Thursday, 21 September 2017

(Part 2 of 2) Hillary isn't the only one with emails to talk about

Hillary isn’t the only one with emails to talk about (Part 2 of 2)

Unlike Bernie’s emails which were exactly what I expected, reading Hillary’s last 3 emails brought some interesting surprises for me, and makes me think she is making one important yet avoidable messaging mistake.

A Meh Hillary Email

The first email is entitled “Outspent 27-1”. It offers a sticker and contains an ask of one dollar. It surprisingly opens by praising the Sanders Campaign and insights fear over her own campaign’s ability to keep up:

 “If you think Bernie Sanders isn’t gunning for a comeback, take a harder look at his campaign. They outspent us on the air 27-to-1 in Washington, Hawaii, and Alaska, and after they won those three contests, they turned around and raised ANOTHER $4 million in just 48 hours.”

That messaging choice strikes me as weird because it is the opposite of how the rest of the media is portraying Bernie. The mainstream media is largely pushing the message that Bernie has no chance, and should drop out. So why is she saying the opposite? She must be pretty confident the people reading the fundraising emails are die-hard supporters, and not undecided voters.  However, I would bet a lot of Sanders supporters and current undecided voters started as “hold-your-nose” Hillary supporters, and are still on her list-serves. This email would not sway me to her side, and I don’t think it would sway someone on the fence.

A Fantastic Hillary Email

Her second email is actually incredible. It is called “My Mother’s Advice” and tells a personal story of Hillary’s early struggles in college.

“Friend —

When I started my freshman year at Wellesley, I didn’t hit my stride right away. I thought I might study to be a doctor or scientist — until I enrolled in some math and geology courses! I tried my hand at foreign languages, and my French professor said, “Mademoiselle, your talents lie elsewhere.” So I called my parents for advice — my mother told me she didn’t want me to be a quitter, that I had to keep working and find my place. As usual, she was right.”

This is the messaging she should always be pushing. Hillary is always wanting to claim “sexism”, but isn’t as willing to use the actual personable struggles she faced that would make voters see her as a strong woman. To be clear – she is a strong woman and has a ridiculous list of accomplishments. Through messaging brilliance, Bernie has forced her to run away from her success.

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This is a great email until the end, where she once again brings up how much Bernie Sanders has raised. This is the strategy of someone who is losing, not a front-runner.

Another Meh One

The third email is called “Bernie raised $4 million in 48 hours”. It begins:

“Friend —

Our opponent outspent us 27-to-1 on the air in Hawaii, Washington, and Alaska and it paid off — he had big wins in all three states this weekend.

Now the Sanders campaign has announced that they’ve raised another $4 million just since Saturday. That’s an enormous haul, and I can only imagine they’re going to turn around and use it to flood the airwaves in the states that vote in the next few weeks.”

 

Once again, the worst thing you can possibly say about the guy who nobody thinks can win is — he is doing better than us and might win. Hillary must think her supporters feel passionately about her, and not simply as the “realistic choice”. If she transitions this messaging to tv or rallies, it will hurt her bad.

Conclusion

Overall, her emails are positive. She claims Bernie is “flooding the airwaves” with ads, which is the type of messaging usually reserved to fend off republican attacks. I think her messaging is absolutely terrible, but she did sound more human in this email than she has throughout her campaign. Struggling in school is likable, losing and not having support is not. Maybe this type of messaging is why she’s being massively outraised by Bernie Sanders and his normal people supporters.

Ryan Black is a documentary filmmaker, political consultant, and digital media professional who writes about Progressive Politics.

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