March 2023 – How we make sure Digital integrates seamlessly with your campaign team

When we get onboarded with a new client, one of the first things I ask is “Who else is on the team and how do we best work with them?” General Consultants. Media. Mail. Polling. Kitchen Cabinet members. They all come together – with your friendly neighborhood Digital partners, COMPETE–with one goal in mind: a win.
As COMPETE’s Production Manager, I’ve had the opportunity to work with hundreds of teams to make sure our Digital programs are fully integrated, and I’ve found that hitting the ground with collaboration and a common goal at the forefront leads to not only a better campaign experience but a better campaign overall.

Who are these Digital cats anyway?

I get it. In the world of political comms, Digital is obviously still the new kid on the block. And because of that, sometimes folks have a hard time knowing where we fit into the larger team.

The answer is actually really simple: everywhere! Your mail firm is doing a bio call? We want in. You have polling to review? We want in!

Rather than siloing out the Digital portion of your comms team, put us in Coach!

Oftentimes there are folks on the team who have worked with the candidate for a long time, know the district like the back of their hand, or are experts at message strategy and own the Media / TV / Mail lane. Campaigns only benefit when our team of strategists and creative experts engage with the broader team regularly, contribute to the message strategy, and use all of that knowledge to help inform how we execute ads in the Digital space.

In other words: we will always make room to be on those consultant calls.

Our anti-silo approach allows the entire team to see and create a cohesive path to victory, where Digital, mail, field, and TV all are aligned and create a true messaging echo chamber.

COMPETE’s Approach to Ad Creation

Throughout all of those consultant calls, team meetings, polling reviews, and bio dives we are constantly absorbing all of the team’s collective knowledge to convert your winning strategy into one that is best suited for the Digital world. When it comes time to start our piece of your path to victory, I sit down with all of that information and brainstorm several script ideas to consider.

At this point, I strongly encourage drafts to be shared around to the wider team for collective feedback. Together, all of our brains are much better than one, and the small edits, polling gut checks, and on-the-ground awareness make for the strongest message possible.

We then take that script and make it come to life to disseminate to your potential voters everywhere they internet.

Oftentimes we get brought in by a mail partner or by GC’s who know that Digital is important, but maybe don’t fully understand the nuances and best practices in this space. Part of what makes building this coalition so important is it allows us to develop a rapport with other key members of the team and gives us time to help them understand how and why Digital ads differ from more traditional media pieces.

I’m proud to say that our team of creative minds are among the best in the business. When we have the opportunity to fully integrate with the team, the results show.

Here are our 2022 highlight reels if you want to check them out.

Mail and Digital - BFFs?

We can also tailor our creative process to mirror mail pieces, especially towards the end of the campaign season when campaigns tend to drill down into a solid final GOTV or persuasion centerpiece.

In many ways, Digital is very similar to mail in that a well-executed plan allows you to target voters 1:1. The obvious difference, of course, is that most campaigns deploy many more mail pieces than Digital pieces, as the landscape of the internet requires considerably more time for your message to fully saturate your audience.

There are many occasions when it can be advantageous for mail and Digital to coalesce around a cohesive message, and when this happens we are more than happy to join forces. This way, your most critical piece is hitting voters at every level: in the mailbox, as a video, and as banners across the wider web.

This messaging advantage goes even further with negative or contrastive pieces where a unique landing page is involved. While we hit viewers with a contrast or neg video, the landing page acts as “the back of the mailer” – a place where we can oppo dump anything and everything we have on our candidate or cause’s opposition.

But my team is made up of Digital skeptics - what do I do?

This happens to us all the time. Digital is still relatively new to the game, and we understand that not everyone on your team is fully versed in how Digital works in the wild.

We see it as part of our job to help navigate not just the campaign, but the team at large, into understanding the critical role Digital plays in winning elections. Just because it’s new doesn’t mean we can’t all work together and even cross-utilize resources.

Videos that are made for TV don’t necessarily translate into Digital, but that doesn’t mean you have to scrap a TV ad entirely! We can easily repurpose broadcast ads into a Digitally optimized format to save your campaign money and time. All we need is an intro to the firm that made your ads and we’ll take it from there.

The same goes for assets created for mail. The still shots you take with your mail firm are perfect for Digital assets.

And when it comes to explaining how important a robust Digital ad buy is, one of our awesome strategists are always happy to join a call and answer any questions from the larger team.

At the end of the day, not having Digital is a mistake, but not roping your Digi team into your larger Comms team is an even BIGGER mistake.

Fortunately, if you choose to work with COMPETE, we’re fully committed to being a part of a winning TEAM. Because there’s no I in team, and there’s no I in COMPETE (or something like that).
Want to chat integration, creative processes, or Digital creative in general? Contact me at the info below.
Kimberly Ricci
Production Manager
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