At PowerThru, we were thrilled to win a Reed award, “Best Use of Online Targeting for Independent Expenditure Campaign-Democratic” for our 2019 work for LPAC! Adding to our stack, we’ve now won 5 Reeds over the years for our campaign and candidate digital work for websites and social media.
Last spring I started developing a plan at PowerThru with Lisa Turner for LPAC to run their first independent expenditure campaign. They wanted to do more than just give to candidates, but also really dig in and help them win.
Our planning went through several iterations based on private polling, but what we came up with was to start defining the GOP candidates during the primary that were most likely to win (and go on to the general) by using paid social media.
We talked to Wisconsin and Arizona voters in specific targeted media markets about the issues they cared about – health care and protecting pre-existing conditions, protecting women’s access to reproductive health care, attacks on Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. (Thank you to Protect Our Care and Senate Majority PAC for the assist on research!)
After hitting the ground early on social media to educate liberal and moderate voters, we then reminded them of Vukmir and McSally’s extremist records closer to the election. And at the end when the digital marketplace was getting very crowded, we shifted into running a Spanish-language campaign in both states to educate and turn out Spanish language voters. [Which was shockingly missing nationally and mostly in the states. Don’t even get me started on how much we all missed the boat on that. At one point the only Spanish language ads I could find on Facebook were Jacky Rosen/Kyrsten Sinema/Beto O’Rourke. One major part of why we lost in Florida..]
We ran a pretty low-fi campaign, partially based on budget but also because we felt like in 2018 a fact-based campaign with sourced articles would perform better and with more credibility than the usual glossy ads. Going all the way back to the 2000s and the Coalition for Progress in Michigan, we both believe in the power of providing information to educate voters and letting them make up their own minds.
It turned out that Sinema just barely won in Arizona, and same with Governor Evers in Wisconsin! (It was pretty clear at the end that Tammy Baldwin was safe, so we wanted to build her coattails & bring other Dems across the finish line there.) Proud that our Facebook advertising work contributed.
All in all, very happy with how everything turned out, and also gratified by this recognition from Campaigns & Elections for our work. Also it was super awesome to be able to lift up some of my friends’ personal stories in the process of doing this work. Happy to provide the mic!