9-11 may not be the best day to kick off a campaign, but the restrictions of law make it so. I have decided to run a low budget, fill-in campaign after replacing Mr. Spooner.
Today the paperwork gets filed at the Board of Elections/Secretary of State to enable the transition.
I am hoping that there is some opposition to this on behalf of my opponents. I think it could be a good move for me in that it would bring free press if they sabre-rattle. I need the coverage in that I am entering the race with little more than past name recognition and no money.
I had issued a statement to the press of my being contacted and my ruminating on the idea of running. It got some coverage and piqued enough interest. It was purposely dropped during the last few hours of the primary election to create an undertone. It worked to some extent. The people in the media have been made aware, but are being cautious in their reporting in they have grown aware of the guerilla campaign tactics I have long used in prior elections. Their interest needs to be drawn in and they need to compete with each other for stories (can’t be the one without the news).
LESSON ONE: Cultivate the media. Be both coy and always accessible. Give more information than is necessary. Work daily on news releases in that they will get coverage on slow news days. In the business of politics, “earned media” is the term for free coverage. There is work involved in getting earned media, but it can prove the best.
I believe that we are on solid ground in filing the paperwork, but would sure like a challenge to the filing so that I can get the earned media that is solely needed in the campaign. It would be even more of a boon if they challenge and it plays out in the press for a few days. It seems quite clear that we are well within the rules and so an unsuccessful challenge would be great. I can play up the fact that they are afraid of my candidacy and that they only want the rules to be read in their favor.
If all goes smoothly, I get to spend the next few days reading up on my opponents, getting myself into the details of the campaign, set a schedule, and complete my outstanding work outside of the campaign. Had I known that I would be running it would have been easier to conclude my stuff and just campaign for office. The short notice has caught me in that I have to think about multiple matters and my duty to my clients.
Today I will try to get people to set up a campaign structure, more than likely focused on using the internet. In speaking with political friends and in analyzing the data, it would appear that I could do well by embracing a method to get to those who aren’t necessarily readers of newspapers and other text. My problem is that I am too wordy.
I am looking to calling the campaign The Cerebral Revolution in that I believe that the people of Rhode Island need to change the way they think. Rhode Island needs to embrace a new philosophy and make changes that are needed for its very survival. My opponents will be making promises and programs, but with little evidence of their potential success. They are relying on the fact that people want to hear that it is going to be okay. I cannot spout such false hopes. We are stuck in a mire that will require sacrifice on the part of all Rhode Islanders. We need to fix the engine instead of buying a new set of tires. The strategy needs to incorporate the concept that my opponents are just making promises similar to a snake oil salesman. There is no proof of their claims and people love promises of hope as opposed to statements of reality. It is time to make reality the issue of the campaign.
Today I will try to remind people of how real Rhode Islanders recall Gansett. The unofficial saying when I was a kid was “Hi Neighbor, How’s your hangover?” Sounds like a good analogy to tag onto the Raimondo campaign.
Good news today is that those in the 20-35 bracket have grown averse to the concept of credit. This works into my austerity campaign quite well. Need to bring these folks into an awareness that what is in their own lives must also be done in government. Hell, they will be paying the bills that their parents have created.
Kept a promise to Valicente in getting back to him as to where this was going. No need to overkill by trying to call in. Play coy.
DePetero gave a backhanded comment, stating that he respects and likes me as a person but that my candidacy will take away from Fung’s chances. No response for this comment in that the real target is going to be Raimondo at first.
Apologized to Matt Allen for a computer problem that resulted in his not getting the press release. Same for Jim Baron of the Pawtucket Times in that we constantly have problems with his e-mail.
LESSON TWO: Admit when you made a mistake. Apologize. Get on with it. If it turns out to be an extreme disaster, face it and then move on. Don’t relive failures. Don’t gloat over successes. There will be several of both. News is on a cycle. It rarely has a long lasting impression in the listener. It will live for a day or two. Bad news, answered, is gone in a few days. Bad news, unanswered, festers.
Called by Rappley to find out when the Board of Elections matter was scheduled. Told him the schedule.
LESSON THREE: Cooperate with media requests to the extent possible. Do not alter plans to accommodate unless you know that you really, really, really need the coverage it will offer. Keeping to your plans fosters credibility. Changing to accommodate often creates resentment in the other members of the press. The best strategy is to plan the event for the best timing. Television is looking for 10:00 in the morning if it is to be processed for the noon broadcast (Go with live at noon if it truly is a big enough story). Newspapers tend to need to get the story before 4:00 in the afternoon, although I find early morning press releases to be quite effective if they are not time sensitive.
Went to the Board of Elections to meet at 10:30 dressed as formal as I could. I like to be right on time, although there is a theory that it is good to keep the people waiting. I think wasting people’s time is not a plus, and so I would prefer to wait if I am early.
Had some fun with Kathy Gregg from the Journal in that she wrote,
Got a great welcome from most of the media. The idea is to keep them busy. Feeding the press with relevant material is always a plus. They are trained to look out for a new story to report.