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What I Learned on The Campaign Trail

The experience of being a communication strategist on the campaign trail is a dream for those of us that enjoy politics. There are a number of factors that have to be taken into consideration in order to craft a successful communication strategy that lines up with the platform of the candidate and the best way to reach the constituents. Campaigning today is not what it used to be. The idea of shaking the most hands and kissing the most babies is good, but it is not a complete strategy.

Before one develops any type of communication strategy, the candidate must truly know where they stand on the issues that matter most to his/her community. Having a full and authentic understanding of what the candidate believes in will allow for the communication strategy to be built in a way that the messaging will not have to change drastically while on the campaign trail. Strong pivots in messaging tend to confuse potential voters. It also makes those that are on the fence uncertain if they can count on the candidate to be strong on the issues if the flounder to what seems to be the hot topic.

  1. A strong candidate needs a strong team. It was obvious to me that even as strong as a candidate may be, the team matters. The candidate needs to have people that can do the research and analyze the data in the background so that messaging is accurate and resonating with constituents. I may be biased, but besides fundraising, the Director of Communications may be one of the most important hires that a candidate will make. This individual will observe the campaign from a totally different perspective than anyone on the team. One must have someone that understands how to read the audience, develop a strategy on framing the message, and properly evaluate the candidate’s performance when delivering the message.
  2. One must understand the concerns of their voting community. Communication 101 is understanding your target audience. As a candidate runs for election, they must understand the top concerns of their constituency. It’s important not to be too far swayed by what those outside of the voting district may think, but to truly listen to what the residents are saying they need from their representative. It is hard to evaluate the voting population when a candidate is in a special election, but I have found that the quickest way to do this is to find out who the movers and shakers are in the community. Find out who the individuals are that touch a lot of people, meet with these individuals and learn from them all that you can about the community. Do not assume that you know all that there is to know about the residents of the community.
  3. It’s important to create Brand Ambassadors. Yes, Mr/Mrs Candidate you are now a brand. In making that distinction, it is important to understand how to spread the word about your brand. It is difficult to spend time with each and every voter in one’s district or voting population, but ambassadors will be able to speak up on your behalf if properly trained. Using social media strategically is another way that a campaign can find brand ambassadors. As much as one may push out content on social media, one can also see who is speaking up the most about them accurately. The campaign can offer volunteer training workshops, have a virtual training, and create social media toolkits for these ambassadors to use as they help you spread the word.
  4. Technology is an important tool to gather DATA. Accurate data collection is key to success. Hilary Clinton mentioned in her book, What Happened, that some of their data may not always have been accurate. She also mentioned that she leaned towards the old fashion way of campaigning (shaking hands and giving stump speeches to small crowds), but knew that she had to embrace this new era of what it takes to win an election. Reach out to other campaigns and see what type of technology they are using, conduct research on the latest tools that can be used to manage a campaign, and check back to our blog as this will be the focus of one of our next blog post.
  5. Meet people where they are. By this, we mean that you must understand where your constituents are, and this takes a deep level of knowledge on who makes up your voting constituency. If you have an older more mature constituency, then you may want to be heavier of meet-n-greets and email. If you have a young constituency, your social media and text messaging strategy will need to be strong and take the lead over the traditional modes of communication. Some may say that the volume of times that a constituent is reached out to may turn them off, but there isn’t data from a notable source to support this theory.

 

You don’t have to take our word for what to consider in your campaign communication strategy. Here are a few suggestions from others that have also lived on the inside of a campaign.

“Everyone, from constituents to party members, will tell you how things should be done if you want to win. Most will contradict each other. While you need to be open to advice (and actively seek help when you need it), the most difficult part of the job is knowing when to trust yourself and doing what needs to be done for your specific situation. Each candidate, campaign, voter demographics, District, and opponent are different. In the end, I relied heavily on scholarly research and my own intuition.”

