Political Marketing: David Englin Does It Right

david-englan-letter.jpgYou may not know who David Englin is. I didn’t – until I moved into his district and received an astonishingly well written welcome letter.

Dear Andrea,

Thank you for registering to vote here in the 45th District! As your representative to the Virginia House of Delegates — the world’s oldest continuously meeting elected legislature — my goal is to provide open, responsive, energetic leadership that makes government work for you. Enclosed with this letter is a guide to some of the services my office can provide. I hope you will take a few minutes to look up my website, http://www.DavidEnglin.org, where the “Constituent Toolbox” section can connect you to a variety of state agencies and services.

While you are at my website, you can also find information about my background and legislative priorities and about my ongoing work for progress in our community and across Virginia. I believe that, whatever your background or political affiliation, we are joined together as neighbors, and I work hard to strengthen our economically and socially diverse community, to defend our community’s progressive values, and to invest in a bright and prosperous future.

It is an honor to represent you, and I hope you will always feel free to share your thoughts and ideas so we can continue down the path of progress together.

Sincerely Yours,

David Englin
Delegate – 45th District

P.S. — Also enclosed is my business card, which includes my home and cell numbers. Please don’t hesitate to call if I can be of service.  

Curious, I checked out his website and on the home page is a blog. Although he calls it “news” — it is certainly a series of short and personal posts arranged in reverse chronological order — therefore, it’s a blog.

Geoff Livingston of the Buzz Bin wrote an interesting post about the use of new media in the political arena. I highly suggest taking a peek.

This soft sell certainly made David stand out from the crowd. Always slow adopters, goverment officials are usually the last to catch on to new ways of operating. But it looks like David is pretty savvy and because of that, I like him and will most likely vote for him.

Politicians take note – we want to be treated as valued customers. You should check out Seth Godin’s take on Permission Marketing for further details.

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Andrea Morris is the Chief Idea Officer of Write Ideas Marketing and specializes in helping visionaries, entrepreneurs, consultants and small businesses use high-ROI strategies to get the right message to the right people. For more information, please visit writeideasmarketing.com

10 thoughts on “Political Marketing: David Englin Does It Right

  1. How cool is that! I have never received a letter as such from any politician. While reading it, I did get the idea that I should use the same process with people I connect with at networking functions. It is a personal touch that is missing in todays world. (Email is so easy!). Thanks for sharing and giving me inspiration.

    Carole

  2. Hi Carole,

    You’re right – the personal, non-salesy, “I’m here if you need me” approach is a great way to open the door for conversation. When I was in sales this was the approach I used and yes, it works!

    Andrea Morris
    Write Ideas Marketing

  3. I sense a business opportunity in template “personal response letters”. In all seriousness the personal touch is rare in todays “me, me, me, gimmie the money” age. When it happens it stands out, but will only hold if the intent behind it is genuine, template or not.

    I see this is another view of a way I judge companies. With any company, things can go wrong, that’s life…….it’s how it’s dealt with that either makes me a loyal customer recommending them or turns me into negative word of mouth publicity.

    I like a company to be honest about the problem and their plans for dealing with it. I don’t want to be told “the spare part will be in tomorrow” every day for a fortnight if they know it will take a fortnight to begin with. I like to be told “it’s will be a fortnight, in the meantime we’ll happily do …… as a stopgap and give you a ….. as compensation”.

    It’s about attitude and respect. If they have a policy of valuing you without being threatened……actually volunteering information, that is a company I will be loyal to for life, and pay more for the service. That only changes if or when I see a shift in management priorities.

    Brand loyalty is important to companies, that’s why they dominate kids TV. They want kids to be brand loyal before they start school. Kids don’t stay kids……they grow up, into wage earning consumers……already brand loyal.

  4. Using the personal touch can be a double-edged weapon, and leave you worse off. People don’t expect it, when it happens, they first see it as a gimmick. If their experiences don’t match……it will likely backfire and leave a negative “con-man/woman” type of perception.

    How long before this politician removes their home or mobile phone number from the offer? How long before any call made to them meets the answering machine with a secretary calling back? How does that affect the promise of “I’m happy to be there for you”?

    Personally that’d jump a positive start into the “the depths they will stoop to try and promise me, knowing they’ll never deliver” category.

    People only expect to be contacted by companies when it’s in the companies interests like a survey, or a marketing campaign. The personal follow up may (if it’s overdone) could freak people out and start thinking either “desperate”, “hidden motive” or “potential stalker”. This is all about judgment.

    Politics is a unique business, voters don’t pay to vote. They are sometimes represented by someone from a different party. I see any politician of any party willing to represent ALL voters, regardless of how they voted as someone with a positive attitude, and worthy of at least giving the benefit of the doubt.

  5. Pingback: When’s the Last Time Your Politician Wished You a Happy Birthday? « Write Ideas Marketing

  6. Thanks for the kind words, Andrea!

    To answer Dirk’s questions:

    – “How long before this politician removes their home or mobile phone number from the offer?” Never! How can I be responsive to my constituents if they can’t easily get i touch with me? Sure, when I’ve taken a stand and gotten some national attention, I’ve had some threats and bizarre hang-ups. But most people only call if they actually need something. (Which is when they should call!)

    – “How long before any call made to them meets the answering machine with a secretary calling back?” If you call my home number when I’m not there, you’ll get our machine and a call back from me later. If you call my home or cell and I can’t answer (e.g. — it’s 2 a.m. or I’m in the shower or a meeting) you’ll get our machine (home) or my voice mail (cell) and a call back from me later. If you call my office line after hours, you’ll get the office voicemail and a call back from either me or my aide. If you call my office line during business hours, you’ll usually get my aide, but if you need/want to speak with me personally, you have but to ask! No matter how you get in touch, I’m here to help!

  7. David –

    Thanks for taking the time to comment. I’ve been very impressed with your marketing efforts. Keep up the great work!

    It’s wonderful to see a politician who reaches out to the community and is less concerned with bureaucracy and more concerned with the needs of his constituents. When I lived in other communities, I didn’t even know who my representative was. Your effort to make a personal connection has certainly made me feel like I’m a valued member of this community and that my opinion matters.

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