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Junk Mail & Raffles: How Not to Win the Campaign

The internet has become a powerful campaign tool since Howard Dead used it to mobilize grassroots support for his primary run. The Democratic primary, especially the Obama campaign four years ago was testimony to the power of the internet.

That said, I found myself receiving another email from the Democratic National Committee—to which I have donated to in the past—and found myself about to click the unsubscribe button.

Their emails have become tedious, and at times, condescending junk mail. Between the raffles for dinner with Sarah Jessica Parker, the lottery to win an invitation to the White House, and the false sense of deadlines, urgency, and drama–I’m getting a bit exhausted. Even the messages that used to be so endearing, little notes from the President and Michelle, lack the ring of sincerity.

Seems to me that the challenge now is to really ask ourselves, when is it important to send out a message? What should be the content? How will the message serve the integrity and the interests of the receiver?

Doesn’t anyone find it condescending to be invited to a celebrity dinner if you contribute to the Democratic or Republican Party?

So what’s the message?

Leaders who want to mobilize campaigns have to make sure that those carrying out their messages set the tonality appropriately. They should try to avoid this low brow sense of urgency and this cheap dating service which promises dinners with the stars.

Appeal to me to consistently on issues. That’s what the Obama campaign did the first time. That’s what I don’t get in the message now. And that’s a primary lesson for leaders to learn. Stay with the substance.



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