The Message Maker - Winning in November


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A "Pitch Deck" for The Message Maker services supporting progressive candidates in the 2010 November election season.

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The Message Maker - Winning in November

  1. 1. Taking November How branding can make or break a successful campaign
  2. 2. Why should a voter pick you?
  3. 3. Candidates as products <ul><li>Consider thinking of politicians as products: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A candidate represents a platform that a voter will decide to buy into or not </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If consumers vote with their dollars, voters purchase representation with their votes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Just like in product marketing… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A strong brand creates a trust relationship </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Messages that resonate create a desire or demand </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Decisions are made based on brand , value and needs or desires </li></ul></ul></ul>
  4. 4. The purchase decision <ul><li>Most people will never know all the technical specs of every product they purchase </li></ul><ul><ul><li>They rely on brand to establish a trust relationship </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They rely on value to establish which brand to pick </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Brand and value can turn a desire into a need! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Just like successful products, successful candidates develop strong brand and value propositions </li></ul>
  5. 5. Product description vs. Brand definition <ul><li>Too often, candidates rely on facts to convey value: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Does your campaign talk about </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Legislative plans/successes? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Personal descriptions? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Policy promises? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Political terminology? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Talking about “things” is the equivalent of being a generic brand </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. The power of brand <ul><li>A brand can either create headwinds or tailwinds for your campaign </li></ul><ul><ul><li>When there’s an established brand … </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>People are less likely to care about the details </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>People are more likely to decide based on emotional appeal </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If there is no brand … </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>People will pick the known over the unknown </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If a brand is tarnished … </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>People will avoid tarnished brands unless: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A concerted effort is made to make up for the problems </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A strategic re-framing is employed effectively </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Approach <ul><li>The goal is to win. The way to win is to align with voters emotionally. Emotional alignment requires a brand and message framework: </li></ul><ul><li>Messages are hit-or-miss without a brand backbone </li></ul><ul><li>A strong brand works for you when you’re not there </li></ul><ul><li>Brands evoke emotions and beliefs – the same neurological areas that drive voting behavior </li></ul><ul><li>Messages drawn from brand analysis have meaning </li></ul><ul><li>Messages derived from stories have context </li></ul><ul><li>Messages that move people do not live in isolation – they are part of a story, context and brand </li></ul><ul><li>Messages are ideas that move hearts and minds </li></ul><ul><li>Brands and messages benefit from strategic use of words and phrases </li></ul><ul><li>Words link to imagery and feeling, and need to be carefully chosen </li></ul><ul><li>Key phrases that already have meaning to the voter provide more meaning to the message </li></ul>
  8. 8. An opportunity for your campaign <ul><li>About The Message Maker: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Jon Deutsch, principal, brings over 15 years of experience in Corporate America and can apply his brand & messaging best-practices to savvy politicians who recognize the power and influence brand language can have on their campaigns. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fast facts: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interactive Communications & Marketing professional </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Principal & Chief Strategist, Capital D Design </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A fellow of the Center for Political Leadership (CPL) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Grass-roots campaign leadership (Clark & Obama) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>5+ years of political/message blogging (Our Karl Rove) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lives in political “ground zero” for swayable independents: Montgomery County, PA </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Why you need The Message Maker…
  10. 10. The Situation <ul><li>In 2010, Democrats are in jeopardy in swing districts* </li></ul><ul><li>The independent/swayable voter has been misled and doesn’t feel like Democrats like you are on their side </li></ul><ul><li>Democrats take the hit for being in charge during a recession, and are on the receiving end of a FUD campaign </li></ul><ul><li>In a recession, personal well-being trumps interest in well-being of others </li></ul><ul><li>The messages that are working play on personal insecurity and control instincts </li></ul>*NPR “Snooze Alarm” Poll 6/15/10
  11. 11. The Situation <ul><li>Health care reform is a sticky wicket for Democrats </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Democrats won the legislative battle, but lost the argument </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Health care reform is merely a chapter in a larger narrative </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Democrats are out-performing their brand value based on what’s been accomplished in two years </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Democrats have yet to actively frame Republican record </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ The Party of No” is a short-term, tactical swipe </li></ul></ul><ul><li>We need to message health care right, put it into a meaningful context, and compare the two parties’ records. </li></ul>
  12. 12. The Need <ul><li>The following steps are critical if campaigns like yours plan on winning in November: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Re-invigorate the Democratic brand that you’re running on </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Develop an overarching narrative (story) that can be used in your campaigns </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Revamp health care reform messages to be accessible to moderates/independents </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Develop voter-centric messages that answer the “WIFM?” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Develop targeted messages for key independent/swing demographics </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Aggressively define Republicans based on their negative brand attributes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on their recent record/history of failure </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Challenge them on incrementalism – shrinking in the face of history-defining challenges </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Take their positions to the logical extremes – and make that the message </li></ul></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Turning Health Care Reform into an Asset <ul><li>Reframing the debate is critical for success </li></ul>
