If you think about it, it’s pretty amazing what Texas Governor Perry did to win the Republican primary outright this past Tuesday. With Senator Kaye Bailey Hutchinson, a well-known and fairly popular sitting United States Senator and Debra Medina, the Libertarian candidate in the race, the conventional wisdom was that no one would get the 50% plus one to avoid a run-off.
Last week, Matt Bales, Cornerstone’s New Media and Political Director, blogged about Governor Rick Perry’s social media prowess ---which was indeed a significant part of his campaign. And while I think the good governor did some things online to help win; it was his message that won the day. (It’s always the message by the way).
Governor Perry‘s message zeroed in on jobs and the economy. He artfully relayed to voters that, under his leadership, Texas has billions in the bank, has gained jobs this year (while most states have no money in the bank, and have lost jobs this year). He added icing on the cake with an anti-Washington sentiment which everyone responds well to these days. Put it all together, and there was something for every Texas Republican primary voter---from the most conservative to the moderate. For example, here’s an add TV ad he ran.
What Perry did online, along with other online trailblazers like Governor McDonnell in Virginia and Senator Brown of Massachusetts, is impressive and part of the on-going evolution of the modern day campaign. But like Brown and McDonnell, Rick Perry had a good message. The point is, there simply is not enough online or offline tools and tactics to make up for a bad message (or a poor candidate). It’s the fundamental part of a campaign that will never change.
We work hard with all our clients---candidate, ballot or corporate---to make sure they have a solid message. We spend a lot of time and effort crafting the message. Having a solid message that resonates is the foundation from which every successful campaign is built.
What’s your message?