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Ways to Use Secret Political Strategies and Tactics to Grow Your Business

10 Ways to Use Secret Political

Strategies and Tactics to Grow
Your Business

John Corcoran


10 Ways to Use Secret Political Strategies and Tactics to Grow Your Business

10 Ways to Use Secret Political Strategies and Tactics to Grow Your Business 2013 John Corcoran

Published by SBR Media

Corcoran, John, 1975

Cover design by idrewdesign

Graphics by Adrian Roselio

Additional graphic design by Robert Alvaro, Jr.

Rob Lowe picture credit: Flickr/David Shankbone


10 Ways to Use Secret Political Strategies and Tactics to Grow Your Business


INTRODUCTION: HOW I GOT ROB LOWE TO PLAY ME ON TV .......................................................................... 5

BARACK OBAMA WAS A DOT-COM ........................................................................................................... 10
IDENTIFY YOUR GREATER PURPOSE ........................................................................................................... 15
HOW TO USE POLITICAL TACTICS FOR BRANDING ........................................................................................ 16
LEARN AS MUCH ABOUT YOUR IDEAL SUPPORTERS AS POSSIBLE ................................................................... 18
FOCUS ON DIFFERENTIATION .................................................................................................................... 20
IMPLEMENT DISCIPLINE ACROSS THE BOARD ............................................................................................... 21
REFINE AND ITERATE ............................................................................................................................... 22
INFLUENCE AND SOCIAL PROOF ................................................................................................................. 24
GET GOOD PEOPLE ON BOARD ................................................................................................................. 25
WHEN A CRISIS HITS, COMMUNICATE OFTEN AND QUICKLY .......................................................................... 26
GET YOUR SUPPORTERS TO THE POLLS ON ELECTION DAY ............................................................................. 28
WHO IS JOHN CORCORAN ........................................................................................................................ 32


10 Ways to Use Secret Political Strategies and Tactics to Grow Your Business


ave you ever heard anyone say this? When they make a movie about my
life, I want to be played by Brad Pitt. Or George Clooney. Or Rob Lowe.

In my case, that actually happened.

Heres the story. Many years ago, when I was working at the White House, a friend who I
had worked with in Hollywood called me up.

She knew a guy who was working on a new TV pilot about the staff at the White House.
Would I mind talking to him about what it was like working at the White House?

I said sure.

It turned out the guy was Aaron Sorkin, and the TV pilot was for The West Wing.

Sorkin had a couple of movies called The American President and A Few Good Men under his belt so I knew exactly who he was.
I told him what it was like working at 1600 Pennsylvania, which, from my perspective, could be pretty mundane. I wasnt all that high
on the food chain so its not like I was negotiating with the President of Russia on a daily basis.


10 Ways to Use Secret Political Strategies and Tactics to Grow Your Business

But I told him what I knew and I answered his questions.

(By the way, in case the Secret Service is reading this: its not like I was giving away state secrets. I didnt have that high a security

Of course, The West Wing debuted that fall and it was a huge hit right off the bat.

Pretty soon, Sorkin had a whole host of advisors with serious high-level White House experience on staff to give him story ideas. He
didnt have as many questions for me anymore.

Later that fall, I wrote the 1999 Thanksgiving Proclamation.

The Thanksgiving Proclamation is a largely ceremonial essay issued by the President each year.

Back in the pony express days before TV and radio and the interwebs, it used to have more significance.
The Thanksgiving Proclamation was first issued by President George Washington in 1789. The Thanksgiving Proclamation issued by
President Abraham Lincoln in 1863 was credited with helping to heal the rift between the north and the south in the midst of the
Civil War.

Back then, Presidents didnt have a huge staff, and so they didnt have young staffers like me to delegate their writing to.


10 Ways to Use Secret Political Strategies and Tactics to Grow Your Business

I remember sitting down to
write the Proclamation in my
office in the Old Executive



Presidents Washington and

Lincoln sitting in the White
House with a quill pen under
candle light writing out their

Talk about some serious

Anyways, I was pretty proud of
the end result so I mailed
Sorkin a copy.

I kind of forgot about it.

