Last week at Newscoma, I wrote a little diddy about Jack and Diane, or rather just some quick thoughts about running for office. I riffed off a really great series of stories that Joe Lance wrote and revisited words of advice from Knoxviews’ R. Neal which is how jazz music works.
In blogging, there is nothing better than a great riff.
The one thing none of us really talked about is how do you get your message out. Here is an example of some of the problems that candidates, especially new ones, end up facing which goes to a national website as I’m trying to make a point. On Saturday, January 25th of the year 2014, the most popular story on the Huffington Post was about a flatulent deer. According to the headline, the deer, who apparently is a very intelligent creature as he roams about the forest thought he was avoiding the paparazzi,and didn’t KNOW that there was a camera watching him/her expelling bodily gases. Now trends come and go on websites and for anyone who has been in the online game for any length of time has always had to deal with the sad reality that not everything you do is going to go viral. Most of the time it won’t, if we are all honest.
And there are times that your message is going to get lost because news, especially online, moves at the speed of sound and there are going to be times what you want to say will be muffled by stories like a flatulent deer.
The bottom line is that locally, statewide or nationally, candidates are always going to have to compete with the trends when it comes to online marketing. In smaller markets, which I worked at for years, will probably give you a shout when you announce you are running but they are going to want your ad dollars closer to election time. That is how they make money so you are going to have to earn your media. Shaking hands, kissing babies and eating at every BBQ/Pancake/Spaghetti supper or speaking at the local Kiwanis/ Rotary Clubs in the district you are running in is a given because making the rounds is important, yet how do you reach people that are not at those events.
These are just a few questions to ask yourself. When you want to talk about how you have a plan for infrastructure for your home county, how are you going to deal with potential voters talking about a flatulent deer or Justin Bieber being a maroon?