September 29, 2014

It is always interesting when you hear your lines elsewhere. It seems to reinforce the idea that your opponent is paying attention to what you are saying or else they are hearing it from their polling people.

I was somewhat surprised today to hear Elorza’s saying all he wanted was “the endorsement of the people”. Hmmm, sound familiar? Or how about Raimondo’s recent talk of using a few of the key words we have been flogging in our campaign.

Sure, it is basic political rhetoric and common language, but there is always an odd feeling when others with the power and money to poll seem to be aping your lines. It should at least allow you to feel, not know, but feel, that there is some power in the words you have chosen. Note it. File it in the back of your head. There is no need to use it, but think about where you being watched and by whom.

It is always good to act in a very pedestrian, yet public manner to judge how far your message is travelling. Today I rode alone on public transit, not approaching anyone. The interesting part is that the message has travelled.

I boarded buses to people saying ‘Governor’. I was stopped for several photos with people. I got dozens of thumbs up and smiling people wishing me luck.

I have run campaigns for more than thirty years, but I must admit I have never had such a warm feeling that struck me today. It was odd. It was good. It was that the people can see that we have a chance of getting power back to where it belongs, in the people.

As hokey as it sounds, I am hearing people yearning to be free. It is frighteningly exciting to be riding on such a wave.

My point here is that you can draw energy and strength from noting that you are making a difference in the process. Don’t lose track of the reason you are trying to effectuate changes. Not every day will be a great uplifting day, but when you are dealt one, never ignore it.

As to strategy, I forgot to note that in the unscientific Journal poll for Governor, we were leading until we spoke about it, then, magically, within a period of three days, Gina has miraculously caught up from be trounced. The word went out and the supporters responded, dutifully. It was not unexpected, but another interesting point to ponder in making determinations.

In the last few days I have been actively researching background for a very important statement. If the proof can support this statement, I will make it in the near future. The timing is somewhat important and the content is quite explosive. Sorry, dear reader, to keep you in suspense, but it is very sensitive at this point.

Suffice it to say that I will attempt to demonstrate the build up and the detonation. This will look at the when, where, how, and why to drop to the media. In this case, it would probably be best set off on either late Wednesday or early Thursday. By doing such, you will be giving it enough media incubation to enable it to be discussed by the public over the weekend.

If it lasts into the following week, you have been successful. Remember, most news organizations do not have full staffing on Sundays. Remember that the news desks of print media are down over the weekend, for the most part. If you want to make news during the weekend you must either plan a car crash or get stabbed. Possible, but not suggested.

It is well established in terms of politicians breaking bad news to drop it late Friday. Know this. If your opponent is dropping news on late Friday, wait until Monday to address it. Keep it alive for the following week. A Saturday or Sunday response is next to worthless.

While I clearly indicated that you should always treat the media with a mutual respect, don’t give ground. If a reporter is particularly annoying, use subtlety. If you know from a history of exclusion or poor coverage that you have a good solid story, learn the deadline of the reporter, and drop the story to everyone, just be about ten minutes after that beat’s deadline. Reporters catch on real fast.

It can be used in reverse as well. Reporting is, after all, a competition to get the story first. Reward with timing, just don’t do it over and over again to a pattern of favoritism. This grows tired quickly and you will lose any respect with the media.

Since you will know the story, you will know hack reporting. Learn from poor reporting and adjust your news accordingly. I remind you, good reporters want only good stories, so act accordingly.

There is one exception to this somewhat rule. I used it quite well in my 2004 campaign for Governor. I bought a fax machine (yes, fax machine) that had broadcast capabilities. I would write daily releases on various related topics, minimally newsworthy as a lead, but news nonetheless.

I compiled a list of media outlets into the group broadcast and set a new release each and every day. I am sure that many good points went unreported, but I never complained of the lack of coverage. If little else, it was a cheap form of daily reminder to the press that I was in the campaign, that I was more than willing to speak on a variety of issues, that I was diligent in my pursuit, that I was thinking, but most importantly, that I was there when there was a slow news day and they needed filler. It was a source of free earned media.

As a plus, I indexed these daily statements and sent them out periodically. If an issue came up suddenly, I could almost always have my position placed in the news. Did it always work? No. Did it work sometimes? Yes. The only caution to this approach is to make sure you are ready to commit a large block of time for so little a return. I found it helpful in that I was always sharp on just about any issue, having written about it.

On other matters, still involved in writing position papers, answering mail (which typically slows for the few weeks before the last push), getting appearances scheduled, working on staffing, and other daily chores of an independent or third party campaign.

Now, I need to follow my earlier advice. I need to eat better, sleep more, and find a small amount of time for letting my mind rest. I will try to discuss work scheduling at another point in time.

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