The next fall, I turned on the Thanksgiving episode of The West Wing. To my amazement, the writing of the Thanksgiving
proclamation was a key storyline.


10 Ways to Use Secret Political Strategies and Tactics to Grow Your Business

Throughout the episode, the speechwriters are running around the West Wing, talking about how they have to write the
Thanksgiving proclamation.

Then, in the climatic scene, President Bartlett (played by Martin Sheen) turns to read a line from the Thanksgiving Proclamation,
right before walking out into the Rose Garden to proclaim Thanksgiving. And he reads the exact first line from my 1999
Thanksgiving Proclamation. Word for word.

I nearly spit out my drink. How did it feel? In a word: cool.

So who was playing the role of the writer who produced the Thanksgiving proclamation? Rob Lowe.

So thats how I got to be played by Rob Lowe on TV.

Now what does this have to do with political strategies and tactics?

Ill tell you. The number one most important strategy or tactic - the thing Ive seen lead to sustained political success more than
anything else - isnt really a strategy or a tactic. Its more of a philosophy.

The most important thing is to be helpful to others.

When my friend asked me if I would talk to Sorkin about what it was like working at the White House, I could have said no.


10 Ways to Use Secret Political Strategies and Tactics to Grow Your Business

I could have said Im too busy. I could have gotten in hot water with my superiors, even if what I told Sorkin was not all that earth-

But I didnt. I decided to be helpful.

I didnt know where it would lead but that didnt matter. I could help someone else out. That was what mattered.

People often ask me how I got a job at
the White House. The short answer is I
got the job by being helpful to others
first. The rest will fall into line.

Its kind of like that in business. If
someone asks you for help - even if its
unrelated to the product or service you
are selling - just do it.

Be helpful. Be useful. It will pay off in
the long run.

- John Corcoran


10 Ways to Use Secret Political Strategies and Tactics to Grow Your Business



hen Obama first announced he
was running for President in
early 2007, he had about as
much chance of being elected
as had of selling dog
food past 2001.

He was the longest of long shots. He had little
money, little experience, almost no name
identification, had never run a national
campaign before, and almost all his
competition had a head start.

He was the David in the equation, and the
obvious Goliath was Hillary Clinton. The
former First Lady had near 100% name
recognition, lots of money in the bank, and a
national campaign operation in place from her
husband's two prior successful Presidential

If Obama had been a stock, investors would have shorted it.



10 Ways to Use Secret Political Strategies and Tactics to Grow Your Business

But here's the interesting thing about dot-coms, and the reason so many venture capitalists keep betting their fortunes on them:
some dot-coms become the next Google.

The Obama campaign was the political
equivalent of a shoestring startup. The
challenges it faced were strikingly similar
to those faced by so many business
startups launched each year.

In fact, every political campaign is a
startup. Most begin their life as a small
business, with just one or two workers. A
Mom n Pop shop. Later they grow, and
may eventually have hundreds of

Think about all the parallels between a
political campaign and a business entity
for a second: every political campaign has
a product in the form of a candidate,
and there are buyers, in the form of

The campaigns job is to sell their product in a competitive, often cutthroat landscape.
In some cases, like the early days of the 2008 Obama campaign, the challenge is to educate voters about what solutions the product
offers and why it may be better than the alternatives.

But the comparison between political campaigns and business does not end there.



10 Ways to Use Secret Political Strategies and Tactics to Grow Your Business

Every campaign has to deal with branding, communications, forming strategic partnerships, managing expectations, cash flow,
recruiting, training and motivating employees, and maintaining discipline in a turbulent environment.

Michael Bornstein, a political consultant based in Mill Valley, California who has worked with candidates, nonprofits and businesses,
says both campaigns and businesses should start their efforts with the hardest part - selling.

worry about the product, or focus groups,
or where to manufacture [a product], I say:
just try to sell it, says Bornstein. If you can
sell it then you can always do more research
to try to fine tune it. If you have an idea or
concept and you cant get anybody to be
interested in it, you can probably save
yourself a lot of expense up front.

In politics, the life cycle is often a whirlwind,
with everything happening in a compressed
period of time. For most local political
campaigns, the real race doesnt start until a
few months out, and its all over in a few
fast-moving months.

