(Chuck Muth) – Marketing experts Richard Perry and Jeff Schreifels of Veritus Group ask a very important – if not somewhat uncomfortable for some – question…
“Is your organization [campaign] a conversational narcissist? You know the type. Every letter they send is all about what great work they’re doing and how awesome they are. It’s like you, the donor, aren’t even part of the conversation! They just keep talking about themselves. And you start to tune out.”
Candidates who are conversational narcissists appear everywhere, up and down the ballot. Here’s a classic example right here in River City…
Sam Brown is running again for U.S. Senate in Nevada. He came in second to Adam Laxalt in the GOP primary last year. I supported him. As is the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) this cycle.
But the criticism I’ve heard about Sam since he got into the race is that while his war injury story is inspiring, it’s not enough. There needs to be more meat on the bones.
I’ve likened it to the volcano in front of the Mirage Resort. It definitely grabs attention and draws people to want to check out more. But if people walk behind the volcano and into a Motel 6-like building, people aren’t going to come back.
And Brown’s campaign is doing the same thing. Consider how his string of email fundraising pitches have opened since he got into the race. It started with this one…
“I shouldn’t be alive, Friends. When I was serving in Afghanistan, a roadside bomb blew up under the gas tank of my vehicle. I burned alive for what felt like an eternity as I came to terms with my mortality. I thought it would be the end of me, but by the grace of God, I survived.”
A follow-up email a day later opened with…
“Throughout my life, God has blessed me with people who have always had my back. The soldier who saved my life, the doctors and nurses who helped me recover from my injuries, my wife, my children, and now you, Friends. You may have heard me say that the life I live is not my own. That is doubly true for this campaign.”
A couple days later…
“Friends, I’ve never taken the easy road. But the easiest thing I ever did was decide to run for Senate. That’s because through every struggle, I’ve had faith that I was fulfilling God’s purpose for me. I feel the exact same way now.”
And a couple more days after that…
“I’ve been blessed with some truly incredible people in my life. My soldier who extinguished the fire and saved my life when I was sure I was going to die. The doctors and nurses who helped me through thirty surgeries as I recovered from my injuries. My wife and children who are my greatest joys through all of life’s challenges and blessings.”
And the most recent one…
“Friend, I’m one of the many Americans who answered the call to serve their country following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, but my life was changed forever when a roadside bomb detonated under my vehicle in Afghanistan. When I woke up, I knew God had given me a second chance at life. A chance I wasn’t going to take for granted. I’ve dedicated every day of my life since then to continued service for our country and its citizens, and now is no different.”
I, I, I, I, ay, yi, yi!
Granted, it’s one helluva a personal story by a true American hero, however…
If you want people to vote for you…
If you want people to donate to you…
If you want people to volunteer for you…
Then your campaign messaging must be about THEM, not you.
I’m not saying to not tell Sam’s story. Of course, he should! But there’s got to be more “there” there. Voters are tuned into WIIFM – “What’s In It For Me.”
We know what’s in it for Sam. He’ll be a United States senator representing Nevadans. But how do we Nevadans benefit from Sam being in the U.S. Senate?
Simply stating that incumbent Democrat Sen. Jacky Rosen stinks on ice isn’t enough – especially for independent and non-partisan voters.
I don’t know who’s writing Sam’s copy, but it needs a reboot. He’s certainly raised a lot of money so far, but he could raise a lot more if he’d adjust his pitch slightly to be more donor-focused than Sam-focused.
In short: Reduce the number of “I’s” and boost the number of “you’s.” Don’t make the same mistake made in the last election, or you risk donors and voters tuning out. We can’t afford to send Rosen back to DC!
Thanks to everyone who shared their opinion on how I should deal with re-printing profanities embedded in messages I receive from potty-mouth trolls. Really appreciate the feedback.
Unfortunately, there’s no clear consensus on the issue – though a slight majority have said to reprint profane messages just as the author wrote them.
So while it won’t please everyone, I’ll continue dealing with this issue on a case-by-case basis. If a bunch of f-bombs are included, I’ll continue to put a “Warning” note at the beginning.
In other cases, I’ll do what I’ve done with Gov. Lombardo’s quote about “getting sh*t done.” And when appropriate, I’ll use “(deleted)” for cuss words along with a disclaimer that the author used the actual word(s) when it’s obvious what was written.
Such as this one from Pahrump nutjob Leah Aldridge: “I always knew you were a jerk, Chuck. Go (expletive) yourself.”
Again, thanks to all who weighed in. Onward…
Save the Date
Monday, August 21, 6:00 – 8:00 pm. Citizen Outreach will be hosting a one-of-a-kind cocktail reception/dinner in Las Vegas featuring Nevada Congressman Mark Amodei and Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo. Additional details to follow.
7 Worst Habits of Highly Unelectable People
- Picking the wrong race
- Picking the wrong district
- Picking the wrong issues
- Picking the wrong time
- Picking the wrong consultants
- Picking unnecessary fights with the media
- Picking door-knocking over fundraising
FAMOUS LAST WORDS
“I’ve got young kids so there won’t be any cocaine in the White House. Maybe some finger paints. Actually, my daughter’s paintings are better than Hunter Biden and he’s getting $1 million for them.” – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis
Mr. Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, publisher of Nevada News & Views, and founder of CampaignDoctor.com. You can sign up for his conservative, Nevada-focused e-newsletter at MuthsTruths.com. His views are his own.