7 Tips for Successfully Navigating a Crisis: What To Do When the News is Bad and You’re In It

7 Tips for Successfully Navigating a Crisis: What To Do When the News is Bad and You’re In It

Politics is the ultimate reality experience. Successful campaigns can’t afford to live in ivory towers.  But when it comes to bad news breaking, people in the political arena too often naively think “It can’t happen to us.” Sooner or later, it almost always does. The first rule of political communications is, “Expect the unexpected.” And in the ever-evolving instantaneous News Cycle you can’t afford mistakes. Following these seven steps will help when you discover the news is bad and you’re in it. 1) Have a pro-active crisis communications plan Remember, it wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark. The time to prepare for a crisis is before it happens. Knowing what to do will be immensely helpful when the raindrops start falling. The first step is identifying your Crisis Communications Team. Pick a select handful of individuals in advance who will guide you through the crisis and inform them they are on this team. This is a case of less is more: when a crisis hits, everyone wants to be helpful and offer their advice. But the last thing you need to hear is a barrage of contradictory input about what you should or shouldn’t do or say. Gather the Team, close the door and discuss the situation openly and frankly. Team members should be cool headed and steady in tough situations. Their task is made all the harder by a Henny Penny who runs around screaming, “The sky is falling!” This is a time for clear thinking, not for Nervous Nellies to vent their anxiety. 2) Have One Designated Spokesperson In a crisis, one -and only one- person...
Keeping the Crowds Engaged – Sean Bartley Plugged Into the Audience at the RNC

Keeping the Crowds Engaged – Sean Bartley Plugged Into the Audience at the RNC

Courtesy of the Ashland Times Gazette, written by Kristi Schweitzer on August 10, 2016

A lot went on behind the scenes to make this year’s Republican National Convention a success, and one particular Ashlander took part in leading those efforts.

For political consultant Sean Bartley, it was an opportunity to help make the convention run smoothly from the inside out.

Hired through his employment with Olson Strategies & Advertising based in Denver, Bartley was asked to be a part of the convention program team, working to engage crowds during the July 18 to 21 convention.

From leading the crowds in chants to making sure the audience present and at home stayed engaged, Bartley worked behind the scenes, blending in throughout the four days.

Phone Calls: Annoying or Effective?

Phone Calls: Annoying or Effective?

Almost every time I suggest any type of grassroots phone calling, no matter if they are automated, paid live calls, volunteer calls or candidate phone calls, I am met with groans, puzzling looks or outright hostility towards the idea. The “statements of fact” start immediately.

“Everybody hates them.”
“Nobody listens to them.”
“Volunteers hate making these calls.”
“I have better things to do.”

As you may guess, I disagree with the hyperbolic statements above and in a moment I’ll break down these objections one by one. First, I’ll discuss how I use each of these call types in the course of a campaign.

Episode 3: Lee Vasche Part 2 – How to Successfully Petition on the Ballot

Episode 3: Lee Vasche Part 2 – How to Successfully Petition on the Ballot

This week, we continue our conversation with Lee Vasche, president of the Signature Gathering Company of Oregon, and delve into the success he has had petitioning to get candidates and big ballot initiative campaigns on the ballot. Lee and I layout exactly what the key components are to effectively gather enough signatures to access the ballot.

Glossary of Media Buying Terms

Glossary of Media Buying Terms

The media budget for almost every campaign accounts for the lion’s share of that campaign’s budget. Yet, so many campaigns and even the media consultants they hire treat the media buy as a second thought. They focus on the creative; the glitz and glamour of the shiny ads they hope to put on the airwaves. When it comes to traditional electronic media – TV and radio – when, where and how you spend your money has a deep impact on your campaign’s overall success. The media buying operation helps make huge budgetary decisions: reserving airtime early to save you money; buying new airtime without losing your shorts during the heat of the campaign; and just as critically, feeding you important intel as to what the opponent, opposition party, and third-party groups are doing. Campaigns that understand and maximize the media buying component of their campaign are likely to be more agile in a potentially rapidly changing environment at the end of an election cycle and will have the most efficient use of their hard-earned campaign cash. Having a smart and engaged media buyer on your team is critical to getting the most out of your advertising budget. A campaign shouldn’t try to do this on their own. However, campaigns need to also be smart and engaged on this aspect of their campaign. Following is a quick glossary of some of the more important media buying terms to help candidates and campaign managers be better informed consumers and hopefully get more bang out of their campaign budget. While there is a lot to know and learn about media buying, I...