And all of this must be done on a shoestring budget with as much cheap, or free, labor as possible.

In short, the issues faced in politics are also issues which most, if not all, businesses have to tackle at some point in their

As I started to research the ways in which businesses could and are using political strategies and tactics, I discovered a funny thing.
It turns out there is a huge movement of people who are already using political strategies and tactics in the business world.


10 Ways to Use Secret Political Strategies and Tactics to Grow Your Business

They are using the tools they forged on the political battlefield in business in ways that hasnt been truly documented.

Im one of those people. After I left politics, I turned to what I do now - working with small businesses, entrepreneurs and real estate
investors to help them resolve legal disputes and grow. There isnt a day that goes by where I dont use something I learned during
my political career.

Many of the names of those in this movement are much better known than mine, because they served or serve at the highest level
of government, on Wall Street or in Silicon Valley.

Many more are unknown, but their stories are not any less remarkable.


Long before he became President Obamas first Chief of Staff and later Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel served as a Deputy
Chief of Staff in the Bill Clinton White House. Following that stint, he joined the investment banking firm Wasserstein Perella.
According to the New York Times, his job was to bring in business and seal deals. He reportedly worked on eight deals over
two and a half years, the two biggest of which involved politically connected utilities, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Emanuel was paid $16.2 million during that two and a half year period. Not too shabby.

Paul ONeill served in the Veterans Administration and federal Office of Management and Budget during the 1960s and 1970s
before being appointed CEO of Alcoa Steel in 1987. It was an unexpected pick, and investors were wary. He famously put
shareholders on edge from the very beginning by focusing not on improving profitability, as investors had hoped, but by
announcing that the company would dedicate itself to the very governmentesque policy of improving safety at all of its steel
plants. The gambit paid off. That core focus on safety led to a waterfall of better habits across the company which, in turn,
made the company operate more efficiently. Alcoa became a phenomenally successful - and safe - company.

Sheryl Sandberg, author of Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead, was Chief of Staff to then U.S. Treasury Secretary
Larry Summers during the Clinton Administration. After exiting government, she served as vice-president for global online
sales and operations for Google before becoming Facebooks Chief Operating Officer. At Facebook, one of her roles is
handling the political issues CEO Mark Zuckerberg would rather not handle himself. A July 2011 profile of Sandberg in The


10 Ways to Use Secret Political Strategies and Tactics to Grow Your Business

New Yorker reported that Zuckerberg liked Sandberg serving as COO because Sandberg handles things I dont want to,
citing advertising strategy, hiring and firing, management, and dealing with political issues. All that stuff that in other
companies I might have to do. And shes much better at that.

Dan Siroker served as director of analytics with the 2008 Barack Obama Presidential campaign, working to develop special
software that helped the Obama website raise hundreds of millions, shattering previous fundraising records. After the
campaign, Siroker started Optimizely Inc., an online business based in San Francisco that sells software similar to what helped
the Obama campaign website. One of the challenges for Siroker is recruiting top-tier talent, but Siroker uses a trick he
learned from the Obama campaign. Siroker told the Wall Street Journal in 2010 that he tries to motivate potential
employees who could take their pick of desirable tech startups by "sell[ing] them on the dream" of using Optimizely's
software solutions to help more web-based businesses be more profitable.

Barack Obama is no longer a shaky startup, having been elected and reelected. But the tools the Obama campaign utilized - and
other successful political campaigns utilize are useful far beyond the world of politics.

Those tools are where we now turn our focus.

I hope the analysis of these tools will be more than an academic exercise.

Just like studying any successful business or entrepreneurs story can be instructive for later entrepreneurs, really breaking down
and analyzing the political strategies and tactics which have been used over and over again to produce electoral success can be
incredibly instructive for business, and those who run businesses.

After each of the following 10 strategies or tactics, I have included an exercise. I encourage you to take out a piece of paper or fire
up your word processor and write out your answers. I would love to give you personal feedback on your answers, so after you are
done, send me your answers and I will take a look. You can email me your answers at



10 Ways to Use Secret Political Strategies and Tactics to Grow Your Business


Every political campaign needs to

define its purpose.

