We received an email this morning asking us to buy an ad in a print-only magazine. I asked how much and received a phone call within seconds of replying to their email. It’s a well-known publication most often read on airplanes. The pitch was a great one: captive audience, bold messaging potential, 400,000 copies in planes or mailed out every issue. Then, the price-tag came. $12,000.
As I noted in yesterday’s post, we can reach 2,650 people on Facebook for $50. We can email 50,000 people for $245. Why would we ever consider buying a print ad for so much more? Answer: We wouldn’t.
The sales rep emailed me a picture. It looked like she had just taken it with her smartphone after leafing through a recent issues. I was supposed to see it as validation. Another third party had taken advantage of their offer. It wasn’t the full-page ad she was pushing me to get, but she noted that they were an older, more experienced party and had put out ads with them at least once a quarter for years. I wanted to ask her how many elections they’d won by buying the print ads, but decided not to be rude.
Personally, I like a good newspaper or magazine. Call me old-fashioned, but there’s something appealing about looking at paper rather than the glow of a screen. With that said, I can count on two hands the number of times I’ve actually read an article in a newspaper or magazine over the last few years. We’re in a digital age. Our information comes in bytes instead of ink.
The Federalist Party will use modern technology and trends to reach the masses. As appealing as it is to nearly every other party to advertise in traditional media sources like print, radio, and television, we understand that the most cost-effective way to spread our message is digitally. Social media, text messaging, branding ads, and articles will get us more exposure for our efforts and expenditures than traditional advertising. That’s not to say we’d never look at traditional media; we have a contract we’re about to sign to hit 40 radio stations across the nation. However, it has to be the right deal. We won’t spend money or put effort into traditional advertising just to be able to say, “Look at this shiny magazine ad we bought.”
Does that mean we’re going to put all of our eggs in the digital basket? No. The other portion of our outreach strategy is getting boots on the ground. The best way to truly reach the grassroots is one handshake and conversation at a time. We will put a great deal of emphasis on meeting people face-to-face and sharing with them the virtues of smaller government, greater freedoms, and the fight to protect life.
For this, we need to be frugal as well. It can get expensive travelling around the country. We’ll have to pick and choose which events to attend and how we intend to be represented at them. Memorial Day weekend’s Rolling Thunder event in Washington DC is an example of picking the right event based upon access, potential reach, and most importantly our ability to demonstrate fiscal responsibility. Our supporters work hard for their money. We need to treat every dollar we receive as the precious gift that it is.
Direct contact with people is absolutely necessary for the party to grow. We might not touch as many people at Rolling Thunder as we would through a bulk text message blast, but the touches themselves will be more meaningful. We’ll actually be meeting people and talking WITH them rather than most advertising platforms where we’re talking AT them. The Federalist Party wants to be the most technologically advanced party, but we won’t let our tech-savvy side disrupt the interpersonal engagement we can only get by talking to people directly.
We need the tech to help us reach the masses and we need boots on the ground to help us reach people one-on-one. It’s a solid 1-2 punch that will give us the upper hand when mobilizing for elections in the near future. We’re in growth mode now, but the current “boots and bytes” strategy is a microcosm of plans we’ll implement when running in actual races. Just because you won’t see us in a magazine on your next flight doesn’t mean we’re not working hard to be seen.