The problem: Sheer quantity of pieces, coordinated with other agencies, while maintaining coherent brand and message.
State Representative Will Morgan was in the unenviable position of representing a very polarized suburban district, one that had become even more conservative since redistricting in 2012. Like so many state representative and candidates, Will had not mounted a professional-level campaign in previous cycles, but I reached out to him to change that.
Through my previous political projects I had developed a branding and messaging process which I was able to fully implement in Will’s case. Early in 2014, I convened a focus group of strong supporters, looking for answers to the question, “Why do you like State Representative Will Morgan so much?” I also spent several hours with the candidate, looking for the core motivations for his public service. With this research in hand, I built a comprehensive campaign plan, one that would grow slowly and significantly ramp up at the end of the summer. We chose a messaging approach leaning heavily on what his friends already knew: that he’s a down-to-earth, friendly, trustworthy elected official that people who know him feel close to. The lawn signs said this explicitly:
As with many political campaigns at this level, direct mail is still a major tactic. We planned to do a nearly weekly mailing throughout September and October; the state Democratic Party would provide financial help for printing and mailing, provided our pieces followed topical messaging and mail formats they had determined.
Because Will’s challenger was a Republican woman, we added a piece to emphasize Will’s commitment to women’s issues, further building on the personal connection messaging:
And in a final piece, I assembled a multitude of snapshots taken over the course of the campaign.
Unfortunately the political winds did not favor Will, and he narrowly lost. I still feel as though the work I did on this campaign — because of the comprehensiveness and the intrinsic challenge — was some of my best.