• How Is Independent Expenditure Mail and Candidate Campaign Mail Different?

    a bunch of mail on a wooden table
    Posted on Jun 03, 2019 by Ben Holse

    What Are the Main Differences Between Independent Expenditure Mail and a Candidate’s Mail?

    While they share a number of similarities, independent expenditure mail and candidate campaign mail also have quite a few differences. Both independent expenditure mail and candidate campaign mail may have the same primary goal (i.e., getting a candidate elected), but the means that they use to get there can vary. Due to elections law, in most cases independent…
  • How Can I Find Out What an IE Is Spending on Digital?

    money symbol made out of money
    Posted on May 30, 2019 by Sophie Thurber

    IEs Have Gone Digital.

    Unlike TV or radio, digital IE spending doesn’t come with an easy competitive report to help you track who is spending what and where. It’s a bummer, I know. That said, in their efforts to stave off regulation, oversight, and additional congressional inquiries (or maybe I’m too cynical and it’s actually out of the kindness of their democracy-loving hearts), many of the large platforms have started to provide real-time databases for political advertising. To find out what an IE is spending, it will certainly help to know…
  • To Parody or Not to Parody: Direct Mail IE Edition

    Albuquerque mail piece that reads, "Don't let crime break alburquerque"
    Posted on May 27, 2019 by

    Tips for Using Parody in Your IE Direct Mail

    When it comes to making memorable direct mail for your independent expenditure campaign, the use of parody can be your best friend. Parodying (or even just dropping casual references to) a TV show, movie, book, or song to show that a candidate isn’t fit for office can make for a great IE contrast piece. The question is, how far can you go without putting your political campaign at risk of violating copyright laws? We’ve referenced everything from Breaking Bad to Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?…
  • How To Write An Independent Expenditure Strategy Statement

    Woman from the shoulders down sitting on a bench with a pen and notebook in hand. She is wearing a patterned orange shirt.
    Posted on May 23, 2019 by Martín Diego Garcia

    Think About a Post Election Victory Press Release and Describe Who Performed Which Tactics To Reach What Target Audiences, As Well As, When It Happened And How Much Was Spent.

    All campaigns, including independent expenditures, should spend time creating a written strategy statement during the beginning of the campaign planning process. The strategy statement should clearly lay out a path to victory (or how to achieve the campaign’s goals) and act as the campaign’s north star. Keep the strategy statement in mind when making major…
  • How to Use Earned Media to Improve the Credibility of Your IE

    newspaper folded up with a tablet on top of it. Backdrop is light blue.
    Posted on May 20, 2019 by Hope Rohrbach

    Earned Media Can Help You Gain the Trust of the General Public

    When it comes to your independent expenditure strategy, earned media doesn’t need to be your enemy, it can be your friend. Earned media can actually help you raise awareness for your independent expenditure campaign and improve engagement with your campaign amongst the general public. Whether you attract positive or negative attention, well, that’s on you!   Independent expenditures have a bad rap Overall, independent expenditure campaigns get a bad rap. Because they are…
  • Digital Targeting and Messaging Tactics for Independent Expenditure Campaigns

    Circle of hands all holding different types of phones
    Posted on May 16, 2019 by Lizzie Kendrick

    Tips You Can Use as You’re Setting Up Your Digital Targeting and Messaging for Your Independent Expenditure Campaign

    Independent expenditure campaigns play a unique role in an election, largely by filling gaps campaigns have. These gaps are often caused by resources being directed elsewhere and independent expenditures can help bolster a campaign by targeting audiences with messaging that candidate campaigns either can’t or won’t reach.   Targeting Candidate campaigns should have a distinct set of targets they are going after, not only in…
  • Is Your Independent Expenditure Verified to Run Political Ads?

    Different colored arrows on a white brick background. The arrows are neon yellow, green, and blue
    Posted on May 13, 2019 by Shelley Rees

    Make Sure You’ve Completed Any Verifications You Need to Run Political Ads on Facebook, Twitter, or Google

    If you’re running political ads for your independent expenditure campaign, you already have to make extra sure that everything you’re doing and saying is legal. All of your content will likely need to be reviewed by lawyers, especially if it could be controversial. But one area that’s relatively new to this kind of review is making sure your digital ad accounts and/or pages have been verified to run political ads in the US. Following the…
  • Independent expenditure Campaigns: What Can and Can’t They Use?

    A thumbs up hand on the right and a thumbs down hand with chalk on the left side on a blue backdrop
    Posted on May 09, 2019 by Ben Holse

    How Could an Independent Expenditure Get Assets from the Campaign, If They Even Can in the First Place?

    What information independent expenditure campaigns can use depends on who you ask, and what set of law you’re covered by. In recent years, you may have seen candidate campaigns that appear to bend over backward to make photos and b-roll video publicly available on their website (the best example of this being “McConnelling”, which went viral in 2014…
  • Do You Have an Independent Expenditure Strategy?

    Brain made out of yellow paper
    Posted on May 06, 2019 by Claire Regan

    Define Your Independent Expenditure Strategy Before You Start

    When running an independent expenditure campaign, it’s important that you develop an independent expenditure strategy that accomplishes your goals. We’ve written in the past about tips for running an independent expenditure campaign, but now it’s time to get into specifics about how to be strategic about your campaign. Although the “independent” in independent expenditure generally means…
  • Martha Stewart Knows Direct Mail

    Chef holding a knife cutting spring onions
    Posted on May 02, 2019 by Sophie Thurber

    The Only Thing Missing from This Direct Mail Is Snoop Dogg

    The words, “cool” and “direct mail,” don’t immediately seem to go together. And it’s true, a lot of direct mail is uncool (let’s just be honest here). But just like Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg’s delightful friendship, sometimes an unlikely pairing is a fantastic fit. What I’m about to detail for you is cool direct mail. Buckle up. Not long ago, I received a letter package in the mail. Though I typically allow mail to languish on my console table, I opened this piece promptly (full…
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