Obama Raises $55 Million in February. Whew!
* “In the marketplace, as in theater, there is indeed a factor at work called ‘the willing suspension of disbelief,’ wrote the late copywriter Bill Jayme. No suspension of disbelief here. Obama did not write me a personal e-mail, even though he signed it. His return address was email@example.com, which means he has zero interest in hearing back from me on a personal basis.
What in the World is the Obama Campaign Doing?
The entire series of efforts was a mishmash of styles, typefaces, formats and myriad messages from various operatives — including the candidate. I was about to condemn this bizarre olio of verbiage as something created by well-meaning amateurs who did not know the rules of communication.
Then I read that the Obama campaign raised $55 million in February.
One rule I came to late in life: You cannot judge good direct marketing; it judges you.
In other words, good direct marketing does what it was designed to do. It doesn’t matter if you hate it/don’t understand it/are horrified by it. If it works, it’s good. And it’s your job (and my job) to analyze it and figure out why it worked. And then steal smart.
The New Online Fundraising Paradigm
* “PR is the business of letting people in on what you are doing,” said my first mentor in the business, ex-Ziegfeld Follies showgirl Evelyn Lawson, publicity director at the Ivoryton (Conn.) Playhouse in 1951. This is precisely what the Obama campaign is up to.
* By spewing out daily letters, diaries, press releases and blogs from all over the campaign and from around the country, the campaign makes its flock feel like real insiders — integral parts of the great democratic political process.
* It is very sexy to receive inside information and then see it breathlessly reported in the media the next day.