Wednesday, November 7, 2012

How To Win ANY Election (Repubs take note)

This expands on my previous post. To win any election there are a few simple things to consider. Each will be explained in detail, below.

1) Understand the audience (average voters). The average voter today is often not well educated, not well informed and/or inexperienced (as in under 25). The average voter does not have the time to "keep up" with the news, and is often pre-occupied with entertainment and celebrity

2) Play to the largest share of the audience by reducing your message to its lowest common denominator. If your message is geared to the best educated and well-informed, your message will only reach 1/3 of the voters. But a message geared to the lesser informed wiill reach both groups - the informed, and the non-informed, which doubles the audience.

3) Make your message entertaining (see #1), as well as informative. If you do not entertain, you will not hold their attention, and hence will not reach them with your message

4) Sell the sizzle, not the steak. People do not buy "features" - they buy the BENEFITS that those features offer. Know what benefits the average voter wants, then find a way to help them get it YOUR way.

In order to have your message resound with the greatest number of people, you must first create the message in such a way as to be understood by the least of them. Intelligent people will understand simple explanations, but simple people will not understand intellectual explanations. Use the KISS principle - Keep It Simple, Stupid.

Once your message has been simplfied and made easily understood by even the least educated, least informed and inexperienced, it is imperative that the message be presented in an entertaining fashion. Jesus, Aesop and Reagan all understood this principle. Jesus taught by using parables that entertained, yet instructed. Aesop used fables to do the same. And Reagan was "the Great Communicator" because he used stories, humor, and helped people draw a mental picture they would remember. So, instead of "political ads" on YouTube, create an entertaining video that could go viral, and inform people while entertaining them.

As an example, if you want people to understand the economy better (a subject that BORES most), connect it to a modern, updated version of "The Little Red Hen". Entertain while teaching.

And never forget that people are bored by features, but interested in benefits. I learned this while investing in real estate. If I told a buyer that "This home is close to schools", all I would get is a nod and a yawn. But if I told them that "Mom can sleep late because the home is close to schools", THAT got their attention.

Liberals win elections because they understand the value of selling benefits and using imagery. They use pictures, entertainment and stories to sell their agenda. Instead of a lengthy, boring dissertation on how we can fix Medicare, they simply showed a Republican pushing Granny over a cliff. Instead of a lengthy discussion on the role of government in our lives, liberals produced "The Life of Julia." As they say - one picture is worth a thousand words.

If you doubt that last statement, think about Hurricane Sandy. More than 1/3 of voters stated that Sandy affected their vote. Even though President Obama actually did nothing to help the victims, everyone saw the photo op of him being praised by powerhouse Republican Governor Chris Christie. The picture told voters that Obama was "presidential" and also "praised by Republicans." That is what made an impression on voters - not the long-term misery that Obama was not addressing.

We live in a culture where most voters simply cannot be reached unless they are being entertained, and the message is kept simple and creates imagery. Take that to the bank - either appeal to the audience, or lose them.

Democrats won the woman vote because they offered BENEFIT. They won Latinos because the offered BENEFIT. Republicans need to repackage their message to offer a similar or better benefit, which could be provided the Republican way. An example - Democrats offer hungry people a fish (benefit). Republicans offer to teach hungry people how to fish (feature). Republicans should emphasize that by teaching them how to fish (feature) they will never be hungry again (benefit). Get it? Sell the sizzle, not the steak.

So there you have it - the secret to winning any election. It's called COMMUNICATION. And talking is not communication unless the audience is listening, and can easily understand your message.

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