Joe Fuld founded the political consulting firm, The Campaign Workshop, and he also co-hosts the podcast, “How to Win a Campaign.” In this episode, he shares his background in political and advocacy campaigns and what you need to consider if you’re thinking of running for office yourself.

At the top of the show, I also talked to Pavan Parikh. He’s currently running for Probate Court Judge in Hamilton County, Ohio. You can learn more about Pavan at https://www.pavanforjudge.com/ or follow his campaign on Facebook or Twitter.

A few articles related to topics that Joe Fuld mentions:

Additional music this week: Firefly by Podington Bear, licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 International License.


Episode Transcript

Andy Luttrell:

Ah, elections. The heart and soul of American democracy. As a nation, it seems we’re constantly in the midst of one political race or another. Messages fly at us from candidates for local, state, and national political positions. It can be exhausting as a citizen, but what about for the people who are running?

Pavan Parikh:

You have an idea as to how hard this is going to be. You have an idea as to how much time this is going to take up. You have no idea until you’ve done it yourself. No matter how prepared you think you are, you are not prepared for the stress, you are not prepared for the impact on your daily life, and your family is not prepared for the impact on their daily life.

Andy Luttrell:

That’s Pavan Parikh. He’s currently running for probate court judge in Hamilton County, Ohio. You’re probably aware of the glitz and glamor of giant presidential campaigns where big personalities and fierce opposition dominate the media. But what about local judicial races?

Pavan Parikh:

And if you think of the presidential race as the Super Bowl—the World Cup, the Super Bowl—high stakes, lots of fans, lots of money, knock-down drag-out fight. I would look at a judicial race more as: We’re going to watch a game of chess. That no matter how important it is, no matter how skillful and articulate you try to be, it is a very niche field. And I don’t care how big of an audience you think you’re gonna get, you’re never going to get World Cup or Super Bowl sized audiences even for the grand master chess match. It’s just not gonna happen.

Andy Luttrell:

And sure, some of what makes races like Pavan’s more like a chess match is just that it’s on a smaller scale. But it’s also that what people want in a judge—what shapes their opinion of candidates for these positions—is a lot different from what they want in people holding other political offices.

Pavan Parikh:

There is a significant risk that if you get too negative, if you get too aggressive, voters will think, “Well that’s not a quality I want in a judge.” Versus if you’re in Congress, you want a fighter. You want somebody who’s going to get kind of deep down in the dirt. And, you know, it’s an adversarial process. Well, the courts are an adversarial process, but the one party that isn’t an adversary is the judge. So you want a very different set of qualities in who you want overseeing the whole process than you do in who you want fighting back and forth.

Andy Luttrell:

You’re listening to Opinion Science, the show about our opinions, where they come from, and how they change. I’m Andy Luttrell. And this week I talk Joe Fuld. He’s the founder of The Campaign Workshop, a Democratic political consulting firm, and co-host of the new podcast, How to Win a Campaign. You’ll hear some of his background in a bit, but prior to becoming a political consultant, Joe served as the Northeast Political Director at the Democratic National Committee in 1996, and in early 90s, he managed 10 Democratic political campaigns throughout the country.

I wanted to talk to Joe about what it takes to run a campaign in a way that both shapes and is shaped by public opinion. On this show we talk about opinions and persuasion, but what does it look like when the rubber meets the road? When you’re vying for people’s support on election day? What is the day-to-day of campaigning and is it something you’re prepared for?

Andy Luttrell:

So I was curious– just to start to get a sense of your history in campaigning. So where did the idea to get involved in this world come from? And what did those early days look like in terms of what you were involved with?

Joe Fuld:

Yeah, so, I mean, I grew up in Rockland County, New York, about 45 miles North of New York City, and went to high school there and left Rockland County to join the glamorous world of political consulting. Right? Well, not quite. I went to college at American University and, but really loved politics and loved communications and wanted to figure out how to do those two things.

