David Hoffman’s US Senate campaign email last night was probably the best email I’ve seen from a political campaign in the 2010 cycle for sure, and maybe even beyond that. Why was it so effective? One word: authenticity. So many campaigns are trying to copy the Obama-styled emails and communications that propelled him to the presidency. However, most campaigns fall way short.
From a new media perspective, Hoffman’s campaign is so interesting because I have not seen a federal campaign literally ask voters to contact their offices, promising a real person will return their email or phone call. Many campaigns pay lip service to “two-way” communications. Many of these tools are just c0-opted to broadcast messages, unfortunately.
Then there’s the commitment to new media. That signals the Hoffman campaign is interested in finding and working with online grassroots advocates who will be the campaign’s evangelists. The online community is commonly the group who starts the buzz and sets the agenda far in advance. That plan seems to be on solid footing in Illinois too, though it may not take off because for an online community, Illinois is relatively small. Then again, for a primary a campaign is really speaking to the ardent party supporters.
All of these aforementioned “principles” are setting up the Hoffman brand, it’s promise, that it has nothing to hide. The email was an invitation for people to come in, sniff around and if you like what you see, then support Hoffman. It’s a really great effort so far to ensure the campaign is “walking the talk” of its reform and anti-corruption agenda.
Here’s the email:
Dear Valued Constituent:
Now that we have a full campaign team up and running, I wanted to introduce myself, kick off some guidelines for our communications, and give you a look at the fight ahead.
I’m Dan O’Neil, the Director of New Media for Hoffman for Illinois. I’m responsible for the online team, which includes our Web site, email communications, social networking sites, and all other online outreach. I’m aided by Mike Hardy, our Online Content Director, and Lara Sanders, our Director of Online Organizing.
You may have already heard from Lara over the last week. She has been contacting volunteers who have raised their hands and offered to help us turn the page on politics as usual in Illinois. She is also working through all emails sent to the campaign with specific suggestions for events, fundraisers, and other offers and requests. If you haven’t heard from Lara yet, expect to hear from her in the next few days. You can contact her directly at (312) 772-3539 or email@example.com.
A Few Guidelines
We’re running a different campaign for a different candidate.
- We’d like this to be a two-way conversation. If you get a blast email, and would like to respond to us personally, by all means do! Let us know what you think about what we had to say, whether we’re contacting you too much or too little,or anything else
- Our emails are written by real people, and we sign them as our own. You won’t get an email written by a campaign staffer that says it’s from David. You won’t get template pleas written by campaign finance professionals. If we’re going to do this (and we are), we’re going to do it together, and with honesty
- Please feel free to forward on these emails, blog about their content, and tell your friends and family what we have to say
- A good amount of our communication is via Twitter and Facebook. We like it, because it cuts down on inbox clutter, allows you to have greater control over how you get our messages, and keeps us in the context of the rest of your daily life
David on the Issues
Many of you have expressed a need to hear more from David on the issues that matter to you most. While we are getting ready to announce our formal policies on our Web site, David has already spoken out on a number of them:
- Monday morning, Eric Zorn published a post about David’s stance on gay marriage (in favor)
- Last week, David sat down with Carol Marin on Chicago Tonight t o talk about the Wall Street bailout (stronger regulation needed) and the public option for health care legislation (in favor)
- Also last week, David spoke about the Wall Street bailout on the Don Wade & Roma Morning Show on WLS
September 30 Filing Deadline
An important milestone in the campaign is the Federal Election Commission financial reporting deadline of September 30. We need to have a strong showing on that day to prove that we will have the support we need to win in February and beyond. David is a strong candidate, and is capable of beating back the Republican challenge for President Obama’s former Senate seat.
We accept no PAC money or contributions from State or Federal lobbyists, so please consider pledging your support for our campaign.
We’re now less than four and a half months until the Democratic Primary Election on February 2, 2010. There’s a lot of work to do. We are fully
engaged in this battle now, and we’re certain that together, we’ll win.
Daniel X. O’Neil
Director of New Media
Hoffman for Illinois