You are on page 1of 19

 

 

contents  
  introduction   ...........................................................................................................................  2   noteworthy  statistics  ..............................................................................................................  2   the  primary   .............................................................................................................................  3   truth  about  Rick  Scott  .............................................................................................................  4   how  we  won  facebook  ............................................................................................................  6   YouTube  .................................................................................................................................  9   email  list  growth  ...................................................................................................................  10   email  sends   ...........................................................................................................................  11   act.ivi.ist  ...............................................................................................................................  13   debate  rapid  response  ..........................................................................................................  15   on  the  ground  .......................................................................................................................  16   articles  ..................................................................................................................................  17   testimonials  ..........................................................................................................................  17    

Rick Scott Case Study

2

introduction  
How it all started In April 2010, the Rick Scott for Governor Campaign brought on Harris Media to establish the complete online branding and to execute all online communications and marketing. At that time the campaign had no official Facebook account, no Twitter account, no blog, no bulk email provider and no email lists. Over the next 7 months, Harris Media turned Rick’s campaign into a truly tech-savvy GOP campaign. Ten-fold growth of Activist Email List 2nd largest Facebook presence in the history of FL politics Innovative online advertising campaign and a hub for online activism

Our work has been featured in the CNN, Facebook, AdAge, Clickz and more.

noteworthy  statistics  
Republican Rick Scott leads Democrat Alex Sink on Facebook by more than 20,000 pages likes… BusinessWire.com, November 2, 2010 This is a full-fledged, professionally run campaign. Naples News June 16, 2010

Gubernatorial  Candidates  
Twitter Rick Scott Carl Paladino Robert Bentley Jan Brewer 3,614 Followers 2,611 Followers 2,569 Followers 1,797 Followers
4,000   3,500   3,000   2,500   2,000   1,500   1,000   500   0  

Twi,er  Followers  

Rick Scott Case Study

3

Facebook Rick Scott Rick Perry Alex Sink Carl Paladino YouTube Rick Scott Alex Sink Online act.ivi.sts Rick Scott Bill McCollum Alex Sink 600 activists 0 activists 0 activists 209,031 Views 204,348 Views 57,311 Supporters 50,117 Supporters 30,079 Supporters 28,801 Supporters

Gubernatorial  Candidates  
60,000   50,000   40,000   30,000   20,000   10,000   0  

Facebook  Fans  

the  primary  
How the web contributed to one of the biggest upsets in political history… “How Rick Scott Shocked Florida Last Night” - St. Petersburg Times, August 25 Rick Scott entered the primary with virtually no name recognition. Meanwhile, his opponent was a very well known Republican public official that had run statewide in two prior elections and was leading the legal challenge to repeal Obamacare. The 2010 election cycle was ripe with an intense anti-incumbency sentiment. Our strategy was to capitalize on the national mood by labeling Bill McCollum a career politician. We focused everything around the following themes: special interests, lying, raising taxes, pay for play, and using the state plane for personal use. We encouraged people to donate their Facebook profile picture to catchy images such as the example on the right. We sent action emails to our email lists asking them to

Rick Scott Case Study

4

watch contrast advertisements. Finally, we ran many online advertisements that helped brand our opponent as an ultimate career politician. At our disposal were many campaign TV spots that painted strong contrasts between Rick and his opponent. To take full advantage, we ran many online ad campaigns on conservative websites such as Drudge Report that linked to the contrast ads on our website with email capture forms beneath them.

Also on FoxNews.com and Youtube we would play the actual spots as pre-roll or Instream ads with companion display ads. The success of these campaigns is discussed in detail in the section titled YouTube. All of these online initiatives reinforced the same message as the campaign mail pieces, radio spots, and TV commercials. When voters went to cast their ballots, they knew the choice at hand: an outsider and successful businessman or a career politician. In the close election, every effort contributed to our victory.

truth  about  Rick  Scott  
Critical to the success of Rick Scott was the use of microsites to defend his record, contrast himself with his opponents, and have a platform to control message as he faced a hostile press corp. The most useful tool throughout the entire campaign was TruthAboutRickScott.com to help defend Rick’s leadership at HCA/Columbia.

