine. These machines will help you with some of the most critical areas of your campaign – getting the word out, addressing issues, and rallying support. Not only will buttons help acknowledge the issues and rally support, they will do it inexpensively and that is a word that any campaign manager likes to hear.

Mass mailings and phone campaigns take time and money. Postal rates continue to go up as well as the cost of paper, printing, and labels. You need paid staff or volunteers to organize the mailing list and put the mailers together for shipping. A great percentage of these mailers will never be read or even opened. The recipient who has other more important things on his or her mind will classify these mailers as “junk mail” and toss it in the trash. However, if you and your staff are wearing buttons, you are inviting the viewer to ask you questions. This gives you one on one face time with the public to answer directly and discuss the issues important to you candidate and party.

Your volunteers are some of the most important people you will deal with in a political campaign. They give their time and efforts in order to see their candidate win the election. Buttons for your volunteers are great for inexpensive nametags. Making buttons for your volunteers with the candidate’s name, party affiliation and the date of the election will help them be identified in public. This is especially helpful if your volunteers are doing door to door campaigning or are out at a public event. Buttons are a great conversation starter and will give your volunteers an opportunity to tell people about your candidate and the issues he or she cares about.

Rallies are another great opportunity to pass out buttons. Political rallies are high excitement and these buttons with your candidate’s name and what he or she is running for can be sold at rallies and fundraising events. Speeches and debates are other events that these buttons can be worn or sold at. These buttons will help accelerate the campaign and give your candidate name recognition.

Educating the voters on the issues is a major part of any election or race. Making buttons that read “Vote No on Amendment Two” will let people know just where you stand. Getting the word out about how your candidate or party wishes to vote is important. Buttons with the date of the election and an encouragement to get out and vote is equally important. A button that reads “Vote on November 2nd” will remind everyone who sees it to vote and this will enhance the odds of your candidate’s success.

Fundraising events are a part of every campaign. Contributors to your campaign can receive buttons that say “I support John Doe”. The campaign slogan should be made into a button and either sold to raise money or given away at party meetings and fundraisers. These also make a great keepsake for the candidate and the voters.

If there are particular activist groups that support your candidate, then make buttons with their organization name stating that the organization supports your candidate. This goes along way in showing that your candidate cares about that group and its agenda. For example, a button that says “John Doe Supports Local Commerce” given out to the local businesses will encourage others with that same feeling to vote for your candidate. You can never thank your supporters enough, and having custom buttons with their group name and the election year on it will be a keepsake at the close of the election.

Urging people to vote is critical in this day and age. Elections have become closer and every vote counts. Making “I Voted” buttons to give away after voting has taken place can encourage other people to step up and be heard as well. Make sure that you have some buttons made up with the date the voting takes place and encourage your staff and volunteers to wear them. If no one votes then no one gets elected and no issues are resolved. Buttons are a great way to remind people to perform this great civic duty.

You have probably already seen buttons in the political arena. Some of the major reasons those political parties and campaigners use buttons is that they are handy to pass out, inexpensive to make, and people will wear them. Buttons get your message out, identify your support staff, and encourage the public. Be it for the presidency or the local town mayor, every candidate and political movement should have a button-making machine.

Greg Allison is the marketing director for Button Biz. Button Biz is an
online distributor of button maker
machines and button supplies. Each button making system includes a button
maker, button parts,
and circle cutter. Make round or rectangle buttons and choose from eleven
different badge sizes.

10 Tips for Successfully Raising Money in a Political Campaign

10 Tips for Successfully Raising Money in a Political Campaign

Since President Barack Obama’s election victory, many people have been inspired to run for public office. One reason for this new found interest in politics is that candidate Obama overcame what is arguably the most difficult aspect of campaigning – fund-raising. Prior to Barack Obama’s campaign, it was a widely accepted conclusion in political circles that a candidate could not raise enough money to be competitive from small donors. In addition, the prevailing wisdom was that in order to raise the big money needed to win elections, the candidate needed name recognition in order to reach large donors. Post Obama, the paradigm has shifted. We now know that with the right plan and message, anyone can run and win an election.

In this article, I will provide you with a basic foundation for raising money in a political campaign. These tips will help you get your campaign started and avoid the mistakes that most first time candidates make when they begin fund-raising.

Have a plan. You must design a fund-raising plan which includes identifiable goals and incremental benchmarks. Your fund-raising goals should be aligned with the overall dollar amount needed to fund your campaign. You can find an example of a fund-raising plan at my blog, www.spatterblog.com.

Raise money from your friends and family FIRST. The money you receive from your friends and family will be your seed money. You’ll use it to cover essential campaign start up costs during the infancy stage of your campaign.

Create a call-list. If you’re running for office, you should have a mental list of people inside and outside your circle who you will be soliciting for campaign donations. Put that mental list on paper and have someone on your campaign staff add names to the list daily. A sample call list can be found at my blog, www.spatterblog.com

Always use a call sheet when calling potential donors. A call sheet is a template which allows you to input the donor’s contribution history, talking points, and hopefully, contribution commitments. When calling a potential donor, you’ll need to connect with the donor on an issue he or she cares about. The talking points section allows you to hit those points during the conversation. For example, if the donor cares deeply about animal rights, you will want to discuss your support for animal rights legislation during the call.

Follow-Up. If you recall from tip #4, the call sheet contains a space allocation for contribution commitments. If the donor makes a financial commitment over the phone, ask the donor whether he or she will be mailing a check or making an online payment. You should encourage the donor to make an online payment because it is quicker to process and you will have access to the money almost immediately. Whereas with a check, you will be forced to allow time for the check to clear your account. However, both payment options require that you make a follow-up call to the donor if you do not receive the promised contribution. I would allow two weeks for checks mailed from out of state, one week for checks mailed in state, and 3 days for online payments. You should set aside an hour each week to make reminder calls to your contributors if you chave not received the campaign contribution within the allotted time frame.