  14. 14. Health Care Reform - The Situation <ul><li>“ Reform” is the primary frame. This is unemotional, unspecific, and open for wide interpretation </li></ul><ul><li>The benefits of the reform legislation are technical, vague and distant </li></ul><ul><li>Republicans have utilized nebulousness as a way to frame it as a government takeover </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This is code for people losing personal control </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Deficit frame is trumping benefit frame </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This is code for “not a priority” </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Messages Have Not Been Persuasive
  16. 16. Isn’t it time for a new approach?
  17. 17. A New Approach is Needed <ul><li>Flipping conventional wisdom is required to change the dynamic – especially in swing districts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Health care reform should not be sold as a law or as policy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Health care reform should be sold as a benefit that fulfills self-interest motives in the electorate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When messaged as a benefit, the frame shifts from “Washington” to “You” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop targeted message for swing voters that presume these benefits are for “others” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ WIFM?” message discipline can change perceptions of this historic legislation </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Beyond Healthcare and into the Fray <ul><li>Candidates should run on their – and their opponent’s – records </li></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>Elections are about choices between competing brands </li></ul>Politics as Business
  20. 20. Re-invigorating the Democratic Brand <ul><li>Democrats should be proud of their accomplishments under President Obama: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>When the nation’s economy was on the edge of disaster, strong, decisive leadership gave us an “economic surge” that re-started the economy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>In one year, Democrats successfully stopped the worst recession in history </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Democrats are the party that had the strength to call victory in Iraq and finally commit to troop withdrawal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Democrats delivered security and freedom to Americans by providing every citizen access to affordable health care </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Highlighting Republican Brand Blemishes <ul><li>Democrats may not be perfect, but consider the alternative: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Republicans let our economy crumble </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Republicans were too hung up on Iraq </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Republicans allowed the investment banks play us like Vegas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Republicans let the housing bubble burst </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Republicans gave us candy (tax cuts) but gave us cavities (recession) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Republicans destroyed our international reputation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Republicans allowed our roads, bridges to crumble </li></ul></ul><ul><li>And these are the same people who are asking for voters’ confidence in 2010? </li></ul>
  22. 22. The Missing Narratives <ul><li>There are two powerful, complementary narratives that Democrats have not fully used to sway voters: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Democrats delivered America to safety from near disaster. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Republicans tried to run the country for 8 years, failed, and after only 2 years, want you to trust them again? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You need to develop, customize, localize and hone these messages for independents in your district </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. The Missing Metaphors <ul><li>You need to connect the narrative to people’s lives through metaphors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Metaphors make language “3D” – makes messages real </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Metaphors that link the story of Democratic majority to ideas that people identify with </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ex: Captain Sullenberger’s heroic save, D-Day, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Metaphors that link the miserable Republican record to ideas that people are familiar with </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ex: Republicans promising reform as the boy who cried wolf, etc. </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. The Political Need is Clear <ul><li>2010 candidates in swing districts like you need a strong, clear platform to explain their support for health care reform </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;What I'm hoping that this poll brings about is that the Democrats are running with a much more effective economic message, which talks about who they fought for, and what they are engaged in now,“ – Dem pollster Stan Greenberg </li></ul>
  25. 25. NPR Poll – June 2010
  26. 26. Develop a winning strategy <ul><li>The Message Maker services can provide your campaign with critical brand definition and message auditing to ensure a win in November: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop brand foundation for candidate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Brand dimensions & definition </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Messages framework that supports the brand </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Revamp Democratic legislative frames to be “indie-compatible” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Shift from “Washington” to “WIFM?” framing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Strategic Republican brand re-emphasis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Overtly raise the trust issue based on prior failures </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Paint Republicans into a corner using rhetoric and record </li></ul></ul></ul>
  27. 27. How The Message Maker can help <ul><li>Offerings and services: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Brand foundation development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>One-time, up-front engagement </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Revamp legislative/reform messages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>One-time engagement </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Strategic Republican brand re-emphasis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Up-front definition work </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>On-going campaign support (as needed) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>On-going message audit services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ensure your messages/materials align with your brand </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ensure messages are designed to resonate with “indies” </li></ul></ul></ul>
  28. 28. Learn more at Or contact Jon directly: 484-434-6699