Rick Scott Case Study

5

Every time Rick was questioned hard by the media, attacked during debates or even when the thousands of Floridians called, emailed, left questions on Facebook, the campaign directed all questions to thetruthaboutrickscott.com to get the facts. This tool allowed the campaign to guide the conversation on the issue, and it was perceived as Rick willing to confront his past head on and not run from it. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more thorough online defense against a political attack.” – Peter Schorsch, St. Petersburg Blog

We ran search ads targeting important keywords to ensure "the truth" was out there for public consumption. It was critical as people went to search newcomer “Rick Scott” that our Google Sponsored ad appeared above every news story and negative PR. These ads were instrumental in driving traffic to our TruthAboutRickScott.com microsite. Here is an example of a search ad:

In the early months of the campaign, we also ran Google contextual display ads. This means that articles about Rick Scott & Columbia/HCA would most likely have one of the following ads displaying right there on the page:

Rick Scott Case Study

6

facebook  
How We Won on Facebook Through our outreach efforts, we built Rick a fan base of over 57,000 supporters, the second largest Facebook fan page in Florida’s political history. Throughout the campaign, we purposed to keep an active, dynamic and engaging Facebook fan page. Visitors were given breaking news, videos, photos, poll questions, podcasts and chances to win various prizes. Facebook, for instance, recommends that Profile Pictures be changed every 2-3 weeks.

Through Facebook advertisements and fan pushes, we were able to systematically grow Rick’s supporter numbers and track the activity level of our supporters. One month
Rick Scott Case Study

7

before Election Day, and continuing through Election Day, we had a larger Facebook audience of supporters than Activist Email list. The goal was not to simply have a big Facebook page. No, we wanted to create a base of online activists that would help promote our message by taking specific actions. We developed many innovative tools to empower supporters to spread our message. One such tool is the Spread Our Campaign Application:

Inspired by the success of Farmville, Facebook’s number one application, we created cutting-edge strategies such as custom Facebook games to increase interaction, spread the campaign’s message, empower activists to spread that message by word of mouth and help get out the vote, all the while we were collecting important data points. Here is a screenshot of our 7-7-7 card game application, which spread Rick Scott’s jobs plan and captured the feedback of Florida voters:

Rick Scott Case Study

8

Facebook wrote a comparison of Rick Scott & Alex Sink’s Facebook page. Here is what the company wrote about our use of the social network: Scott has been extremely innovative and has utilized several applications to allow his fans to become active members of his promotional campaign. Scott offers his fans the opportunity to share the reasons why they support him with anyone who visits Scott's Facebook page. Via the Mosaic tab on Scott's page, visitors can see a montage of profile photos of Scott's supporters. As you scroll over each photograph, you can see the personal reason why each supporter plans to vote for Scott. Scott also created the 777 card game to highlight his seven-pronged approach for job creation. Scott empowers his supporters to rank each of his seven job creating solutions in order, based on what they think will be most impactful. More than 5,500 supporters have participated in the game and provided the campaign with direct feedback on its policy positions.

Rick Scott Case Study

9

Why Facebook We invested 33% of Rick Scott’s online ad budget on Facebook. Why? Three very important reasons: 1. It’s where voters are. U.S. traffic to Facebook has risen by a whopping 55% in the last year, according to Mashable.com. In total web traffic, it only trails Google, which at one point in the 2010 Election cycle, it surpassed Google for most visited website a short period of time. 2. Micro-targeting. Facebook gives advertisers the ability to micro-target better than anyone else. This allowed us to target niche groups with very specific messages. 3. Reach. The reach of the campaign’s message on Facebook is consistently 5-10 times greater than on the website. In the month of September, the website would receive ~7,000 visits a day. Meanwhile, a post on Facebook would receive anywhere between 30,000 – 60,000 impressions per post.

YouTube  
This may come as a surprise to most, but YouTube is the number two search engine in the world. Therefore, it is critically important for political campaigns to have relevant, positive content. Rick Scott was the only politician to utilize web videos to interact with Facebook users, thank people who just donated to the campaign, and turn out the vote utilizing web videos. In the month of October Rick Scott dominated Alex Sink in YouTube traffic: 104,265 views to 22,598 views respectively. By the end of the campaign, the ScottforFlorida YouTube channel had a total of 209,477 views of all 115+ videos and commercials. Advertising on YouTube – Promoted Videos It was widely known how hard fought the primary and general elections were in the Florida Governor’s Race. In order to combat the negative ads, we ran defensive YouTube promoted ads to ensure that Rick’s positive message appeared above any negative videos. Conversely, we promoted the contrast advertisements against our opponents. When someone would search “Alex Sink” our contrast video appeared first. These ads contributed to the outstanding traffic to our web videos, and are just one of the many ways we were able to capitalize on the campaign’s television spots online.