Avery Murdie, Campaign Manager & PR Director for Deborah Gonzalez for GA House 117

 

“Field is how you will win or lose a campaign. Having the candidate do as much direct voter contact as possible will have a huge impact. The most effective method for direct voter contact is knocking on targeted doors, followed by phone calls and meet and greets along with other public appearances.

A universe of targeted voters must be built before any voter contact is done. All voters in the universe need to be contacted before GOTV to identify supporters for GOTV and eliminate others. Knowing who your voters are in all ways is critical. Understanding the demographics of the district will help you figure out the best communication methods for the campaign. For example: younger voters will respond more to Instagram versus email and older voters over 75 will appreciate a phone call or direct mail more.”

Leah Fuhr, Former Political Affairs Manager/Field Organizer for Jon Ossoff, Former Campaign Manager for Jen Jordan

 

“Watching for the activists who embody the spirit of our organization was key for me. I knew that if a journalist heard their stories, they would exemplify who we were and also boost the candidate we were supporting. Anyone who is inspired to volunteer so much time to get someone elected pulls at the emotions of the audience and makes someone take another look at that candidate.”

 

Jen Cox, Director of PR, PaveItBlue

Your life will forever be changed when you enter into the world of politics. You begin to understand how big of a role politics plays in the quality of life one leads. You also learn how important it is to have your communication strategy in line so that you can properly reach your constituents. You (the candidate) may have the best platform to run on, the biggest heart, and the best mindset to win your election, but if you do not communicate it in a way that reaches your voting audience…it is all for nothing.

Entrepreneurs Think Tank – EP 4 – What had happened was….

Having an idea for a podcast and actually launching the podcast are two entirely different task. Especially when you are teaching yourself how to do everything. Not because you have to teach yourself, but because you know in the long run it will pay off to know how to do it.

We lost a show! It was devastating to have to accept that there was nothing that we could do to save the episode, but it was a great lesson. Things do not always go smoothly….even when you plan them out “perfectly.” As an entrepreneur, you just have to be able to roll with the punches. That is exactly what we are doing.

Listen to this episode about the loss of episode 4 and let us know what you think in the comments below. Have you ever lost something like this? How did you react?

Creating a Strategy to Win in 2017

As we wake up in this New Year, I wake up with purpose.  What I mean by this is that I know that we are all here for a reason. I personally know that as the CEO of Selsi Enterprises that I am called to help female entrepreneurs grow their businesses exponentially this year.  My business goals all center around this mission. I also know that I need to lend my voice to the platform of education in two ways. ONE, we need to rectify this school to prison pipeline immediately and TWO we need to revamp the outdated system that we have in the US starting TODAY. These are all big initiatives, but that does not mean that I need to ignore my calling.

Several of my clients have been thinking about what they want to accomplish in 2017.  We have been talking a lot about the power of DOING and not staying stuck in trying to reach PERFECTION. I am guilty of this myself. I will go in to a place where nothing gets done because I am waiting on it to be perfect. Fortunately, we are living through a time where DOING trumps PERFECTION.

So, in 2017 I challenge you to DO SOMETHING! Even if you do not know what your calling is, DO SOMETHING that you think may be your calling and you will be surprised at how PURPOSE shows itself. You are doing yourself an injustice if you do not live out your full potential.

We are on DAY ONE of a NEW YEAR. Here is our advice for success in 2017:

  1. Let go of 2016 and the things that may not have gone right. Focus on what it is you need to change going forward.
  2. Surround yourself with people that can lift you up. These people should be able to help you with the areas of your business that you are not strong in at the moment. Not that you will be looking for them to do it, but that you may need someone to ask for advice.
  3. Study success! Do not take advice from people that think that they know what to do about a situation. Take the advice from someone who has been through it or someone who may have been close to a similar situation. It is also good to recognize that successful people have a lot of the same habits.  Determine how you can apply those habits to your business.
  4. It sounds cliché, but follow your passion! Your passion will drive you and allow you to keep moving forward when the journey gets difficult.
  5. Hire a great publicist! (We just had to add it in.)