The purpose could be a return to
fiscal discipline or a commitment
to environmental causes. It could
be defeating terrorism, or
opposition to war. It could be
freedom of choice or pro-life.
It could be investing more money
into education or slashing the
budget. Whatever the purpose, it
needs to be defined clearly and
from the beginning.

Businesses are the same way. A business without a clear sense of purpose will have trouble attracting customers or clients in the
same way that a campaign will struggle to attract volunteers, donors and voters.

Exercise: Send an email to one or two dozen clients/customers, friends, or colleagues, asking them to email you back with what
your purpose is. Do the responses match what you believe your purpose is? If not, what changes do you need to make?



10 Ways to Use Secret Political Strategies and Tactics to Grow Your Business


Whether a political candidate likes it or not, he or she is a brand. They are THE brand for the product their campaign is selling.

They can be a hot brand and they can be a cold brand. When theyre hot, everyone wants to get on board. Its been reported that
polls taken after President Kennedys election during the heyday of the glamorous Camelot showed that many more people
claimed having voted for President Kennedy than actually voted for him in his close election.

Thats because everyone wants to be part of a

Savvy political operatives know this in their bones,

and they will do whatever they can to be the hot

Today, social media has made attempts to control

which brands are hot and which are not a billion
dollar industry. Viral videos, blog posts, and memes
can make or break a brand.

But heres the thing about branding, and something

every political operative knows. The political
candidates who develop a negative brand - who get
defined in a way that they dont want - either never
stuck their stake in the ground to define their own
brand or the brand bestowed on them was deserved.

Theres always a kernel of truth.



10 Ways to Use Secret Political Strategies and Tactics to Grow Your Business

Take John Kerry. During the 2004 Presidential race, negative ads portraying Kerry as a flip-flopper.

These ads would have failed to define him as a flip-flopper if there was no truth to them.

But there was actual video. At a West Virginia rally in March 2004, Kerry said "I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted
against it, referring to his vote against an $87 billion supplemental appropriation for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He later called it "one of those inarticulate moments, but the damage was done. The Bush campaign used the video clip repeatedly
in the 2004 Presidential race to support its argument that Kerry was a flip-flopper. The Kerry brand was irrevocably damaged
because there was truth to the accusation.

When WalMart began taking heat for its environmental and labor policies in the 2000s, WalMart began developing a reputation as a
poor corporate citizen because there was truth to the accusations.

As Thomas Hemphill wrote in Rejuvenating WalMarts Reputation in a February 2005 issue of Business Horizons magazine, there
was a chorus of critics, including organized labor, feminists, human rights activists, environmentalists, local businesses, and
antisprawl activists, all of whom revile the retail giant for its business practices, resulting in a growing negative consumer perception
of Wal-Mart's corporate citizenship.

Had WalMart actually launched environmental initiatives, or implemented programs to support its workers, and communicated
those programs effectively and proactively, then the spate of bad press would not have done such great damage.

As a result, the nations largest retailer had to spend substantial amount of money and time rejuvenating its reputation. Businesses
should heed that example. Be proactive in branding your business so that circumstances do not give you a brand you do not want -
or deserve.

Exercise: What is the Personification of my Brand? Close your eyes and imagine your brand as a person sitting in the room with
you. The brand could be you individually or your business. Describe that person. Are they male or female? Old or young? How are
they dressed? Are they educated, street smart, both or neither? Are they loud or quiet? Shy or outgoing?


10 Ways to Use Secret Political Strategies and Tactics to Grow Your Business


Chris Cassidy had no business being in South Dakota.

A self-described progressive, Cassidy had recently moved to the heart of the conservative midwest from San Francisco, the heart of

Like so many political staffers, Cassidy had relocated for a job, and one which would be a few month whirlwind climaxing on general
election day 2008. The job was his big break - communications director for an effort to defeat a ballot initiative designed to ban so-
called partial-birth abortion in almost all instances in South Dakota.

Those pushing the measure were a collective of conservative groups deeply ingrained in the South Dakota community.