Rick Scott Case Study

10

Advertising on YouTube – Instream Ads Instream ads offered through Google Adwords on YouTube are the most cost effective way for a campaign to spread their television commercials. In an age where people are finding more ways to skip commercials, an Instream ad impression is a guaranteed view for a fraction of the cost. Also, Instream ads can target specific demographics and specific geographics. Another benefit is that Instream ads also include a companion display ad that asks the viewer to take action, unlike television. Here is an example from one Instream campaign: Rick Scott – “Forward” TV Commercial Impressions: 172,288 Click Through Rate: 0.57%

email  list  growth  
Organic Email Growth We began the campaign with a base of a few hundred-email addresses from Rick’s personal contacts and several lists of Republican leadership. We implemented a twofold strategy. 1) Gain new email addresses through specific online ads, strategies and initiatives. 2) Segment email addresses to maximize list effectiveness. Gaining New Email Addresses Rick being a complete political newcomer, we began building his lists with Meet Rick Iniatives, and
Rick Scott Case Study

11

we also utilized his conservative credentials specifically in the areas of health care reform and immigration reform to capture 9,443 names and build an initial foundation for our newly created “Activist Email List,” which comprised of active supporters and contributors. Through issues landing pages, such as the one to the right, we were able to harvest new email addresses, but also track the issues important to each email address. Another way we grew our email list, and raised back our online ad funds, was from display ads.

One example to share from the campaign the first ad on the left we ran during the 3 days prior to the announcement of the pick for Lt. Governor.
Rumors are flying in Florida political circles regarding whom Scott - a self-proclaimed "conservative outsider" who's self-funded his big-spending campaign - will choose as his running mate. People searching for information about the lieutenant governor pick are met with ads promoting the sign-ups. The campaign is also running display and text ads around the effort in Google's content network. The ads started Tuesday. In addition, the campaign is targeting ads on Facebook to Scott likers, along with those who like other Florida Republicans like Marco Rubio, the GOP nominee for U.S. Senate, and Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, whom Scott defeated in an upset. - Clickz, Marketing News & Expert Advice, September 2, 2010

Also, due to our many years in running online campaigns, we have relationships with the various search platforms and display networks, which means we are constantly optimizing and up to date with the latest cutting-edge advertising options.

email  sends  
Working alongside campaign staff we coordinated language, schedule, html coding and graphics.

Rick Scott Case Study

12

Two Important Observations from the Scott for Florida Campaign E-mail is king for online fundraising. Using Piryx fundraising platform, we were able to track the source of online donations. Second to the main contribution page was the donate button in campaign emails. Images are powerful tools and they help emails not only stand out from the typical campaign email but they also increase interaction. Some of our most successful emails of the 2010 cycle were image-based emails, like the example to on the right. All emails are personalized, segmented, and sent at proper times with proper subject lines. Did you know that changing a subject line can increase or decrease your open rates by 10%? Nearly all of our subject lines were four words or less, and our emails included attention-grabbing graphics. However, we were also careful not to take away from contribution asks with graphics or links that took a recipient somewhere else before they saw a contribution link. Some our email graphics:

Rick Scott Case Study

13

 

act.ivi.ist  
As previously mentioned, the goal for the Rick Scott campaign was not to simply have the most Facebook Fans or Twitter Followers. The goal was to give our supporters who want to help a platform to do so. Therefore, we selected the platform the David All Group called act.ivi.st because it is the best tool that encourages sharing throughout the communities in which people are already active, such as Facebook and Twitter. It is best described as a dashboard that allows people to your message spread quickly through the world's largest social networks by giving impact points. Throughout the campaign, there were 600 online act.ivi.sts, the largest group of online activists in the country, that accumulated over 290,000 impact points by taking meaningful online and offline action to support Rick Scott for Governor.

Rick Scott Case Study

14

It goes one step further in promoting competition by creating a leader board and indicating how many points separate you and the next person on the leaderboard to encourage more action. Here is a screenshot of one of the ways act.ivi.st promotes competition:

“Tools like act.ivi.st that are built upon Facebook are definitely the future of online grassroots mobilization,” Vincent Harris, a social-media consultant with Scott’s campaign told Battle ‘10. “I think you’ll see every presidential candidate use something similar.” – National Review Online, September 20, 2010
While  it  is  difficult  to  measure  the  reach  of  actions  completed  through  act.ivi.st,  the  following  is  an   exmaple  of  actions  taken  as  a  result  of  an  online  act.ivi.st:  

Rick Scott Case Study

15

 

Two Keys to Success There were two things we learned that were key to the success of act.ivi.st. First, we integrated act.ivi.st into every part of our online strategy by linking it on microsites, the website, social network and even running Facebook advertisements to Rick Scott fans.

