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May 19, 2014

Will Sleazy Marketing Be Successful?

Jill King

Marketing can be the most important part of a campaign. Those who have experience know the ins and outs and utilize this valuable knowledge in order to bring in votes and secure seats. Those with less experience face a learning experience, especially the first time around.


Democrats have long excelled in promoting candidates, due to organization and outreach. Some Republicans have lingered behind and somehow fell on typical techniques, refusing to modernize, or having to spend more on resources they are not familiar with.


With social media on the rise, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have become staples to successful campaigning. Facebook caters to a more middle age and young elder population, which are a regular voting force; Twitter and Instagram tend to overlap into the middle and younger populations.


One question posed to candidates in the Frederick City aldermanic race was how do you plan to provide outreach to young voters? This has been a long struggle with all candidates, one that even I struggled with. It is very thought provoking.


In talking to the younger potential voter, including those registered, it seems that it depends where they are in life. Parents tend to be the biggest influence on teens and those in their early twenties, along with their 13 year surrogates, mentors, and required learnings. College design with required courses, along with professors, also can promote a particular side. Yes, indoctrination does come in many forms.


It is when they are out on their own, struggling and wish to be independent that they realize that less rules that encroach on their ability to survive is what is important.


Promoting rules involving money, or hitting their values of “keep your hands off of my body” and “stop taking my property” (that one has worked for, including money), when I have worked for it is at an all time high. For those not able to attend college, looking to survival skills, there is a stance comparable to that of the libertarian. Although the young are not the largest age group of unaffiliated voters, there is definitely an upswing.


Even with the question of how to attract the young voters and get them involved, many focus on those who are the stable voters, mostly the elderly. The Baby Boomers are now a large group and of the age that they are more dependent on others than ever, even though some will try to retain their self-sustaining qualities and continue to work hard refusing to give up their independence. After working hard all of their lives, they like to hold on to everything they can. Many are disgusted with the way the country is moving.


What will Obamacare do to my abilities to get care, or how will I leave my legacy to my children and make sure they don't fail or struggle to make ends meet is a few of their concerns.


A large portion of the elders are conservative in values, yet experienced the benefits of FDR and the New Deal, which led to what seemed a more prosperous and guarantee for life.


Locally, they have been hit with excessive taxes and regulatory fees. Their concerns for their children tend to influence the manner in which they vote.


Those in their 30s, 40s, and even 50s tend to be all over the place, and tend to have their own set of values. Will adding social programs benefit me? Does commuting two hours daily take from my lifestyle, or does it benefit the ability to pay for that lifestyle? This group tends to either be the most informed or the least, due to their work schedule and families. They are also the highest group of unaffiliated voters in Frederick County and could be the easiest to sway if they are courted, through door-knocking, issue-based public meetings, and visibility.


One rule most have in common is not to believe everything they read. Literature that defines who you are and what you stand for, including self promotions, can be the most effective manner in reaching people. When attempting to promote yourself, such as the tactics that the Hough/Dacey/Mooney camp has used against state Sen. Brinkley, without showing any achievements or self-promotion should cause pause to many.


While state Del. Michael Hough has been in office for four years, he can't find one good thing to say about himself or his record; instead, he paints Senator Brinkley as someone without Republican values. This in itself is highly disputable, due to the effectiveness he has had in the past in Annapolis.


The next concept that Democrats have strayed from is slates. Of course though, they have the early Frederick County Teachers Association endorsements in most cases and is agenda-based and represent one issue – union contracts.


When talking to Republicans, there are many who refuse to place the slate sign of Hough, Afzali, Vogt, and Cilibretti in their yard because they support a different mix. State Del. Kelly Schulz and a first time candidate, but not new to the political scene, Wendi Peters have been garnering support because both deserve it. These two are proving that they are willing to go the extra mile and have been motoring all over the county, individually, sometimes together, and sometimes along with Senator Brinkley to reach as many voters as they can.


This is a race that is going to be interesting to watch come primary day. Will Senator Brinkley's informed, easy to work with, personable personality, along with his positive effectiveness prevail, or will people actually believe the marketing and agenda of Senate-seeking Delegate Hough?


Last, but not least, does newspaper advertising – including Letters to the Editor in The Frederick News-Post or even local papers such as the Brunswick Citizen or Emmitsburg News-Journal help garner votes? Will people believe candidates, listen to opinion statements and testimonials, or will they actually do their own research? Only time will tell.


One thing for sure, name recognition and party line always plays a factor; this takes money.


Retraining my brain for the future, conferring with the past...


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