Be first. Early bird gets the worm where political fund raising is concerned. You must be the one to make the first initial contact with your donors, not your opponent. Compile your contact list before you even announce your campaign and hit the ground running.

Don’t be shy. Many candidates are too proud to ask for campaign contributions over, and over, and over. However, there is really no way around it.

Tell People what their money is being used to buy. For example, if your campaign needs 1000 yard signs, ask a donor to commit to purchasing 25 yard signs for a 0 contribution. If donors know where their money is going, they’re more likely to give.

Get the big endorsements early. Everyone loves a winner and everyone loves to help a winner. The more big endorsements you have, the more you look like the winner and the easier it is for you to raise money. So make sure you go after editorial, organization, and individual endorsements early in your campaign so as not to allow your competition to gain momentum.

Make the calls yourself. No matter how old or rich you are, it still makes you feel important to hear from the candidate directly as opposed to a member of his or her staff. So set aside time each week to make fund-raising calls in person. Don’t just pawn it off to your staff.

Yvette Carnell is a political consultant and editor of www.spatterblog.com. She is a former Hill Staffer and member of The American Association of Political Scientists and The American Association of Political Consultants.

5 Ways PACs Can Take Your Political Campaign to the Next Level

5 Ways PACs Can Take Your Political Campaign to the Next Level

If you’re even thinking about running for political office, you’ve probably already heard of political action committees (PACs). PACs are groups organized to support political candidates by making contributions to their campaigns. These PACs raise money from their membership for the specific purpose of getting people elected who agree with them on one or several specific issues. So, how do you get your share of the political money from PACs? Well, I’m going to give you five tips to ensure that you receive the maximum number of contributions from PACs in the shortest amount of time.

Complete every questionnaire. Once you announce your campaign, you will begin receiving questionnaires from PACs. Quickly identify PACs that are in line with your platform, complete their questionnaire, and mail it back. Time is of the essence because many PACs have deadlines for receipt of their questionnaire. Be sure to complete your own PAC research so as not to rely solely on receiving the surveys in the mail. You can find a complete list of PACs at my blog, www.spatterblog.com. If you discover a PAC that shares your platform but you have not received a survey from them, call and request the survey.

Don’t try to be everything to everybody. If you’re not pro-guns, don’t complete the questionnaire you receive from the National Rifle Association. You’re only wasting your time, or even worse, compromising your values. Don’t change who you are or what your campaign is about in order to get a fat check from a PAC. It will only hurt you later in your campaign when your opponent discovers you’ve flip-flopped on an important campaign issue.

Prepare for the interview. Most PACs will require an interview for campaigns where there is more than one candidate competing for the party nomination. Before the interview, you should be well versed on ALL policy positions of the PAC. You can usually find this information on the PAC website. The panel assembled by the PAC to interview you will usually ask you questions regarding recent and pending legislation, hot button issues, and your views on a variety of subjects. You’ll need to make certain that you are clear on position.

Publicize your endorsement. Once you receive your endorsement (and contribution) from a PAC, include the PAC logo on all your campaign material and add it to your website. It lets supporters of the PAC know that you have received the seal of approval.

Request the PAC send out a mailer on your behalf. Many PACs send out a periodic newsletter. If they include you as one of their endorsed candidates on their newsletter, it increases your profile. So ask the the PAC if they will include your candidate and contact information in their upcoming newsletter.

At my site, www.spatterblog.com, you can find a list of PACs with contact information so you can get started raising money for your campaign!

Yvette Carnell is a political consultant and founder of www.spatterblog.com. She is a former Hill Staffer and member of the American Association of Political Consultants and the American Association of Political Scientists. She can be reached at admin@spatterblog.com.

Political Promotional Products: An Effective Use Of Campaign Dollars

Political Promotional Products: An Effective Use Of Campaign Dollars

According to a recent article by Jim Kuhnhenn, presidential candidates are planning to spend more than ever before on advertising. For instance, Kuhnhenn says Barack Obama has spent more than “.7 million in ad spending in Iowa alone, according to data compiled by other presidential campaigns.” He added that most of the candidates’ advertising dollars will be spent on television and radio ads, especially in Iowa and New Hampshire. Perhaps these candidates and their campaign organizers should also consider spending money on political promotional products.

Of course there will be the typical bumper sticker and hand fan campaigns, as well as yard signs to promote the candidates. However, there is a new trend in campaign advertising, unique political promotional products. There are many unique political products that take the campaign off the beaten path into uncharted and highly effective territory.

Political promotional products range from the typical signs and buttons to things like stress balls and awareness bracelets. These political promotional products can be even more effective in raising awareness of the candidate’s political views, and all can be imprinted with the name of the candidate along with their slogan or personal message. Voters will be highly impressed to see that the candidate is creative and takes extra time in thinking about his or her voting public.

Political promotional products are often overlooked when discussing how a candidate will spend money on advertising, but are usually the most memorable of advertisements. Commercials are great, but often don’t leave a lasting impression. Political promotional products are useful because they stick around longer than the typical 30-second ad Political promotional products are seen by just as many people and can generate a lot of interest in a candidate. Especially if the political promotional product is unique and ties in with what the candidate has to say. There is a myriad of products available that can achieve this objective.

Candidates should consider investing in a variety of political promotional products as well as the well-known staples. There is a political promotional product out there for any campaign and on any campaign budget.

Elizabeth Chesney is a senior majoring in English at the University of Kansas. She is also a member of the marketing team at Absorbent, Ink: Political Campaign Items

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