I had completely different posts in mind for tonight, but I can't hold my my tongue (really my fingers) any more. Why? I am completely sick of receiving 1980s styled political marketing communications from GOP gubernatorial candidate Steve Lonegan. This isn't the first time I wrote about this campaign's lack of progressive (progressive as in new and not liberal) marketing techniques. However after weeks of receiving the same really wretched direct mail campaigns begging for dollars, tonight was the last straw for me. Stuffed in my mailbox was a newspaper styled flier with a real cheesy bumper sticker and a return envelope to give a donation. Not only does this insult political marketing post the 2008 election but it deprived the US Post Office from postal processing fees.
So of course I decided to take a poke around the internet to see what I can find on the candidates. Now I'm a busy man, so I didn't research all of the like dozen candidates to beat a vulnerable and weak Jon Corzine because well if I can't find the big three advertising online I'm not that worried about the rest. So here's what I found...
- Paid Search Marketing - Nothing. Not a thing. None of the three are advertising online for people that are looking for information. This is like shooting fish in a barrel in NJ. There are tax issues, spending issues, economy, environment, etc that a well thought out campaign could be running to get in front of voters. Seriously, this is a piece of cake. It will raise donations, get people to join the campaign, and help voters understand where these candidates stand on issues. Remember, we won AAPC's best use of new technology award for search makreting so I kind of know what I'm talking about.
- Social Networking - I joined Christie's as well as Lonegan's Facebook pages. Corzine I did not join but a quick browse of that page shows almost 9.900 supporters and a lot of information; it has also been updated on a regular basis. Lonegan has 974 supporters but since joining I've yet to receive any emails/messages via this group. It also seems that Lonegan is using a ghost writer /ghost Twitterer to make posts. Chris Christie has almost 3,400 fans and it appears his brother makes semi-authentic messages and posts (I wrote semi because I don't know if he really writes them, but it sure looks like that).
- YouTube - Christie loaded up a recent video 2 days ago and has 34 subscribers and his most viewed video has about 1,244. I couldn't find an official Lonegan YouTube page and gave up looking for it (there were no links from his website). BTW - same thing for Corzine.
- Twitter - The Lonegan campaign uses Twitter and has 720 followers but the Tweets I saw look nothing more than press clippings. Christie has 734 followers and Tweets in the same fashion as Lonegan. Corzine has an account with 140 followers but no Tweets. Clearly somebody just grabbed the Twitter account just in case they figure out the internet before the fall.
- Website - Corzine websites is barely above brochureware with no links to any social networking options. He does have one thing going for him which is a picture with Obama. Lonegan's site is an improvement over Corzine's but other than the top masthead it is in need of a face lift. The homepage scrolls forever with repetitive links all over the page and their use of colors in inconsistent. Sure the site has a lot of information but it is poorly organized. Quite frankly it needs a MASSIVE overhaul. Christie's website is beautifully designed and looks like a modern political website.
Based on what I can see, none of these three warrant a rating of A for their eCampaigning prowess. The best of the bunch is the Christie campaign even though they haven't employed paid search marketing and can do more in the YouTube and online grass roots organizing areas. Lonegan's campaign with its wasteful use of direct marketing really doesn't seem to get using the internet. Seriously instead of dropping bad direct mail, improve the website and use search marketing as well as YouTube.
Christie needs to make some small improvements (search and online organizing), but Lonegan needs a massive overhaul to even get in the game. Why? While Corzine is weak and well hated in NJ, he will have the greatest campaigner alive working the phones and campaigning for him in the fall; more importantly President Obama will be campaigning for Corzine in the more populated areas of Camden County, Essex County, and Hudson County. That means Corzine has a BIG DAWG in this fight.