BLACK FRIDAY DEAL – VIP PR Strategy Intensive

By now we hope that you have started planning for 2017.  

PR is changing and in order to really #GetNoticed it is necessary to change with the times.  The traditional press release is basically dead, influencers are able to spread your message as well as or better than traditional newspaper outlets, and video will play an even larger role in the 2017 brands that rise to the top.  We like to explain it as the Kodak case study.  Kodak did not want to change with the direction that its audience was moving. Therefore, what was once a top tier brand is barely seen or recalled. Many of our kids may not even know the Kodak brand.

My team and I put together this intensive that will allow you to set your self up for success in 2017 by going through significant strategic planning and measurable goal setting activities.

The intensive is tailored specifically to your needs.  Being that it is so brand specific, you will have to email us to receive the application for acceptance in to the program. We are only taking 5 VIP candidates in December. If you are interested or have questions, please email hello@selsienterprises.com.

 

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Has Ryan Lochte Damaged His Brand for Good?

The Ryan Lochte story has received a great deal of press.  Unfortunately, this is not the first time that we have see an athlete completely, publicly tarnish their image.

In case you missed it, Lochte stated that there were guns drawn at the heads of he and his teammates while they were in Rio for the Olympics. The video surveillance footage now shows a very different story and everyone from the US Olympics committee to the brands that he was associated with are now second guessing their relationship with Lochte.

According to US Weekly, Lochte has lost all of his sponsorship’s and is now scheduled to appear on the TV show Dancing With The Stars. We find this quite interesting.  This is obviously a PR stunt to improve the damage that has been done to his image.  His PR team probably wants him to come across immature, but still someone that can be adored.

This story has brought about a lot of emotion. Check out this exchange between Al Rocker and Billy Bush on the Today Show:

From a PR standpoint:

If you find yourself on the PR team of Ryan Lochte, how do you fix this situation?

Step 1: He has to own it! Live streaming would actually be his best friend right now.  He needs to authentically come out and consistently apologize. Live streaming would force him to answer some very tough questions from the public, but this will allow people to get their frustrations out and move on.

Step 2: He needs to go back to Rio and apologize face to face to the security guard and to the officials that may have been involved.

Step 3: He also needs to personally visit and apologize to his teammates. This scandal stayed in the media circuit and has really taken away from what the Olympics should have been.

Step 4: He should do some PSAs directed towards kids on why lying is bad and look at the consequences that he had to suffer.

Remember, when a brand looks to bring on a spokesperson, they do not only look at their past…but they think 3 to 4 years in advance on how the consumer may view this individual.  They put their brand image on the line when partnering with any type of influencer. When this person tarnishes their public perception, it has been proven best for the brand to cut ties (at least for a couple of years).

The lesson for us as entrepreneurs, public figures, and brand managers is that we must ALWAYS protect our brand.  It is the legacy to which your consumers will stay loyal to you.

What suggestions do you have for the PR team of Ryan Lochte? Leave your feedback in the comments below.

4 Reasons Why the Pokèmon Go Craze is GREAT for Entrepreneurs 

People have been found playing PokemonGo in the delivery room.

App developers around the world are sure to be in awe of the Pokèmon Go craze that has excited people around the globe. No one could have predicted the volume of interest in a gaming app even if they had the best predictive data of all time. The game has nostalgia, challenge, and a little bit of new technology all rolled in to one. This seems to be a winning combination!Here are some recent facts about the game:

  1. Initial release date was July 6, 2016.
  2. The game was developed between a partnership with Nintendo and Niantic.
  3. Nintendo has sold more than 277 million Pokémon games to date, over 21.5 billion trading cards in ten languages, and made seventeen feature films over the past two decades.
  4. Pokèmon actually means Pocket Monster.
  5. In less than a week after its release, Pokémon GO is reportedly bigger than Tinder in the US.
  6. According to SimilarWeb the Usage Time of Pokémon GO is taking up a lot of its user’s time. On July 8th, the app was being used an average of 43 minutes, 23 seconds a day. This is higher than other popular apps like Whatsapp, Instagram, Snapchat, and Messenger.
  7. In less than a week, Pokèmon Go has had 6 million mentions on Twitter. (Adweek)
  8. According to Spreadfast, the most popular cities for the game are Culver City, Calif.; Houston; Chicago; San Antonio; and Manhattan were the buzziest locations, according to the company.
  9. Several brands have been caught tweeting about the game. Check out tweets from Southwest Airlines, KFC France, Sprint, Walmart captured in the article from Adweek.
  10. Nintendo has sold more than 277 million Pokemon games to date, over 21.5 billion trading cards in 10 languages, and made 17 feature films over the last 20 years. Time will tell how Pokemon Go matches up to those numbers. (Pocket-Lint)

If you are confused on how to play and the terminology being used, Pocket-Lint has the best write up I have seen to date. Spend a few minutes here to get a better understanding.

If you are an entrepreneur, here is why you should pay attention to this phenomenon:

  1. Follow The Eyeballs – As Gary Vaynerchuck says, you have to figure out how to Day Trade Attention and at this moment, the world is paying attention to this game at the moment. This is one of the best news jacking opportunities that a business owner can jump on at the moment. Remember to add the hashtag #PokèmonGo to your post.
  2. Promote!  Promote! Promote! – You can create a promotion around the Pokèmon brand and get awesome reach without having to pay to boost your post. Many are advertising the fact that they have a Pokèmon stop near their business.  The discounts that they are giving to patrons are extremely creative and a lot of fun. This type of promotion is a great way to introduce yourself to a new audience.
  3. Market Research – The Pokèmon craze gives you a sense of what those around the globe are finding interesting.  Game play, nostalgia, mobile, getting outside, learning about a variety of landmarks, and the list could go on and on. Take note of how you could apply this to your business. Do you have an app that you are creating? Can you incorporate some of these elements in to your app? Can you add some sort of game play to a promotion that you are running? Now is the time to think out of the box and capitalize on this new platform that is only going to grow.
  4. Stand Out From The Crowd – Pokèmon Go is one of the first virtual reality mobile games that have been successfully created. This is the first of many more to come. To date, we are already seeing some copy cat apps trying to ride the wave. If you feel something in your gut, go for it.  Pokèmon Go actually started from employees at Google working on their side project.  Ultimately, Google decided to let them go because they thought that it would be better for the growth of their company to be a stand alone.  As they say, the rest is history.

Pokèmon Go is actually celebrating 20 years.  Be sure that you check out their celebratory website and post your favorite memories from Pokèmon over the years using the hashtag #Pokemon20.

Take a look at this video from The Verge that will really take you back through the Pokemon history.

Spot The Story

As an advocate of your brand (be it corporate, entrepreneurial, or personal) you have to be able to spot stories that are around you. This skill may not come naturally, but you can train yourself to do it.

First understand that something in your average day may not be so average to someone else. Your shopping mall may look interesting to someone else in a different part of the world, your meal preparation techniques may be different then someone in your own neighborhood, someone may have no idea how you do what you do in your business. Each of these activities are stories that go behind the curtain (so to speak).

Spotting even the most basic story may lead to a viral push for your brand or message. Consumers are now more drawn to the story of people than a logo. Once the authentic nature of your brands story is told, then you will begin to attract an audience to you that remains loyal to your brand.
Everyone has a story….

So often we hear the complaint that I don’t have anything to share. My answer to that complaint is simply, “YES, everyone has a story and many of us tend to pass by all of the stories that are right at your fingertips.” Start with sharing your journey. How did you get to the point that you are at today. Better yet, WHY are you at the point that you are at today? When you share your WHY, you will be surprised how the right people gravitate towards you.

The obstacles that you faced and the lessons that you learned from those obstacles are all great sources for content. This is content that may find someone stuck in their journey and really help them through a tough spot.

