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More than mudslinging
Communications lessons from the
       campaign trail
            @henryfawell




                                  1
Who am I?
                      Now
       President @ Campfire Communications

                          Once
        PR adviser to clients @ Womble Carlyle
Press Secretary @ Governor of Maryland & US Congress
   Communications Director @ Ehrlich for Governor

                      Always
               …trying to learn to sail
                                                       2
Be the alternative




                     3
Blow up the aircraft carrier


         The best advice I ever got…

“Instead of worrying about the fighter jets just
          blow up the aircraft carrier.”




                                                   4
Aircraft carriers of 2012

         Obama:                                Romney:
     Path to victory is                  Path to victory is the
      personal appeal                           economy
(Only 13% of voters approve of economy     (Incumbent’s Achilles Heel)
    but 47% approve of him personally)




                                                                         5
Tactics?



           6
Obama tosses the script




    Click here to watch video
                                7
Romney passes the mic




    Click here to watch video
                                8
A good message has 2 parts

    Persuasion       Mobilization
 Candidate’s story     Donate
    The issues        Volunteer
   The contrast         Vote



                                    9
How to persuade
                 TV is still king
              Email (Underrated)
Gamification (Life of Julia, GOP Debate Watch)
              Twitter (Grasstops)
           Facebook (Grassroots)
    Remarketing ads (Search & Display)
           Peer-to-peer marketing


                                                 10
How to mobilize
Used earned media to incite action:
 (Pet Lovers for Obama, Stay-at-home Moms for Romney)

  Square (Mobile fundraising tool)
      Email (Still underrated)
   Text (Most fervent supporters)
Search & Display Ads (Remarketing)
         Polling place apps


                                                        11
Rapid response


 “The history of failure in war, or any other
human endeavor, can be summed up in two
              words: too late.”

             - General Douglass MacArthur




                                                12
Obama rapid response




   Click here to watch video
                               13
GOP Rapid Response




                     14
Social Media:
      Don’t focus on size…
“If the election is determined by Facebook fans
     rather than voters, Bob Ehrlich will win in a
            landslide of epic proportions.”

             -- The Washington Post, 8/16/2010




                                                     15
…instead persuade & mobilize

40
30
20                     % Users
                       Engaged
10
 0
     Obama   Romney
                               16
Ladder of engagement
   Easy          Medium         Hard
   Vote          Donate      Donate Again
  “Like”        Volunteer   Lead Volunteer
 Retweet        Yard Sign      Canvass
“Petitions”   Bumper Sticker Phone Bank




                                         17
The caveat


      In political campaigns…
success is measured on a single day




                                      18
A secret…

This all works in corporate PR too.




                                      19
Takeaways for business
   Focus on your aircraft carrier
    Occasionally toss the script
     Take time to pass the mic
             Use video
 Balance persuasion & mobilization
            …and vote!

                                     20
Thank you

      Henry Fawell
Campfire Communications
henry@campfirecomm.com




                          21

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Communications lessons from the campaign trail

  • 1. More than mudslinging Communications lessons from the campaign trail @henryfawell 1
  • 2. Who am I? Now President @ Campfire Communications Once PR adviser to clients @ Womble Carlyle Press Secretary @ Governor of Maryland & US Congress Communications Director @ Ehrlich for Governor Always …trying to learn to sail 2
  • 4. Blow up the aircraft carrier The best advice I ever got… “Instead of worrying about the fighter jets just blow up the aircraft carrier.” 4
  • 5. Aircraft carriers of 2012 Obama: Romney: Path to victory is Path to victory is the personal appeal economy (Only 13% of voters approve of economy (Incumbent’s Achilles Heel) but 47% approve of him personally) 5
  • 7. Obama tosses the script Click here to watch video 7
  • 8. Romney passes the mic Click here to watch video 8
  • 9. A good message has 2 parts Persuasion Mobilization Candidate’s story Donate The issues Volunteer The contrast Vote 9
  • 10. How to persuade TV is still king Email (Underrated) Gamification (Life of Julia, GOP Debate Watch) Twitter (Grasstops) Facebook (Grassroots) Remarketing ads (Search & Display) Peer-to-peer marketing 10
  • 11. How to mobilize Used earned media to incite action: (Pet Lovers for Obama, Stay-at-home Moms for Romney) Square (Mobile fundraising tool) Email (Still underrated) Text (Most fervent supporters) Search & Display Ads (Remarketing) Polling place apps 11
  • 12. Rapid response “The history of failure in war, or any other human endeavor, can be summed up in two words: too late.” - General Douglass MacArthur 12
  • 13. Obama rapid response Click here to watch video 13
  • 15. Social Media: Don’t focus on size… “If the election is determined by Facebook fans rather than voters, Bob Ehrlich will win in a landslide of epic proportions.” -- The Washington Post, 8/16/2010 15
  • 16. …instead persuade & mobilize 40 30 20 % Users Engaged 10 0 Obama Romney 16
  • 17. Ladder of engagement Easy Medium Hard Vote Donate Donate Again “Like” Volunteer Lead Volunteer Retweet Yard Sign Canvass “Petitions” Bumper Sticker Phone Bank 17
  • 18. The caveat In political campaigns… success is measured on a single day 18
  • 19. A secret… This all works in corporate PR too. 19
  • 20. Takeaways for business Focus on your aircraft carrier Occasionally toss the script Take time to pass the mic Use video Balance persuasion & mobilization …and vote! 20
  • 21. Thank you Henry Fawell Campfire Communications henry@campfirecomm.com 21