And so I went to college at AU, actually interned with a political consultant, as well as did some interning on the Hill. I did all the internships I possibly could do. And then actually went out on the road to work on a congressional campaign in Indiana, in Monticello, Indiana, and for a guy named Jim Jontz who, uh, actually had run for state rep the first time he ever ran to stop a damming of a river in his community and then started running for other offices and became congressman, and really a very grassrootsy door to door campaign.

And that was how I learned. And so I went on the road, worked on that congressional campaign and really loved politics and started doing more of that and really enjoying it. And went from campaign to campaign. So from 1990 to about 1996, I was just on the road working on campaigns.

And then, got a job at the DNC in 1996, then, started working in political consulting for, at a consulting firm.

Decided during that time that I actually really enjoyed working on not just political campaigns, but also advocacy campaigns. So wound up doing more issue and advocacy related work And then in 2009, I started this company, The Campaign Workshop, where we do advocacy and political consulting work, issue, work strategy, work for groups and organizations.

And, it’s been fun.

Andy Luttrell:

Nice. If we rewind back to those days on the road, what were you actually doing? Like day to day, as someone new to this, you’re out on the road, you’re working on campaigns. What does that actually mean? Like what were you…

Joe Fuld:

Well it’s, you know, in the world of COVID-19 it has changed significantly. But what it used to mean was that I was organizing meetings, organizing people to knock on doors, and those were the things that I was doing. Now you’re like organizing Zoom calls and getting people to like do virtual town hall meetings and things like that.

So it’s not as much in person as it used to be, but, um, But it was organizing that face to face voter contact. And that’s what I did for a long period of time. So, you know, when I was on the road, I, you know, was a field guy in a congressional race in Indiana, which was just organizing canvassers and organizing people at parades and meetings and all that kind of stuff.

Then the next job after that was managing a city council race in Baltimore. And that was also organizing canvasses, but I was starting to make more of the decisions. And then I went from that to running a congressional race to like, so every step of the way I was able to take on a little bit more of a responsibility and then be more of a manager.

Andy Luttrell:

So in jumping into lots of different campaigns, did you tend to find that each one was basically starting over from scratch or there’s sort of a playbook that tends to work whatever the race might be?

Joe Fuld:

I think, you know, campaigns are similar and different at the same time. The candidates are different. The issues might be different. The approaches and the tactics might be similar, but you have to make sure that you’re choosing the right tactics that fit your race. You might be working on a campaign in a area where it’s a very cheap TV market, or you can be on television and that’s your goal, or you might be in a very big media market where you’re never going to be on TV.

And so you’re doing more direct mail and digital advertising. It might be a situation where you can go out and knock on doors and that’s what you’re able to do. And now, in a post COVID world, you’re doing text banking and you’re doing virtual town halls and Facebook Lives. And so the tactics are going to change based on the candidate, based on the area, the population.

All those different things are going to change to, to be the right fit, but you’re still making strategic and tactical decisions and working within a budget and helping someone fundraise. There are really big decisions you have to make that are similar, but they’re not the same.

Andy Luttrell:

You mentioned the budgets. One of the things I was going to bring up is you see these astronomical costs of campaigns sometimes, and I see them and I go, what could possibly cost that much? Right? Like what would I even do with the kind of money that we’re talking about in some of these things?

And so that’s one way to frame another question, which is, let’s say that I’m someone who wants to run for some local office, but I’ve not been involved in the political process before. What am I looking at having to do? What would that money need to be for?

Joe Fuld:

Well, and again, the level of money varies greatly depending on where your running for office and the size of that office. Really it’s about the amount of people that you have to communicate with and how big an area that is, and how dense that population is. There are like, for instance, you’re running for state rep in Ohio, that is a very different cost than running for state rep in California. So what could be a million dollar assembly race in California–or more, just to start– in, you know, in Ohio might be a hundred thousand dollars, right?

And so it’s just very different depending on where you are and the amount of people that you’re trying to reach. But really what you’re talking about and where the money goes is, media buys, engagement of voters and those costs, right? So whether that’s television, digital, direct mail, radio, or field campaign virtual, or in person, there are just hard costs that you have to pay to deal with that.