Also, consider sharing the real benefit from what your product or service will offer along with what problem it actually solves. This will require true authenticity on why someone would need to purchase your product or service if you can clearly state what “problem” you are solving.

Additional ideas on creating content around your brand….

1. Look at sharing your milestones (i.e., your business anniversary, your birthday, a move to a new building)

2. Check the trending list on Facebook and Twitter. These list can give you an idea of what the “majority” of people are interested in. Figure out ways that you can tie in your story to stories that already have a bit of virality.

3. Share info about the people in your organization. This is a win all the way around. People love recognition and the people outside of your organization will love to learn who makes your organization tick.

Are you Live Streaming in Atlanta?

Live streaming platforms are all the rage at the moment. In Atlanta, we know that there are a lot of you that are live steaming some great content. It is our hope that we can pull our live streaming community together. By coming together, we can help each other grow in our streaming capabilities and support each others streams. You never know, you may find someone that may make a great business partner on an upcoming project.

If you are streaming in Atlanta, be sure to sign up for our eNewsletter, PR World. Also, jump over to Facebook and join our group titled Atlanta Live Streamers. Here, you will be able to keep up with the latest information on upcoming meetups and live streaming news.

Spread the word!

The Success of World Anti Troll Day

Anti Troll Day RecapWorld Anti Troll Day came together from an idea that Zsuzsanna Szkiba (Susie) had and brought to life with the help of her community, The BoPoTribe.  From the moment she mentioned it, the BoPoTribe Ambassadors were ready to help out. This team effort came to life in a matter of weeks via Periscope, Google Hangouts, Face Time, a lot of text messages, Dropbox, and Google Drive.  This was truly a virtual team working together at its finest.

If you are not familiar with World Anti Troll Day, here is a brief synopsis for the reason for the day.  

Since Periscope’s beginnings, people have come on to others Scopes and made comments like ‘Open Boobs’ and ‘Sex’ just to name a few. These ideas are not only inappropriate, but they keep people from wanting to share their message on social media. These individuals that come on to someone’s Scopes and say terrible comments are called Trolls.  Trolls like to stay hidden in the shadows and try to discourage others from their greatness. But, on World Anti Troll Day, we have decided to silence the Trolls.

Read more about all that went on throughout World Anti Troll Day by clicking here.

#WATD was an Amazing Day

There were so many positive messages shared around body positivity and anti bullying. People shared their stories for 24 hours on Periscope, Blab, and several other platforms. I loved the fact that you could log in and see several scopes going at a time with the #WATD in the title. The community stepped up and I truly feel that a small dent was made to raise awareness about body shaming and cyber bullying.  I also feel that the best is yet to come.  Many stated in their scopes that this was only the beginning.  I think what the BoPoTribe has successfuly done is to awaken people around a topic that needed this new found attention.  The organization is sure to change the world!

Lesson’s learned from #WATD

  1. One person can have an idea that will change the world.
  2. You never know how many more people are out there that will help you bring your dreams to reality.
  3. Your words are powerful, select them wisely.
  4. All bodies are good bodies!

Next steps

If you are not connected to the BoPoTribe, look for our group on all social platforms.  You will be able to stay in the loop on what we are working on next to fight against body shaming and cyber bullying.

My scope

http://katch.me/embed/v/fad8f4d2-d7fa-3c9e-8c28-0ffd65ff30ac?sync=1

We are days away from launching The Mompreneur Lifestyle on SelsiTV

Are you ready to go on a journey with us through what it takes to be a mompreneur? We hope that you will watch our episodes, make comments, and ask questions that you would like to see us discuss.  We are not promising to have perfect video editing and sound effects, but we can assure you that we will have AWESOME content that any mompreneur can use immediately.

Stay tuned for additional sponsorship information and information for how you can be a guest on the show. Here is a preview of the intro:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QeRdRpafOjY]

Mompreneurship: Raw & Uncut

Please go ahead and subscribe to our channel in YouTube.  You can get right to it by clicking here.