Sad State of Affairs (DCCC FAIL)

This is by no means a political blog and I apologize to whoever I’m about to offend. I just had to vent for a second.

I associate with democrats. I don’t know if it was how I was brought up, the people I’ve been exposed to, what I was taught, or conscious choice. On 90% of issues, I come down firmly on the left.

But, like a sad many Americans, am so unhappy with the political system in our country that I’d hate to be lumped in with most democrats in office.

I got an email (screenshot below) the other day from the DCCC because I donated during the campaign. At the time, I was in favor of their aggressive email marketing campaign. I had no idea the fundraising would continue as aggressively after we won.

But putting aside the fact that they’re still campaigning, look at the wording in the email. That’s what got me.

Talk of making Republicans nervous in an email like this is ludicrous. Here’s an idea, why don’t you try to work with your peers instead of scare them? Why don’t you do what we put you there to do instead of continue to run ads and spend money campaigning?

I’m scared for the future. 2012 was a negative year in politics. More so than 2008 to such an extent that I don’t dare imagine what 2016 will be like. And if the language in this email and the ads coming out of the Republican groups are any indication, 2013 (a year without major elections) is going to follow suit.

Where are we headed?

An Email Worth Sharing


Friend (yes, we're friends) --

In 2007, I spent a few months in Iowa before the caucuses, getting all sorts of folks fired up to cast their vote for this guy named Barack Obama.

What I remember most: It was shockingly, painfully cold. And fun.

Actually, super fun. And easier than I thought, to talk to total strangers and ask them to vote. That's why I traveled to 25 other states for the President in 2008, and why I'm volunteering again. Well, that and because we don't want to see the progress we've made on everything from student loans to health care get turned back.

You could play that role this year, by joining Vote Corps -- a group of the most dedicated organizers out there.

If you join, you'll be doing exactly what I did -- going to one of the most critical states for a few weeks leading up to Election Day, and making sure people there go to the polls.

You'll make phone calls, knock on doors, and have one-on-one conversations with people about why you support President Obama. It's important, fun stuff.

Yeah, you'll be a volunteer, but the local staff, fellow volunteers, and people you meet will make it worth your while in donuts, love, and appreciation (and let's face it, donuts are legit).

Whenever you arrive, they'll want you to stay through Election Day -- and take my word for it, that'll be the best part. On Election Day in 2008, I was in Florida with a bunch of awesome young volunteers (and their sweet robot, pic below). Where will I go this year? Where will you go?

Sign up now to join Vote Corps, and a really nice organizer will drop you a line to tell you more:

Just tell them Kal said you should do this. Because I did. And then fist bump and hug it out with your new friends. Smell that? It's freedom.



Marketing a President

The game is afoot.

Even though we’re still a month away from the conventions, the Romney v. Obama boxing match is fully underway. And it really does feel that way, with each candidate trading blows all summer long.

Instead of a competition of two sets of merits and ideas, this presidential race more resembles a couple of school-age bullies trading insults and starting rumors.

It’s embarrassing. And America knows it.

But how else do you market a president in today’s world? Can a candidate really stand on his own merits and ideas alone? Or do you have to pander to the 24 hour news cycle, the radicals and money-holders on your side of the aisle, the misinformed or under informed voting public?

Marketing a president is not an easy thing. You have to be front of mind constantly. You have to be seen as the clear choice over the next reasonable option 51% of the time. It’s not like marketing Burger King, knowing that consumers can purchase from both you and McDonald’s. It’s one or the other, at one time, and then never again (maybe one more time).

If you’re a marketer or business owner looking to gain an advantage over your competition, take a cue from how dirty this election is becoming and begin to identify your own strengths before going after your competitor’s weaknesses.

The country needs something positive they can grab onto.

Democratic Email Campaign Problems

The problem is how often they send their emails. It’s what their emails are about. It’s how their emails look. And it’s who the emails are coming from.

I’m a democrat. I’ve made no attempt to hide that on this blog. But since I talk about marketing 99% of the time, hopefully it doesn’t impact the content. But it means that I am subscribed to the Democratic Campaign’s email campaign, a campaign that gets ever more intense as this year’s election approaches.

I’m not subscribed to the Republican Campaigns email list. If I was, I might be commenting on similar issues from them.

To those of you who are also subscribed, you can probably understand today’s rant. To those of you who are not, you’re lucky. I would not recommend subscribing.

I get an average of 5-8 emails a day, each “written” by a different sender. They come from one of three email addresses, making it hard to understand who is asking for the money, and what ties them to the other emails you just received. Sometimes these emails are minutes apart, with completely different messaging.

Some emails comment on something recently in the news. Most mention a quote or two from Republicans. And they all ask for a donation, some with a potential to win a prize and others without.

They infrequently have images, and almost always are ugly.

Why don’t I unsubscribe? As a democrat, and more importantly, as an email marketer, I feel compelled to stick out. If for no other reason than to find out, what will they do next?