In response to MUST READ: Can the Republicans be Saved from Obsolescence?:
I totally agree with Ben Domenech’s assertion in the Times’ article that Republican elders generally aren’t as supportive of new outreach ideas. However, I think this recent blog post also resonates:
I was at a conference recently, where a clever consultant showed off a massive integrated awareness/fundraising campaign they’d done for a client.
It was good-looking and comprehensive. In addition to direct mail and email, there was print, outdoor advertising, transit ads, and a Facebook strategy.
Slide after slide of the slick, attractive creative went by.
Someone behind me gasped. It was a sound of admiration and envy. No doubt they were feeling sadly inadequate at the dull one-dimensionality of their own fundraising.
Funny thing was, I happened to have some inside knowledge about the campaign. Guess what: It didn’t work. The Facebook part of the campaign brought in five small donations. The print ads did a little better: A few dozen gifts, most of them from current donors. There was no measureable response from the billboards or transit advertising. The only part of the campaign that you could call successful, the direct mail, did worse than it does most years.
The campaign was a dismal, crushing failure.
It was killed by a combination of abstract messaging, an unclear call to action, and (most of all) high spending in unproven media.
But it sure looked good on Powerpoint.
Many times party and organzation leaders and fundraisers are so territorial and competitive they aren’t willing to honestly share information on how well a campaign did. When every organization says their campaign exceeded expectations and was a success, how do you know which ones really worked? I think this goes back to one central theme for the Right: We all need to start acting like we’re on the same team.