Andy Luttrell:

So you will be prepared to do that, but what– Sort of, Step One… Let’s say I decided today–and I didn’t because this terrifies me–but let’s say I decided today

Joe Fuld:

Well, let’s first hope that you’ve decided today that you think you want to run for office. Not that you’re going to run. But you’re considering it. So, you know, over at our website, The Campaign Workshop, we have like a personal assessment that we would suggest a candidate take or go to a campaign training.

So we would strongly suggest that you really look at why you’re running, what is the thing that you want to solve or change in your community, or make a difference on, what is your motivation? Because that really will have to do with the office that you’re running for. It might be that you think that you want to make a change in the DA’s office and you’re a lawyer.

And so you want to run for DA. Or it might be that you feel like, you know, your background as a CPA really could be put to work as the County Treasurer, and there hasn’t been great transparency on what’s been going on in county government. Or you really feel like there could be better laws specific in your community right on the county level or on the state level. And so those are then going to be decisions you make on what is the office you’re going to run for? And so first you want to do that personal assessment to make a decision. Why are you running? What are the things that you really care about?

What are the issues that you care about? What district is the right fit for you? Is this a city council district? Is it a state rep district? What is the best place that you possibly can run and win? And then you’re going to make a decision. Does it fit for you? Can you raise that money? So one of the things that we would say after you’ve– you’re talking about the issues, why you’re running, what that motivation really is, but then raising the money is a significant hurdle.

And we would have you sit down with your you know, all your friends and family. Facebook friends, your Twitter followers, your, uh, Excel spreadsheet of everyone you know and love, and really say, okay, how much money can I raise from my friends and family? And a quick sort of back of the napkin way that I would look at it is if you need to raise a hundred thousand dollars for a race, you want to identify from all of these friends and family that you put into a spreadsheet, could you get to a third on paper if I asked you to do that today? So if you could get a third of the way there by identifying these people, and you’re going to be pretty conservative to say, Oh, not everyone is going to give me the maximum amount. Some people are going to give me small amounts of money and together that’s how I’m going to get there.

And if you can get to a third on paper, then from a fundraising standpoint, you might have a shot. But then, again, there’s other factors. Is this the right race for you? Who are you running against? Is it a primary? Is it a general election? A lot of detail and doing a personal assessment, but that gives you some idea of what we’re talking about.

Andy Luttrell:

Yeah, this is tricky too, because in a short amount of time to sort of isolate how these things work, there are so many moving parts and so many different ways these things can go. So I’m just, I’m seeing if we can distill some of the core truths of campaigning. If we could even say that there are any, and so from the persuasion angle, you have now the resources… what are the avenues forward for actually running a successful campaign?

Joe Fuld:

So part of it is the matchup of who your opponent or opponents are. Right? And so really thinking about that. Another tool we would have you do–and all of these are like free things, but like homework that you need to do–would be something called a Tully message box, which is, literally a square that is: what do we say about ourselves? What do we say about them, our opponent? What do they say about us? And what do they say about themselves? You’d fill out all those four squares. Let’s say you’re running in a general election. If you’re running in a multi-candidate, primary, you would extend the squares out and have all the candidates you’re running against to really see what is the contrast? What are the issues that people are going to be running on? And again, this isn’t negative campaigning. You really want to be able to define what the difference is and what the choice will be between you and your opposition, and know that clearly as a candidate. What is that decision that they’re making?

Why are you running? Why are these other folks running? And why are you the better choice? And so you’d write that out to really see what the differences are. And what are the things from your background that you would want to highlight in running for office?

Andy Luttrell:

Is a lot of the strategy getting that message to the most people? Versus making that message perfect? Does that make sense? Does that distinction make sense?

Joe Fuld:

I mean, it’s, it’s a little bit of both, right? I mean, I think, yes, you want to communicate it to the most people. I don’t think it has to be perfect, but it has to be good. I think that it is one of those things that, uh, you want to make sure that that message is, you know, when I teach people to run for office, which I do a lot, it’s this idea of what we would call the seven Cs.

