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Meg Whitman — “California’s Sarah Palin”

Posted by on December 17th, 2009
Posted in Blog, Nonprofit Copywriting, Nonprofit Messaging, Social Media, Storytelling    Tags: , , , , ,

We keep highlighting the work of Courage Campaign. But that’s only because we think they do a lot of things really well.

Their most recent campaign positions California candidate for governor Meg Whitman as “California’s Sarah Palin”.

Now, regardless of how you feel about Whitman’s politics or the Courage Campaign, the strategy demonstrates a few important communication tactics that you can apply to your own fundraising or political campaigns.

  1. Write visually Sarah Palin is one of America’s best known political figures. Whether you love her or hate her, Palin has clearly aligned herself with a key set of ideas. But ideals don’t tend to be visual. Sarah is, though, and when we hear her name a picture comes to mind.
  2. Find the shortcut Courage Campaign could have said that Whitman is a conservative or is anti-environment. But a lengthy description is hard to remember. Whether you want to or not, it’ll be hard to forget the simple equation, that Meg Whitman = Sarah Palin.
  3. Be topical With her new book, Palin is dominating the headlines. By tying their message to one of America’s top stories, Courage Campaign makes sure that their message stays in the news, too.

One of the best books I’ve read on messaging, Frank Luntz’s Words That Work, was written by a man that I don’t agree with much politically. Yet, I recognize that there’s a lot to learn from what he does.

Whether you agree or disagree with Courage Campaign. Learn from what they do. They understand well how good messaging works.


Zach Hochstadt is a Mission Minded Founding Partner and runs Mission Minded’s Denver office, leading the company’s creative teams in the areas of message development, writing, graphic design, and web design and development.

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