Archive for April 19th, 2012

Roving Billboards: Reaching Congress with the Right Tools at the Right Times

More from CampaignTech: on the same panel in which Peter Greenberger talked about instant rapid response, Vox Global’s David Payne discussed integrating your influence channels when you’re trying to reach decision-makers. For instance, he pointed out that Hill staff and regulators will pay a lot more attention to your campaign or issues when they see an online ad, backed up by a print ad in the Post, CQ or National Journal Daily, backed up by TV ads, backed up by news/talk radio ads, backed up by ads in the Metro, backed up by a “roving billboard” on the side of a truck driving around Capitol Hill….

You get the idea: it’s an extension of the classic observation that someone needs to see an advertisement X number of times (I’ve always heard “five”) before it registers. So if you’re trying to influence decision-makers, put your message in front of the right eyes in as many places as possible. Don’t forget to include people-power! All of the above channels work even better when your lobbyists or citizen volunteers stop by to chat about the same issues.

Also, think about the tools that will resonate most at the right times of day: Greenberger talked about “following” influencers around Washington with advertising. For instance, while 8-9 AM is a great time for radio, particularly on stations like WTOP news, the same period is bad for internet advertising, since most staff aren’t at their desks yet. Conversely, 9-11 AM is great for online ads. Lunchtime? Think mobile. Evening? Back to online, to catch staffers watching TV and browsing the web at the same time. A major advantage to a time-centered, multi-angle approach: you’re only spending money on a particular channel when it’s likely to give the best results.

cpd

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Political Rapid Response Now Happens in Seconds, Not Hours

Peter Greenberger made a great observation today on a CampaignTech panel about reach inside-the-Beltway “influentials.” Peter’s now with Twitter (he was previously at Google), but he got his political start on a Clinton campaign in the ’90s. Back in those “War Room” days, “rapid response” meant that a campaign responded to something that happened in the morning by the time the evening news aired — basically, within the same news cycle.

Now, rapid response is measured in seconds, a development driven in part by Twitter. Peter used the Hilary Rosen micro-scandal as an example: within seconds of Rosen saying on cable news that Ann Romney had never worked a day in her life, people were talking about it on Twitter. Soon thereafter the Romney campaign jumped into the Twitter-frenzy, in part by deploying Ann Romney as a microblogger. Obama advisor David Axelrod and other Democrats followed, all frantically trying to spin the story to their advantage. Why did it matter? Because reporters, bloggers and activists were watching, and the conversation was forming an important part of backdrop of politics for the week.

Fighter pilots have a saying: “speed is life.” The same is true in digital political communications, and it’s becoming ever moreso. The lesson? Respond in real-time or as close to it as you can, or you might find that it’s as though you never replied at all.

cpd

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