And this is something that, uh, Peter Fan and Joel Bradshaw came up with, which is a message needs to be… Let’s see if I can remember it! Clear, concise, compelling, contrastive, creative, coordinated, consistent. Did I get to seven? I think I got to seven. So anyway, yeah, there you go. So, you want to make sure that a message has all of those elements and yes, volume matters, but if your opponent–and these days, people are pretty well matched as far as resources, and even if they’re not, there’s still sort of a threshold of, you can still outspend somebody and lose if they spend enough to communicate and have a better, clearer message. And part of it is knowing, as we get back to the sort of beginning of the campaign, why is the candidate running and then what are people voting on?

What is the decision that they’re making? What do they care about? I like folks to think about that a hopefully voter is going into that voting booth and has a question in their mind. That’s like, I want a candidate who will, and then answers that with the vote. So who is going to protect my community, help my health care?

 You know, like, whatever it is, you want that answer, to be the candidate that they’re supporting. And so you want to really, um, think about that. So volume has something to do with it, but not always. And the other piece, especially when you’re running in a presidential year is that there are going to be a lot of people who go into the voting booth or who vote by mail or, who will skip parts of the ballot, who will vote for president of the United States, vote for U.S. Senate and won’t vote all the way down the ballot.

So it’s not just about making sure people turn out. It’s making sure that people care enough about your race and you’ve given them enough of a reason to care. To vote in your race. Cause it’s not a given. And in many, many places, that voter fall off is the difference between winning and losing in a race.

Andy Luttrell:

That’s super interesting. Cause I was gonna ask about like, get out the vote campaigns. Or, you know, one challenge is getting your face in front of people. Another is getting them to the actual polling booths. But you’re right that even if they go, it’s no guarantee that they’re going to actually do the work to get you in there.

Joe Fuld:

That’s right. And the other part, like in a lot of these races that we haven’t talked about is, you know, public opinion surveys, right? Which, you know, we could spend a little bit of time talking about on this podcast. But, there are a lot of things that you could talk about in a campaign.

And so if you’re a large enough campaign where you’re running for state legislature or bigger, you might be doing online panels, public opinion surveys to really work on the nuance of what that message is and really work out what the contrast is through some sort of survey methodology or testing the actual creative that you’re going to use in advertising.

Andy Luttrell:

Yeah, I was going to say the characters in the political TV shows and movies that I always identify most with are the hardnosed polling guys, the people who are in the back of the room going like, well, numbers are are this, numbers are that. And so I wonder like, you know, that, that seems like a very important component. And for someone like me who comes from a tradition of doing empirical research to find out whether messages work or not, to do something like this, without any indication that what you’re doing is working along the way, seems doomed to fail in some way. So in what ways can you sort of keep your finger on the pulse as a campaign evolves to know whether it’s time to course correct or not?

Joe Fuld:

So, well, you want to do that survey work. Again, one of the things that you will know as a practitioner in this world, though, is sometimes the, the districts are really big and there’s a lot of people. And sometimes these districts are teeny. Right? So there’s only, you know, you’re only talking about 2,500 voters. So to get a sample size, to really get a poll of those people is very hard.

 You know, mistakes happen on a larger level where the numbers get messed up and people go in a wrong direction because of the science of polling is not clear for them. So I think it’s a combination of asking the right questions, of doing all of these homework steps that I talked about, right? Doing the strategic assessment, doing the message box, doing a poll if you can, or online panels if you can, and then asking questions of the community, making sure that you’re out doing these virtual town halls or meetings and asking questions and listening, you know?

 Those things really can help you make sure or that, are you talking about the right things that people really care about? And if you’re having conversations with people and you’re getting positive reinforcement or negative reinforcement, that’s good to know. And then also making sure you’re talking to a broad enough audience that it’s not just your base and not just your opposition, but you’re really understanding who you’re talking to and what matters to them.

Andy Luttrell:

Do you have a sense if any of this or how much any of this has changed since you first started to work in this world? I mean, obviously within the last three months, things have changed. So accounting for– We’ll rule that out. But the years before that, in what ways has history reshaped campaigning?

