[Note: The observations, impressions and interpretations found here are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of Jeff Johnson, who's campaign this series is about. This series is about the marketing behind Jeff's campaign. This is part x in a series. Parts one, two and three can be found here (part one), here (part two) and here (part three).]
Lake Forest Park is a fairly small bedroom community just north of Seattle. If you’re trying to speak specifically to LFP residents, there are significant challenges.
There is no dedicated television station (well, there is community access, but the City doesn’t use it). They don’t have any specific radio stations. There is no billboard space. They don’t have a local newspaper and the only real dedicated City website is owned by the City and doesn’t accept advertising.
While we were working on the messaging, we were simultaneously working through our potential inventory of available means of communication – or, more accurately, lack thereof. In most elections, there are ways you can get the candidate face time with the voters, but in LFP, that was going to be more of a challenge.
Our goals for Jeff were, in order, to a) create name recoginition, since he’d never run for office before, b) build some associations between his name and a few, brief character traits or beliefs and c) personlize him and give people a chance to get to know or interact with him personally.
To the goal of building awareness, we decided that we would go the traditional route of creating yard signs – an American tradition for decades. Given the relatively small land footprint of LFP, it would be pretty simple to create enough signs and post them in every corner of the City.
In order to convey his personality, background and ideas, we wanted to take advantage of the digital tools available to us, so we planned on having a website, a Facebook page, and a YouTube channel. We also decided that depending upon our budget, we’d use Google AdWords and Facebook ads to build name awareness and drive people to our materials. We very briefly considered email lists, but thought it best if any emailing came from people motivated to tell their friends – word of mouth, not directly from us.
The final step was trying to find ways to facilitate personal contact, which we decided would have to be done with traditional doorbelling (going door-to-door), neighborhood meetings (almost like mini town halls), taking advantage of the few meet-and-greet public appearances that LFP had scheduled and preparing for the one candidate forum, or debate, that we knew would be happening on October 18.
We had two short months to prepare to get this all done, and no money. Before we could execute on any of the above, we needed to raise some money.
- My name is Jon Friesch, and I’m writing this to appear in Jeff Johnson’s future presidential library.