Mr. Marketing: How to clean up politics a bit
By Rob Weinberg
The number is 113.
That was the final count of political postcards I received from the recently completed primary election.
Remarkably, my mailbox survived the onslaught of 93 square feet – 5.2 pounds of oversized mailers. This year it seems every campaign discovered the USPS allows 14” long postcards and used them to stand out of the crowd (I’ll bet THAT was an effective strategy!). As November looms it’s sure to get worse.
Somehow my family outlasted the season’s vitriol and mud-slinging (though the finger puppet and Groucho glasses WERE cute). No two items were alike, and only a small handful sported a bug indicating union labor printed it.
Many union members won’t support candidates whose materials don’t sport that bug. It got me thinking about less obvious messages communicated by these mailers.
Every mayoral candidate talked about leadership, character, and special interests. Nobody — regardless of party or affiliation — mentioned the environment (unless you count Saldaña’s endorsement by the Sierra Club).
That’s interesting. Whether or not you acknowledge global warming (you will around Aug. 5), environmental issues affect everyone irrespective of political outlook.
People know this, explaining San Diego’s recycling rate (68 percent and growing).
Still, not one campaign printed on recycled paper or used soy ink, probably because recycled paper costs more than virgin paper (it’s a supply and demand thing).
You’ve got to wonder how folks would respond to a smaller mailer (lowering printing and postage costs) using recycled paper and soy ink (raising printing costs). I’m guessing it would get more attention.
This approach would show me how you, as a candidate, can prioritize, demonstrate leadership, and make the most of a limited budget. You’d be leading by example with the message “I’m doing what’s best for us all.”
Granted, I have the luxury of being an armchair quarterback. I’m not running for anything, least of all vice president.
In the “Rocky Horror Picture Show” they sang, “Don’t dream it. Be it.” Show me you can walk the walk AND talk the talk and you’ll earn my vote in the next election.
Words alone won’t cut it. The only mud I’m concerned about is under my front lawn.
With that said, I wish you a week of profitable marketing.
Mr. Marketing has a degree in political science and is happy to argue any issue, any time. Just ask his family at www.askmrmarketing.com.
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