The World According to Nick
My take on Software, Technology, Politics, and anything else I feel like talking about.
Friday, May 19, 2006

Campaign Marketing 

I've noticed lately that campaign workers are failing to realize a very simple truth. They are marketing their candidate to people, and need to realize that when they talk to people about their candidate. Perhaps it's because people think I'm a Republican (I'm not), or because they think I'm an influential blogger (I'm not), or because the moons have aligned with the proper stars (I wouldn't know), but within the last several months I've been getting a lot more unsolicited emails from various campaigns. This isn't the first time I've blogged about this either. I make my email address publicly available on my blog, so I fully expect this. What bugs me is how poorly campaign workers treat those email addresses.

Lately I've started getting emails from Mark Green's press secretary. I did not sign up for any sort of mailing list, but I've gotten a couple in the last week that are all titled similarly... along the lines of "Green responds to DPW *blank*". Contained in the email is some pronouncement about how this group misrepresented Green's views on some issue or another.

What am I supposed to do with this? Are you sending this because I'm a blogger, and you naturally think that I'll simply regurgitate what you send me on my blog and help set off some firestorm of conservative backlash against these groups? Do you see a "Blogs for Mark Green" icon on my sidebar? Do you see a "Blogs for Bush" icon on my sidebar? Did you bother to even read my blog at all? Search my blog for Mark Green. You'll see one post, that's actually more about Scott Walker than Mark Green.

Those who read my blog know that I don't jump on popular bandwagons, and usually refrain from throwing my two cents on the latest popular meme. Maybe that's why I'm not as popular as other bloggers... I don't know. All I know is that I blog on what moves me, not what moves others. So if you want me to blog about something, then you need to tell me why when you send me something.

At the very least, you need to stop being rude. Sending an unsolicited email, with just a press release attachment is rude. To that end, here is a sample email that all campaign people can use when first contacting me, with a few added comments in italics:

Dear Nick, (Using my first name in an email will go a long way)

I found your blog recently (It's also really nice to tell me how you found me.), and have enjoyed what I've read so far. (A little flattery never hurts. In fact, because I have a large ego, it helps a lot.) I work for ___________'s campaign, and think that s/he is the type of candidate you'd be interested in. You can find out more about his/her campaign at the following website. (Point people to a place where they can investigate your person, if we really care then we'll go.) Periodically I send out emails to a group of bloggers, and I'd like to include you in my list if you are interested. (Once again, asking permission first is key. Not only is it more polite, but it shows that you're confident we'll take you up on your offer instead of being subjected to your emails like being served vegetables we don't want.) This is a ____ volume list, and I send out about ___ emails per week. (And be honest here. If you say its a low volume list, and I get 10 emails a day, you have no idea how pissed I'll be.) Just reply to my email, and I'll add you to the list, otherwise this will be the only contact you'll get from me.

Thank you for your time,

Joe Blow
___________'s Campaign for Some Government Job S/He Doesn't Deserve

After that, if I do agree to be included in your mass emails, it always helps to actually write a note in the body of the email, instead of just attaching a press release. Any stupid schmo can attach a press release. Why should I be blogging on this? This doesn't have to be personalized to me specifically, I understand that I'm on a large list at this point. But give me something here.

If you don't, then your press release will just get filed away in some folder I'll never read again, and I'll start blogging about what a poor representative you are for your candidate. Is that the sort of press you want? Remember, your goal is to build a relationship with some people here. Why not start off that relationship by putting your best foot forward? The internet may be relatively anonymous, but if you want us to help represent your candidate, then you need to personable.


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About Me

Name: Nick
Home: Wauwatosa, WI, United States

I'm a Software Consultant in the Milwaukee area. Among various geeky pursuits, I'm also an amateur triathlete, and enjoy rock climbing. I also like to think I'm a political pundit.

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