Joe Fuld:

I mean, it’s reshaped it a lot. Right. I think, you know, when, when I started it was pre-internet, right? So that has changed. Right? When I started, there was a thing called a fax machine that was like really important. You know, we’re not like… It used to be that you would want to sit in an office and be close to the fax machine.

I don’t, you know, that’s been a long time. So those, those things have gone away, but I think what has remained is strategy, understanding message, having a focus, making sure that the candidate really understands the message and is part of that message and believes it. That is really important because voters see and understand that.

I think that the more genuine a candidate can be, the more connected to the community they are, the better they can be. And I don’t think that’s changed.

Andy Luttrell:

And even in a virtual campaign these days, presumably that is just as important as ever.

Joe Fuld:

Oh, yeah. I think, I think it is important. I think that you have to be able to have empathy and have that engagement with people in your community and really, if you’re running for something for the first time, people have to be able to visually see you in that office. You almost have to have done that job before you get that job.

Right. That you’ve been a part of the community doing all sorts of work in that community, and they’re like, I really want that person. They’re helping me. That’s what you want to see. And that’s important. And you know, there’s an art and a science talk, all of it.

Andy Luttrell:

If we could also pivot at this point to the other kind of campaigns that you work with. So we’ve talked to this point all about getting a person, a single human being, into some office, but as you said, campaigns can take many shapes and be about many different things. So advocacy campaigning. Is–

Joe Fuld:

Yeah. So,

Andy Luttrell:

So what, what is that?

Joe Fuld:

So what an advocacy campaign is, let’s take the candidate out of it. We’ll bring him back in in a minute, but now the candidate is an elected official . But an advocacy campaign is where you’re trying to pass a piece of legislation or prevent a piece of legislation from being passed.

And so that is also really important. And it’s getting people at the grassroots level involved in that issue. And that could be anything. That could be everything from a, um, a tax bill that’s being passed on a community level. It could be that a road is going through a certain area. It could be around, you know, like Black Lives Matter. It could be around COVID-19. It could be very specific to a bill or a law or a policy that people want to see changed.

And the tactics for that are similar to a political campaign. It could be doing patch-through calling where you’re calling your legislator and saying to her, “Hey, we really want you to vote on this bill” or “We want you to vote against this bill, and here’s why.”

So it could be patch-through calls. It could be pieces of mail. It could be digital advertising that is saying, call your legislator, click to call and tell them to pass this piece of legislation. Could be any of those things. It could be community meetings that you’re having like a forum on a specific issue.

But whether it is getting a four way stop on your corner or whether it is a bigger piece of legislation, there’s some advocacy involved.

Andy Luttrell:

So with a candidate campaign, the target is the community, right? Members of the public who will go and cast a vote. This sounds like there’s part of that. I’m trying to get my community involved, but in the end, they’re not the decision makers. They can only pressure the decision-makers

Joe Fuld:

They could pressure the decision makers and tell the decision maker, this matters to me and here’s why, and then there’s like a storytelling component to that, right? Let’s say that, you know, you want this four way stop and you’ve tried for years to do it. And now like you got into a car accident because there wasn’t that four way stop.

And you go to this meeting and you explain what happened. You know, that can be a very emotional component, right? You tell the legislator that you get up in front of the meeting, right? Those can be ways in which like policy changes happen because that emotion and that connection gets brought into it.

Andy Luttrell:

Yeah, emotion and connection. And I wondered if there’s anything else that you could identify that makes or breaks these kinds of campaigns. Are there tools to really get the job done?

Joe Fuld:

I mean, I would say that it’s, you know, from my perspective, it’s that emotion, that connection to the legislator, you know, and you could know them all your life, but it literally could be like, one of the things I’d say is sort of a, you know, the cup of coffee conversation, right?

That, you know, how many people could you get pick up the phone and call their legislator and say, Hey, I’d like you to meet me in front of the coffee shop outside to talk about this issue. And ask them to do that. How many people could actually talk to their legislator and do that? Those things matter and can be really engaging. Or can you host a virtual coffee and say, “Hey, we’re this group of people. We care about this issue” and invite the legislator to come talk to this group of people. Those are ways in which creating that engagement really can make a huge difference. You know, and we do paid advertising around it too, and things like that, but that person to person engagement can be very important when it comes to advocacy.