On Cassidys side was Planned Parenthood, an organization that was extremely unpopular in the more conservative reaches of the

It was an uphill battle. And one which they were destined to lose.

South Dakota was solidly Republican. The state had voted for the Republican candidate in Presidential elections going back at least
30 years.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the ballot box. Cassidy and the campaign team took the time at the outset to find out if
there was any chance their side could prevail. And they found there was daylight if they used the right language to describe the
choice voters would be making.

The campaign team threw out earlier messaging in similar campaigns which had fallen into the well-worn choice vs. life
framework which traditionally defined abortion debates. Instead, the team described the blanket ballot initiative as big government
imposing its will on women and families - a message which resonated with the more libertarian-leaning elements of the states


10 Ways to Use Secret Political Strategies and Tactics to Grow Your Business

The message broke down political barriers, said Cassidy. We were honest in every respect but its just a matter of choosing the
terms people would be most receptive to.

Cassidys side ended up winning - pulling off an improbable upset on the same day that Barack Obama lost South Dakota to Senator
John McCain by almost 10 points. The messaging worked for the campaign because they took the time to understand their audience
and tailor their messaging to that audience.
One of the first things any campaign manager or candidate does at the outset of a campaign is they march down to the local
registrars office or clerks office and get a copy of the voter list. Campaigns dont base their outreach to voters on hunches or
intuition - they base their outreach on cold hard facts.

Many businesses do not identify their ideal market with

such precision, especially when they are small or just
starting out. Often businesses will take an anyone is
welcome approach - ensuring they will appeal to no

Based on voter data and polling, campaigns will hone in

on their ideal voter demographic. For example, a
campaign may decide that soccer Moms between the
age of 35 and 45 from families earning over $120,000
per year is their ideal voter.
That knowledge is huge. The campaign can then target
its messaging toward that ideal voter. The campaign
will pick events that appeal to that voter. They will
announce endorsements which appeal to that voter.

Many businesses do not do this. If businesses were to

micro-target their customers with as much precision, it would allow them to focus their efforts to a much greater degree.

Exercise: What is your ideal customer? Write out a description of that ideal customer, including if its a person, as many personal
characteristics as possible, such as age, income, profession, etc.


10 Ways to Use Secret Political Strategies and Tactics to Grow Your Business


In crowded political campaigns, candidates battle to differentiate themselves so they will stand out from the pack. A candidate could
have perfect positions for a majority of a districts voters, but if there are other candidates who have similar positions, they may lose
to a more extreme outlying candidate whose positions are different enough from the competition to attract one solid voting block.

Think about the importance of differentiation in business. Take, for example, a new athletic apparel business. Big companies like
Nike dominate athletic apparel. Any company that comes along almost cant compete with what Nike can do at scale.

However, small startup athletic apparel companies have found success by targeting a very narrow market.

Lululemon is one such example. Founded in 1996 in Vancouver, British Columbia, they targeted the young, urban professional
women with yoga apparel. Their market was not male teenagers. It was not 25-year-old bodybuilders. Their market was young
professional women who did yoga.

By differentiating themselves from others, Lululemon has been quite successful.

Exercise: How is your business different from its direct competitors? Are there ways you could be more different?



10 Ways to Use Secret Political Strategies and Tactics to Grow Your Business


An undisciplined campaign is a losing
campaign. An undisciplined business is a
business destined for failure.

Where campaigns go off the rails is when
they allow themselves to be reactive
rather than proactive. Effective campaigns
determine a strategy at the outset and
stick to it.

For example, a statewide campaign may
target particular counties where it
believes it has a good shot of picking up
votes. As the race goes on, bad campaigns
shift strategy, lurching from one strategy
to the next.

Similarly, businesses that lurch from one
strategy to the next rather than focusing
on a disciplined approach are far more
likely to fail.

Exercise: Are you a disciplined business? Do you have a strategy and do you stick to it? Write down your strategy at the beginning
of the month. 30 days later, look back at what actions you actually took and compare.


10 Ways to Use Secret Political Strategies and Tactics to Grow Your Business


Even if an entity is disciplined, that doesnt mean it shouldnt ever make changes. One of the difficulties of running a campaign is
that its often necessary to make refinements in the midst of a campaign. This could mean changing a position on a policy issue, or
replacing campaign staff.

