The Importance of The Right Messenger

Most of the public relations around the U.S. Senate recount has come in the form of dueling flack attacks. The Franken campaign has been at least as over-the-top as the Coleman campaign, including its gratuitous mention in today’s recount briefing of the Kazeminy-Coleman FBI investigation. (Holy kitchen sink strategy, what does Kazeminy have to do with the recount??)

But I have to say the Franken campaign did some kick ass communications work yesterday when it released this video of voters who allegedly had their absentee ballots rejected illegally.

Whatever you think about the substance of the issue, this shows the importance of using the most sympathetic available messenger. When Franken’s lawyers make a legal argument about these ballots, eyes roll. But when average Minnesotans tell their personal stories around the very same issue, more eyes are opened.

Instead of using legal abstractions, this tactic uses human reactions. Instead of coming from courtrooms, it comes from livingrooms. Instead of using spreadsheets, it uses stories. Instead of coming from the head, it comes from the heart.

The messenger is the message. This is what good communications work looks like.

– Loveland

what is a purchase order nice

5 thoughts on “The Importance of The Right Messenger

  1. Great point Joe. Makes you think that the Big Three Auto CEOs might have better served their industry by bringing to DC a few of their employees who want to keep making cars and want the chance to innovate and make better cars.

    Oh, wait, the auto execs have been demonizing their unionized workers. Chickens, this way to the roost.

    Real people talking about basic values will beat suits every time. Basic principle of communication. Bravo, Joe.

  2. Joe Loveland says:

    In today’s Star Tribune:

    “The Coleman campaign called the move (this video) a brazen attempt to exploit individual voters…”

    These voters do feel exploited, but it’s a stretch to say that they are being exploited by the guy trying to get their ballots included.

    Coleman can win arguments against Franken, but it’s much harder for him to win an argument with a citizen whose vote was illegally tossed out.

    P.S. 35,000+ views of this video as of this morning. Not insignificant.

  3. Dennis Lang says:

    I see your point, but conveying message through “personal testimony” has been used in so many different advertising contexts it just begins to appear self-consciously staged doesn’t it? When taking on the appearance of an informercial its credibility becomes underwhelming. Then again, I guess 35,000 views must mean something.

  4. Joe Loveland says:

    Of course, everything is relative. The Franken campaign’s other option is having their attorney or candidate make abstract legal claims. Compared to that alternative, featuring the citizens actually getting screwed is a much better option.

Comments are closed.