Andy Luttrell:

One thing I’m thinking of too with these is that sometimes… so I often I come to persuasion from the angle of: the end goal is to change a mind. Right? So usually that’s how I’m thinking about persuasion, right? Your opinion is going to shift in some way, hopefully in the direction of mine. Right. Whereas a lot of these campaigns are: Yes, we want to do that and also inspire an action that is sort of furthering the cause.

And it seems to me that one of the quirks of these kinds of campaigns is that people need to also believe that that action has efficacy. Right? So it’s one thing to say, yes, I agree with you. We should get that four way stop installed or taken down or whatever it is. But you tell me to call the whomever, and I just don’t see that that’s actually going to go anywhere.

Joe Fuld:

Right. Well, I mean, that urgency is a huge part of it, right? Because they might say, well, I mean four way stop is great, but there’s all these other things going on in my community. Right? Yeah. I want that, but that’s not top of my list. Why should this be top of my list? And then it’s the same thing for the legislators. You know, when you call her, you have to bring this to the top of her list. Cause it might be on that list somewhere. They might have, you know, hundreds of bills that they’re carrying, but this you are going to have to show with that emotion and that story, why this needs to move up on the list because there’s so many other things that they have to do.

So that’s part of it. It’s that prioritization of why the urgency, why now? Why this piece of legislation right now? Why does it matter?

Andy Luttrell:

We often say too that, you know, we want to change an opinion, but also we want the resulting opinion to be a strong opinion, which kind of sounds if I’m to draw the connection, it’s sort of like this, which is to say I don’t only wants you to agree with me. I also want you to agree that it’s it’s important or that this is for sure the right answer or that this is a moral imperative, you know?

We could agree, I guess, and that’s fine, but I really want us to agree more deeply in a way that you’re going to take it seriously.

Joe Fuld:

Yeah, no, that this has to happen now. Not next year, not 10 years from now, but we need to make this change right now.

Andy Luttrell:

So what sorts of work do you– just to pivot into the work that you actually do with The Campaign Workshop– what does that look like? What are the sorts of things that you do for people who come to you?

Joe Fuld:

So we’re an advertising agency and we do work with issues and with nonprofit brands. And with groups and organizations that are like trying to figure out how they can, you know, make change on an issue, create engagement on an issue, get a community around an issue, and it can be public action, or it could be something about like, Hey, we’re a group or an organization. We really care about pay equity. We want to get folks to take a course, on how, women should get a raise. And why it’s important to advocate for that. So we’ve done that kind of work. We’ve done work for, groups and organizations on passing legislation around, healthcare around the country.

So it’s all sorts of different things that people care about. I I’m pretty happy with the work we do, and I really like it. And, um, you know, I think we do very creative ads, but it also is really working in concert with groups and organizations to make sure that it’s reflective of their message and of their values and that we’re helping, you know, change and shape opinion.

Andy Luttrell:

What does the brainstorming session look like? Or… I’m just wondering, someone comes to you and says, there’s this issue. Here’s what we want to do. What’s next? Where does your head go first?

Joe Fuld:

I mean, it, it really goes to some of those earlier questions that you asked around like, why? Why is this important? Why does it matter? Why now? How can this be urgent for this community to take this action or for this movement to happen. So really trying to ask those questions and then who are the people that are going to get involved?

What is this coalition? What is it made up of? Who are the people you already have? Who would be non-traditional allies that would really be important to this movement to get people engaged in. So it’s those kind of things. But it is similar in nature to like the strategy that we put together, that, you know, I, you know, the, we do more and more of this advocacy work than politics these days.

And so more of what we’re doing is like using that message box, really thinking about what that contrast is. And, but doing that in the advocacy context.

Andy Luttrell:

Where did the impetus to start the campaign workshop come from? So you’d had, you could have continued to do what you had been doing, but what is it that inspired you to take this?