But there is a big difference
between a significant change in
strategy and a refinement.

The key is to have an unwavering
commitment to a dedicated
strategy in place, but to be willing
to make changes and refinements
which do not veer from the
overarching goal.

In the book Great by Choice, author
Jim Collins wrote about the
distinctions and tensions between,
on the one hand, running a
disciplined business, and on the
other hand, not being so
committed to a strategy that you
arent able to make changes.



10 Ways to Use Secret Political Strategies and Tactics to Grow Your Business

As a cute moniker for this concept he came up with the phrase, Fire Bullets, Then Cannonballs. What it stood for was this - before
making a big changes, try a few small changes first to see if the big change is one worth making.

One example he gives is of Southwest Airlines, which started out in 1967 as a small, regional airline only in Texas. It took years
before Southwest branched out to flights beyond Texas, and only after trying out a few short routes first.

The political analogy is to be cautious and to not make any big changes in strategy, policy, or focus without testing it first. This is why
politicians are generally very cautious.

One could even argue that John McCains selection of Sarah Palin during the 2008 Presidential campaign was a major cannonball
which McCain fired without trying bullets first.

Because Palin was such an unexpected selection, she made an immediate splash in the race, but ultimately was a liability for McCain.
Had McCain fired bullets in advance - getting input on her selection rather than making the decision without much outside input -
he might not have chosen Palin.

Cannonballs do no good if they dont hit their desired target.

Exercise: Does your business fire bullets before committing to major cannonballs? The next time your business is considering a
major shift in strategy, devise a plan to test out the theory (firing bullets) before committing to the big change.



10 Ways to Use Secret Political Strategies and Tactics to Grow Your Business


In the book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, author Dr. Robert Cialdini writes about the importance of endorsements and
testimonials in providing social proof. For businesses, this means testimonials from users of the product. Celebrity endorsements
are a perfect example.

For campaigns, this has historically meant endorsements from political leaders, heads of influential organizations and community
leaders. Increasingly, social proof is being spread through social media, as people are sharing content with their social networks.

Its campaign manager malpractice to not have a strategy for going after and asking for endorsements. But many businesses forget
to continue to cultivate endorsements and testimonials. Today, many businesses live and die on user-review sites like Yelp,
TripAdvisor, Amazon, etc.

But not all businesses actively seek out happy customers to write these reviews. Why not? Any political campaign that doesnt go
out and ask others or their endorsement is going to lose. But you have to ask.

Exercise: Are you doing everything you can to gather social proof? Make a list of former customers or clients who you believe
would sign a testimonial, and ask them.



10 Ways to Use Secret Political Strategies and Tactics to Grow Your Business


Early in a campaign, the first battle is often over personnel. Political staffers can make or break a campaign, just as they can make or
break a business.

The best political staff will be in demand, and even on a local level there could be a fierce competition over a few in-demand
campaign consultants or campaign managers.

There are two kinds of businesses when it comes to personnel - those realize at the outset that getting good people is half the
battle, and those who come to that realization eventually. Few businesses survive without good people in place.

The A, B and C Exercise: Classify all of your employees as A, B and C employees. A employees are superstars. B employees
have the potential to become A employees with proper training and grooming. C employees are bad employees who do not
contribute enough, or are a distraction to the business.

Take time to figure out how to make B employees into A employees, and figure out if you need to help move C employees on to
something else.



10 Ways to Use Secret Political Strategies and Tactics to Grow Your Business


The Master of Disaster had a smirk on his face.

Christopher Lehane, then 36 years old, had just been appointed interim Communications director for the beleaguered then-
California Governor Gray Davis. He was meeting with the staff, and he looked gleeful.

I got to know Lehane during this time, as I was writing speeches for Governor Davis when Lehane arrived.

You wouldnt think there was much to be happy about at this particular moment in time, but it didnt stop Lehane from enjoying
himself. We had an energy crisis. A budget crisis. A recall election on the horizon. The news was bleak, and the prospects were not
looking good.

