Campaign for Success: Lessons Beyond the Fatigue
We’ve heard the term “deal fatigue,” where the parties get tired of all the back and forth, complications and hurdles along the way.
In the U.S., many of us are suffering from “campaign fatigue.” A recent Pew Research Center report cited that 59% of Americans are worn out by all of the political coverage. Count me among the group. The campaigning period is now equal to half of the length of the term in office! The silver lining? Many of our businesses see a lift from extended political activity.
All of it got me thinking about these lessons that apply to both political campaigns and to our business:
- Leadership Trust — Both presidential candidates have severe credibility challenges when it comes to trust and authenticity, yet one will ultimately be in a position to impact global events. Lesson for us: How are we perceived by our teams and customers? Do they feel that we genuinely care for their well-being and growth? Do they see us as vitally interested in their objectives and truly engaged in meeting them?
- Vision and our Competition — I’ve been unimpressed with how little has been said or done by either candidate about what our country can become. Almost all of their energy is focused on blame and shame. Lesson for us: Do we allow “blame and shame” to creep into our businesses, whether it’s a rift between sales and production, divisions or peers? Do we try to build ourselves up in front of prospects and customers by ripping our competitors? It is much more powerful to show how our strengths can help others achieve what’s important to them.
- ABR (Always be Relevant) and in Touch with Your Constituents — We are fortunate in that many of us are just trying to win the hearts and minds of a few hundred to a few thousand people, not millions! Nonetheless, I think at some point we all have the feeling like, “They’re clueless. They have no idea what we go through (as a business, a family or a working single parent).” Lesson for us: Stay in touch with your market. Surveys and trend research from industry associations all help inform your perspective. Most importantly, customer surveys and in-person meetings greatly increase the odds that your message hits home and you get their “vote.”
You have a great advantage over the political candidates who breeze in and out of multiple towns on a daily basis. Each and every day you have the opportunity to connect and reconnect with some of your key constituents, prove the value you bring to them and their organization and strengthen your loyalty bond.
Hang in there. The election campaigning is nearing an end. Only two more years before it starts up again!
I welcome any comments or practices that you may use to ensure that you and your organization stay on course. Please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kevin Cushing leads the Allegra, American Speedy Printing, Insty-Prints, KKP, Speedy Printing and Zippy Prints brands as president of Alliance Franchise Brands' Marketing and Print Division.
Alliance Franchise Brands LLC, the parent company of Allegra Network LLC and Sign and Graphics Operations LLC, is a world leader in marketing, visual and graphics communications, linking more than 600 locations in North America and the United Kingdom. The Marketing and Print Division is headquartered in Plymouth, Michigan. Franchise owners in this division offer one-stop marketing and print communications services. Its Sign and Graphics Division, headquartered in Middle River, Maryland, includes Image360, Signs By Tomorrow and Signs Now brands of sign, graphics and visual communications providers.
Cushing has owned and operated award-winning franchise locations, was inducted into Epicomm's Soderstrom Society, and was named Print CEO of the Year in 2011 when he served as CEO of AlphaGraphics Inc.