The second is incentivizing online supporters. We filmed a web video of Rick Scott offering to take the top points scorer to have a meal with him. The winner was Lakeland’s Adam Judd with 100,000 Impact poitns. In addition, we were able to garner earned media as Rick dielivered on his promise to take the act.ivi.st winner out to breakfast. Click here to read the National Review Online article.

Rick Scott Case Study

16

  debate  rapid  response  
Together with the Communications Department, we created a very sophisticated debate response strategy. The centerpiece of the strategy was the microsite we created called FactsforFlorida.com.

During the debate, we would post fact checking or contrasting facts to the blog and then tweet out the post under a rebranding twitter account. We used this during the primary and the general election with much success, and Rick Scott told the viewers at home in every debate to visit FactsforFlorida.com to get the facts. We also used Google Adwords as a strategic, purposeful tool to control our message and extend our online reach. One of our most successful search campaigns occurred the days following a debate. We would run ads declaring that Rick Won the Debate, Click to see Why Rick Scott is the Clear Choice for Florida. The display URL was to FactsforFlorida.com our debate rapid response website where we responded to opponent’s negative attacks and provided back up for Rick Scott’s contrasting points.

Rick Scott Case Study

17

on  the  ground  
In the beginning Rick was accused of “buying” the race and failing to get in the public and meet Florida voters. These accusations were false and social media became the tool to refute the media’s claims. By being on the ground with the Rick Scott campaign for the duration of the election, we were able to excel at rapid response, quickly posting photos, video and messages while on the campaign trail. It served as a huge advantage and an ideal model for running a top tier campaign.

articles  
Scott has been extremely innovative and has utilized several applications to allow his fans to become active member of his promotional campaign. Scott offers his fans the opportunity to share the reasons why they support him with anyone who visits Scott’s Facebook page. Facebook, October 21, 2010 Collecting data on likely voters is not all fun and games, but candidates are creating games on Facebook to collect constituent's e-mails and critical information…Another Facebook game was created by Florida Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott's campaign called "Rick Scott Card Game." In this game the user has the ability to pick and order their preferred job-creating solutions from Rick Scott's "7-7-7 jobs plan." Users can drag and drop cards, which display the seven points of his plan, and rank which points they like better. A simple game that allows users to know what Scott's job creating policies are, while the campaign simultaneously receives feedback about what parts of the plan are most popular. CNN Political Ticker, October 18, 2010 Barack Obama famously used his vice presidential running mate announcement as a means of collecting e-mail addresses and mobile numbers in August, 2008. Today, Florida GOP candidate for governor Rick Scott is expected to announce his lieutenant governor pick via e-mail, choosing specifically to avoid text messaging. His campaign, which is spending a notable amount on online ads, is using search and display ads, along with Twitter and Facebook to push the effort. Clickz.com: Marketing News & Expert Advice, September 2, 2010

Rick Scott Case Study

18

testimonials  
Governor Rick Scott, Florida Their creative use of new online technologies helped us stay one step ahead of our opponents throughout the campaign.

Senator John Cornyn, Texas Harris Media understands the importance new media technologies have on the outcome of elections. During my recent campaign he effectively communicated with supporters across the state of Texas by building a large, active coalition of supportive blogs and websites.

An excerpt from Do the Right Thing (2008) by Gov. Mike Huckabee Incredibly talented in understanding the power of the Internet and the potential of using a blog to create a daily log of activities and information and to build an online community. Periklis Karoutas – Campaign Manager, Congressman Jeb Bradley Vincent transformed the way we campaigned on the web and helped us integrate our website into every aspect of our grassroots campaign. We were able to grow our email list 6 fold from its start and Vincent wrote and sent regular email appeals to our growing list that raised us tens of thousands of dollars. We expanded our campaign efforts to include podcasting, web videos, an aggressive youth outreach via Facebook and MySpace, and Vince was able to get blog posts on policy written by Jeb posted on large National Republican blog sites which scored us a lot of earned media here in our state as well as encouraged more traffic to our website. Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell Vincent Harris and his team were key to carrying my message of new jobs, and more opportunities to tens of thousands of Virginia via social media, e-mail, and mobile technology. I was very pleased with their work, and would recommend them to any campaign wanting to expand their virtual footprint.

Rick Scott Case Study

19