As regular readers know, I’ve never been a big fan of campaigns today relying so heavily on door-knocking and hard-to-organize/hard-to-fill political rallies and events.
The candidates I work directly with have campaign plans that rely heavily on mail (but not the kinds of lame mailers most campaigns do) and have focused on the fundraising necessary to pay for it.
So when the coronavirus hit bigly a couple weeks ago, they weren’t caught flat-footed. They were already set up to not rely on “free” direct human contact, even six feet away
Everyone else is now scrambling. Many in a panic.
Now, if you have a robust social media presence, you’re better off than others. But never forget…
“Likes” and “Follows” and “Retweets” ain’t the same as votes. Just ask Andrew Yang.
And as I write this, I can tell you something else…
As marketing legend Robert Collier put it so long ago, you should “enter the conversation already taking place in the customer’s mind.”
And nobody gives a damn right now about anything EXCEPT the coronavirus.
As the New York Times reported this week, “until the spread of the virus slows, there is likely to be little interest in the presidential race, and even less in state and local races.”
“At the moment,” the Times notes, “there effectively is no campaign of any consequence to voters who are consumed with their family’s safety and well-being.”
So now’s not the time to be talking about your plan to return the country to the gold standard. Or any other non-coronavirus issues.
That includes phone calls, virtual meetings and mail. If you can’t tie them into coronavirus … you’re doing it wrong.
Michael Joyce of the Republican National Committee reported this week that “the pandemic hasn’t slowed campaign phone calls, but it’s flipped the script.”
“Coronavirus is now the main focus,” he said. “Volunteers ask voters about their health, federal resources and actions the president has taken.”
This environment is going to last at least through the end of April. During that time, don’t try to force your non-coronavirus issues on voters. You’re just going to piss them off.
There’s a time and place for everything. And the time to get back to “regular” campaigning – at least message-wise – will return in May.
In the meantime, stay safe. Stay well. Raise hell.
Dr. Chuck Muth, PsD
THE CAMPAIGN DOCTOR
Professor of Psephology*
P.S. Now would be the perfect time to re-evaluate and, if needed, re-write your campaign plan to take the current situation into consideration.
What? You don’t have a written campaign plan?
No time like the present!
Click here for a FREE special report and campaign plan template you can follow.