Lehane thrived in this atmosphere. Hed come to us by way of the Clinton White House where hed earned the Master of Disaster
nickname and authored a memo as a member of the White House Counsels office that first used the term vast right-wing

Lehane moved through all these crisises as deftly as a lithe figure skater surrounded by oafish hockey players. He immediately
started getting information out in a strategic and orchestrated way.

Reporters loved him, because he was a constant source of timely information and news.



10 Ways to Use Secret Political Strategies and Tactics to Grow Your Business

After his stint in the California Governors office, Lehane went on to serve a high-profile stable of clients, from the NHL to filmmaker
Michael Moore.

Most businesses have no clue what to do when a crisis hits. Thats where Lehane and crisis strategists like him can step in. And in
todays 24-hour non-stop news cycle, its not if a crisis will hit, its when.

The lesson for business is to have a communications plan in place to deal with a crisis situation. It does not need to be 300 pages
long. A 2 page plan will work.

Exercise: Write a 1-2 page crisis communications plan for your business. Keep it to just 2 pages so you will actually get it done.



10 Ways to Use Secret Political Strategies and Tactics to Grow Your Business



In politics, the only thing that matters is getting more votes than your opponents. Come election day, that means campaigns focus
on the fundamentals. The bread and butter.

They call up supporters and ask: have you voted yet? Do you know where your polling place is? Do you need a ride?

Often these small things are overlooked but it turns out small barriers can add up to huge roadblocks. Elections have turned on
smaller margins.

Think about the 2000 Presidential election, which ultimately turned on a few hundred votes in Florida. Had the Gore campaign
gotten 600 more voters to the polls on election day, it would have changed the results of the election.

Every business should stop from time to time to determine if there are any small stumbling blocks which are holding back potential
customers from becoming paying customers.

Exercise: What do your customers need to do to close the sale? Is there any way you can help them get over the last hurdle? If
you follow up with potential customers by extending a hand to help out, it will not feel like you are selling potential clients.
Offering to help, answer questions, and be useful in getting potential clients concerns addressed will always be useful.



10 Ways to Use Secret Political Strategies and Tactics to Grow Your Business




Yes, this list goes up to 11. Heres a

bonus tip for you.

The best way to win an election is to be
in office already.

Historically, incumbents have an
incredibly high success rate. The reasons
incumbents so often win reelection are
similar to the reasons why established,
long term businesses so rarely go out of
business: they have repeat customers.

The longer a business is in business, the
more former customers it will have,
meaning the greater the chance of
repeat business.

A new business, by comparison, has nothing but new customers, which are far more difficult to convert.

It's kind of a pet peeve of mine that so much attention is focused on gaining new customers, when a much better source of business
is former customers.



10 Ways to Use Secret Political Strategies and Tactics to Grow Your Business

Exercise: Have you communicated with your former clients in awhile? You should have a system in place for reaching out to
former clients who you havent communicated with in a few months or years. This is often a much more effective way of bringing in
new revenue than trying to target brand new clients.



10 Ways to Use Secret Political Strategies and Tactics to Grow Your Business

I really appreciate you taking the time to read over this report. Don't forget to send me your answers. Email me your answers at Or just send me an email letting me know what you thought of this short book. I would love to hear from
you. You can also connect with me on Twitter at @johncorcoran.



10 Ways to Use Secret Political Strategies and Tactics to Grow Your Business


ve worn a lot of hats in my career.
I started my career working in Hollywood, for DreamWorks SKG and other
entertainment industry companies.

I went on to work in the Clinton White House, where I was a Writer in the
Office of Presidential Letters and Messages. Later, I was a Speechwriter to the
Governor of California during the Gray Davis Administration which was a roller-
coaster from rolling blackouts to recall.

In my current life, I am an attorney working with entrepreneurs, which got me thinking
about the connections between politics and entrepreneurship. I created to share connections I see between strategies and
tactics that work in the world of politics and how they can be instrumental to

I am a contributor for Huffington Post, and Ive written for Forbes, the San Francisco
Chronicle and various blogs. In my blogging, I write about networking strategy and

I live in Marin county with my wife, Nicole, and son Mason.