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Craft of Communications

by mturk

Despite remarkable changes in technology, increasing fragmentation of traditional audiences, and rapid media convergence, most political consultancies are still stuck in a model that was perfected when Reagan ran against Carter. For the few traditional firms that wish to evolve, the typical “fix” usually consists of hiring a mid-level staffer to “do our Internet stuff”.

Most online operatives with any kind of track record have launched boutique firms that specialize in Internet communications. They are often singularly focused on online campaigns; and have little experience with, and often little interest in, traditional campaign organizing tactics.

For campaigns, this situation results in a disjointed world of competing media consultants all claiming that their specialty – direct mail, TV, or the web – is where all the money should be spent. Campaigns are often forced to employ multiple consultants with competing ideas for the best way to deliver a message.

These internal conflicts often harm the campaign, leading to infighting and finger-pointing rather than working together to benefit the candidate, committee or cause. Unfortunately, when vendors are competing for campaign resources – each trying to get the largest slice of the pie – it is usually the campaign that suffers.

But what if there was a different way?

Despite the dysfunctional silos that have been created by political consultants, the fact is all of these disciplines have one goal in mind – to communicate the campaign’s message.

Communications isn’t about forcing a choice between competing media. The craft of communications is about delivering your message across all platforms, to carefully targeted and segmented audiences, to achieve a singular goal – winning.

Your team should assess the campaign goals, your target audience, the media most often used by that audience, and develop the media blend that will be most effective. You shouldn’t have to worry that your media mix represents your vendors, not your stakeholders.

A team approach to campaign communications gives you access to multiple experts all focused on your goals. By taking the competition out of the vendor equation, recommendations are based on the interests of the campaign, not the interests of the consultants. A converged consultancy eliminates media choices that are based on personalities rather than sound strategies.
The converged agency is also able to apply different strategies and a different media mix based on the goal of the campaign – whether that’s rapid response, persuasion, fundraising, or GOTV.

Why Aren’t Others Doing It This Way?

To be fair, some are. The massive corporate firms (like Ketchum, Edelman and Burson-Marsteller) recognize the value of this approach.

Unfortunately, their sheer size and broad range of services – everything from lobbying and legal counsel to event promotion and clinical trial recruitment – have priced them outside the budgets of all but the most affluent political causes.

However, the benefits of convergence shouldn’t accrue only to giant corporations and organizations.

What Makes Us Different

There is a better way.

Craft | Media/Digital brings together top-tier operatives in direct mail, television, and the Internet. Our partners have worked in the trenches of local, Congressional, statewide, and national campaigns – merging traditional grassroots organizing and the latest in targeted audience segmentation.

By bringing together top talent in an array of media disciplines, under one roof, the converged agency can determine the proper media mix to achieve the goals of the campaign.

Yogi Berra once quipped, “The future ain’t what it used to be.”

The future of political communications isn’t what it used to be either. Providing converged media services without the hassle of vendor competition is here today. In the future, we’ll look back and wonder why we ever did it differently.