HSG Newsletters

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The numbers are staggering. Since 2007, mail volume in the United States has dropped by 43.1 billion pieces, post office visits are down by 200 million, and retail transactions have decreased at least $2 billion. The figures, worry some in the direct mail industry, could eventually lead the United States Postal Service to reduce delivery to three days a week.

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This issue's Shoptalkers: Fred Davis, CEO of Strategic Perception; Eric Hogensen, president of HSG Campaigns; Douglas Herman, partner at The Strategy Group; and Vince Monaco, owner of the Monaco Group.

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If you’re a first-time candidate, you’ll soon discover that a lot of people are going to give you their two cents about your campaign. The thing is, many of them have no idea what they’re talking about.

Here are five terrible pieces of advice that you are likely to hear, and the facts that you need to remember.

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Campaigning in the time of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed political campaigning this year and maybe for years to come. We asked some of our friends and colleagues to offer their perspective on how to meet the challenge.

“Online organizing, pre-Covid, was thought to be something only large campaigns could really do effectively. But now, necessity has us teaching campaigns how to scale the available tools to work for outreach and even fundraising for campaigns of any size. The ‘grip and grin’ will never be the same!” -Crystal Litz, LP Campaigns

“Planning matters now, more than ever. A campaign with a good plan can adjust and be creative when the unexpected happens. A campaign without a good plan just ends up in chaos.” -Joe Boyd, Executive Director of California Teachers Association

“Our new political landscape is uncertain - at least for the foreseeable future. Winning will require a more flexible campaign model, a willingness to adapt, and, of course, a little bit of luck!” -Rusty Hicks, Chair of the California Democratic Party

Why I Chose HSG Campaigns

"I chose HSG Campaigns because they knew how to communicate my ideas and plans to voters in an honest, kind, and direct way. They helped me focus my message and we flipped my City-County Council district by 20 points! I would strongly recommend HSG.”

-Ali Brown, Indianapolis City-County Council Member

What We're Reading

This month, we feature a review from our colleague Dave Broker, Host of The Industrial Revolutions Podcast:

Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don't Know by Malcolm Gladwell

I always take the work of Malcolm Gladwell with a grain of salt. But this latest book, released late last year, may be one of the most important books of the past decade. He begins with the story of Sandra Bland, the young African American woman who was detained during a traffic stop by a white law enforcement officer. She was found hanged in her jail cell three days later. Gladwell spends the entire book trying to explain the breakdown in communication between Bland and the officer.

Building a research- and anecdotal-based narrative, he argues that we, as humans, are really bad at interacting with strangers. We can't read people like we think we can. We create a myriad of incentives for behavior to which not everyone is privy. And it can lead to some disastrous consequences – Chamberlain trusting Hitler, a Cuban mole in the DIA, the Jerry Sandusky scandal, the imprisonment of Amanda Knox, the actions of Brock Turner, the Bernie Madoff scheme, and more.

Chances are you're not going to agree with all of Gladwell's conclusions in this book. (I didn't.) But in an age of growing disinformation and scams, it is nevertheless an important read.