In our latest e-newsletter, we explored how good communications strategy helped trigger the blue avalanche in Colorado Here’s what we wrote:
We don't know about you but we were pretty darn euphoric the night of November 6! While we're not always partisan, we are ALWAYS progressive and a Democratic Governor-Senate-House trifecta means our issues and clients should see some serious wins for hardworking families, public education and Colorado's great outdoors, including public lands, clean water and air quality. Hooray!
It took a village to trigger the blue avalanche, with many candidates, campaigns, organizations and individuals laying the groundwork. We'll leave the field and electioneering analysis to others but we'd like to share our top three takeaways showing how campaigns leveraged communications to win:
Consistency is important. Newcomer Jason Crow clobbered incumbent Congressman Mike Coffman with a strong, steady campaign that focused on his blue-collar roots, military service and commitment to elevating working families. Coffman, on the other hand, was bogged down in a swamp of his own making, trying to position himself as standing up to Trump while scoring a 96% pro-Trump policy voting record. Lesson learned: Develop an authentic, resonant message and stick to it to win.
Long game online is best. When we had the ability to start online ads early – before ballots even dropped – not only were we able to define the issue or candidate on our own terms (sometimes without interference from our opponents!), but also we could contact our target voters more frequently with the extra time. More time to create a variety of content allowed us to show our consistent messaging to voters in different ways, too. Campaigns waiting until the last week found the competition for online ad space was brutal, making it difficult and expensive to deliver ads with the desired frequency. And don't forget to add voting resources to your online content the last few days – the most searched-for terms 48 hours prior to polls closing was "how to vote at home," signaling that people really needed how-to-vote information! Lesson learned: Start as early as possible to maximize your contacts and budget.
Flexibility is your friend. Taking advantage of unplanned developments and new opportunities can be a great opportunity if you allow some time and room to be flexible. When a Koch Brothers mailer attacked Senator-elect Faith Winter on her paid family leave position, she posted a blog about it – and FAMLI Act – that very same day. Similarly, when we found that an ad for an out-of-state progressive campaign was garnering fewer clicks than others, we tested slightly different language and voila, the ad performance bounced up. Lesson learned: Develop solid plans that allow for on-the-fly changes.