Campaign Insider

The collectible yard sign 

by Ben Donahower  / Dec 26 2013

What was on my Christmas list? Yard signs, of course. And this season didn't disappoint. But for those politicos whose cravings went unfulfilled by this year’s gift haul, don’t fret. There’s always next year when your Ralphie-esque wish for collectible campaign paraphernalia can come true. 

There are two types of yard signs that make for an interesting collection. The first are historically or personally significant yard signs: The candidates that you have worked for and

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A consultant's guide to down-ballot fundraising

A consultant's guide to down-ballot fundraising

by Brandon Lewis / Dec 23 2013

If you’re a consultant who works for candidates seeking state or local offices, you have your own set of unique fundraising challenges to overcome. Unlike larger federal races or statewide efforts where a full-time finance director is at the helm, your candidate is likely running while holding down a full-time job with part-time campaign staffers or a motley crew of volunteers.

From your perspective, fundraising serves two purposes: It increases the probability that your candidate

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Why red state Democrats keep getting left behind

Why red state Democrats keep getting left behind

by David Rosen / Dec 19 2013

Will putting the Christ back in Christmas help embattled Democrats? That’s a question circulating in the wake of Sen. Mark Pryor’s (D-Ark.) latest campaign ad, which begins: “I'm not ashamed to say that I believe in God, and I believe in His word.” The ad is a tender, if blunt, assertion that faith should trump partisanship. It defines Pryor in explicitly religious terms, but why is he doing it, and what does he hope

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Will USPS follow Canada's delivery cut? 

by Sean J. Miller  / Dec 13 2013

It's rare for consultants to look north of the border to read the tea leaves in Washington but when it comes to the future of mail delivery that's exactly what happened this week. 

After Canada Post announced it plans to phase out urban home delivery over the next six years and increase stamp prices, mail consultants wondered if the U.S. Postal Service could make a similar move to stop its $5 billion-annual net

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Purple Strategies hires ex-Bush, Obama advisors for New England office

by C&E Staff  / Dec 12 2013

Purple Strategies is expanding into New England and bringing on two New Hampshire consultants. True to the firm's bi-partisan focus, they've hired a strategist from each party. 

Former Bush family advisor Patrick Griffin, who is the CEO of GY&K Marketing, the largest advertising, strategic communications, and integrated marketing firm in Northern New England, will join the firm together with 2008 Obama campaign advisor Jim Demers, who's a former state lawmaker and president and CEO of

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GOP tech startup finds home in Austin

GOP tech startup finds home in Austin

by Sean J. Miller / Dec 11 2013

The words “Republican consulting firm” and “tech startup” aren't exactly synonymous, particularly in Austin, the liberal bastion of Texas. Justin Gargiulo, a campaign veteran from Connecticut, hopes to change that.

VoterTrove, the firm Gargiulo founded in March 2012, recently joined the Capital Factory, Austin's prestigious business incubator program, which even President Obama has taken note of. Gargiulo's firm is the first political startup accepted into the program. Both sides noticed. 

"Their only concern was,

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Lessons from McAuliffe '13: Go digital early and often 

by C&E Staff / Dec 10 2013

The McAuliffe campaign is being held up as a paragon of digital advocacy.

Since defeating Republican Ken Cuccinelli in November, the Virginia governor-elect's campaign has been widely recognized as one of the best-run efforts of 2013 and part of the reason for that was its use of digital advertising -- at least according to the consultants who helped the Democrat to a narrow victory. 

“A clear pattern has been developing for years now. Campaigns

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Did Rep. Barrow show Sen. Pryor how to advertise? 

by Sean J. Miller  / Dec 05 2013

God and guns are the new stars of Democratic TV advertising in the South. 

The combo are veteran cast members of the GOP's regional spots, but endangered Democrats and their consultants increasingly see touting faith and firearms as the best way to distinguish their candidates from the national party.

"The key to succeeding in an ad is being authentic and meeting the voters where they are, but it has to be true to you as

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4 steps to successful online fundraising in 2014

4 steps to successful online fundraising in 2014

by Erik Nilsson / Dec 05 2013

Campaigns now have the unique opportunity to build intimate relationships with their supporters around the clock via their mobile devices. So don’t be shy: Your supporters want to hear from you.

One in four social media users, ages 10-34, believe that it’s important to receive information about candidates on their mobile devices. This is where you’re going to find your supporters, and this is how they are going to learn about your candidate.

But

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Joseph Napolitan, the originator, dead at 84

Joseph Napolitan, the originator, dead at 84

by C&E Staff / Dec 04 2013

The man who literally wrote the book on political consulting is being mourned by the industry he helped mold.

Joseph Napolitan, who went by Joe, was one of the founders of the American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC) and its worldly sibling, the International Association of Political Consultants (IAPC). He died Dec. 2 of complications stemming from prostate cancer. His daughter Martha was by his side.

Napolitan, who is credited within the industry for coining

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In fundraising, the kickoff matters 

by Kirsten Borman / Dec 02 2013

At the launch of a campaign, fundraising probably isn’t the first thing on a candidate’s mind, but it should be.

Sure, it’s a hectic, confusing time. And most candidates know that they must raise money in order to spread their message. But it’s in the opening stages that political consultants and operatives often focus on the “why” rather than the “how,” leaving candidates grasping for direction or details on how to get their effort off

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When's a good time to put up the tree ad?

by Sean J. Miller / Nov 27 2013

Media consultants know they have a captive audience during the holiday season when families gather around the television after dinner wraps and conversation runs dry. But is it worth paying the premium to advertise between Thanksgiving and Christmas? And if you do, should you incorporate the holiday theme monopolized by retailers?

Arkansas Senate candidate Tom Cotton (R) did just that this week, releasing a Christmas-themed ad featuring his mother, Avis Cotton, seated in front

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