Saturday, June 10, 2006

Rob Place's DC Report

As mentioned several times previously, Campaign Manager Rob Place attended the recent Campaigns & Elections seminar, "The Art of Political Campaigning" in Washington DC.

This was an incredibly valuable seminar for Rob and for the Kole Campaign, as we have come away with a streamlined plan for the months ahead. I have every confidence that what Rob learned will help us work smarter, and that we will see the results in November.

Here is Rob's report:

“Campaigns & Elections magazine put on a very professional conference. I was able to meet numerous other campaign operatives and political consultants from all over the country and quiz them on specific aspects of the Kole campaign. Most of the attendees were Republicans and Democrats, though there were a few independents and even some from other countries here to learn a few tricks of the trade.

Some of the messages were obvious – campaigns need three things: money, money, and more money. In today’s world consumers are bombarded with advertising on a constant basis, and the only way for them to hear your message is to reach out to them in a concerted, repetitious manner. This takes money – and lots of it. I’ve picked up a few good fundraising ideas, and you’ll be hearing about those in the weeks and months ahead. That being said, if you’d like to save us all some time you can just donate on Mike’s website right now.

Of course, the power of earned media shouldn’t be minimized and I’ve picked up a few tips on how to communicate effectively with reporters. Robert Trayhorn (of Sen. Rick Santorum’s campaign) and Flavia Colgan (of MSNBC) provided attendees with some excellent ideas on reaching out to reporters so that Mike is covered, but covered. Of all the workshops in the conference, this provided me with the most useful information.

The internet was another hot topic, and Joe Trippi (of Howard Dean fame) filled us on using websites and blogs to get a campaign’s message out. Mike’s been doing a great job with his blog already, and I would expect his opponents to follow his lead as the election season shifts into high gear. But will Todd Rokita and Joe Pearson allow public comments on their blogs? I doubt it, and they will be sending the message that they’d rather not have a frank discussion of the issues with Hoosier voters; unlike Mike, who is always happy to discuss the tough questions. In Joe Trippi’s playbook, score one for Mike.

I don’t want to go into specific ideas on strategy that I picked up, for obvious reasons. But needless to say, the trip was very informative, and really helped focus how successful campaigns need to be waged. I want to thank the Kole supporters who made this happen, and I hope to make you all proud in November!”

-Rob Place

I hope supporters will agree that this was a valuable, smart investment. If you haven't made a contribution in support of Rob's attendance at this seminar, please click through this link to make a donation. Contributions of even $10 go a long way.

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