Joe Fuld:

Well, I had been at another firm. I had been a partner at a firm called MSHC partners. and I just decided it was really time to like go out on my own. And you know, I had been at this other firm for, I think it was six years at the time. And I, again, it was just one of those things that it was time.

It was 2009 and I wanted to do this and I, uh, you know, hired one employee at the time, Sophie Thurber, who’s still with me. And, uh, you know, we just really started working and doing work on these different types of campaigns and issues. And it was really like, really exciting and it still is.

I mean, what I like about both, you know, the political work that we do, but also the advocacy work is we’re really working with great clients, but also like really strategic fundamentals. We really have a great process to figure out how to like get people to know where they are. Are they on track? Are they like getting toward success or not?

And what are primary goals? What are secondary goals for these organizations that we’re working with? Those are all important things. I mean, and what I’ll also say, which we didn’t get to talk about on the advocacy side is incorporating research into that. Are we doing testing in that? Whether it’s a mail program, are we testing what are the returns that we’re getting? If it’s like fundraising or advocacy, what is the percentage of those returns? And are we getting people to engage that way or digitally? Are people clicking on our ads or viewing our videos or seeing all that? That’s really interesting. And then are we doing polling and focus groups around these issues to really see, are we talking about it and using the right language to engage people?

So those are all really interesting parts for us.

Andy Luttrell:

On the research side, do you do a bunch of like, I mean, the industry calls it AB testing. We just call it message testing. Where it’s different versions of the same message. And you’re looking at some objective indicator that one is landing more than the other.

Joe Fuld:

Yeah. So there will be AB testing of messaging across the board in all in the work that we do or, or doing online panels to really say, Hey, we’re going to show you different versions of an ad. Whether it’s with people or with graphs or, you know, whatever, to see what gets the most engagement with folks.

But I also do, you know, it really depends on the time we have, right? There are times where we have advertising and we have to get something up in 24 hours.

And sometimes we have, you know, a month or two months to do it, right? And so depending on the timing of what all this looks like, there’s a different level of depth that we can get to in, in how we make that decision.

Andy Luttrell:

Just to wrap up, I was gonna sort of quickly plug your website. It’s really amazing how many, like blog posts and resources are available there. And just clicking around as someone, like I said, who has no ambitions to do any of this on my own to think, Oh gosh, like this is a super great resource.

So if you want to talk a little bit about that, and then also talk about the podcast, which also I’ve enjoyed listening to as well.

Joe Fuld:

Yeah. So, our website campaignworkshop.com has a ton of information on the blog around advocacy and political campaigns. And also just around messaging and strategy in general. And we publish twice a week and we have been doing that a bit for about six years. And it’s just something that we’ve really enjoyed doing.

And we like really, you know, I have been training people to work on advocacy campaigns and run for office for a really long time. And part of what we wanted to do was show people how to do it. We didn’t really believe there was secrets in this communications work. And we wanted to be as open about that as we could.

So we have a lot of information on there. There’s infographics and, blog posts and eBooks. And so check that out. And then we started our podcast, which is How to Win a Campaign. And we just wrapped, bout, wrapped up on the first season, but it’s, but check it out. We’re really proud of it, but then we’re moving onto the next season, which is about advocacy campaigns.

So the first season’s about political campaigns, second season about advocacy campaigns and it’s with my cohost Martín Garcia, as well as a bunch of people from my office or on the team, helping pull this together. And it’s, it’s I think a fun, entertaining podcast, not as entertaining as this conversation, but close.

Andy Luttrell:

It’s cool because each episode is sort of a different aspect of campaigning. And if I, if I sort of traced the arc of the whole thing, each one also seems to have an interview with someone who’s in some way, an expert on that aspect of it.

Joe Fuld:

Yeah, and that frankly will be the same premise to the second season, which is what are the elements of a, of a campaign, whether it’s political campaigns or advocacy campaigns, and how do we, how do you put that together? And it tracks an arc of all those different pieces. So whether that is, you know, deciding to run message testing or whether it is, it is building a coalition on the advocacy side or lobbying or grassroots lobbying, it’ll be all those different elements we try and do in the season of How to Win a Campaign.

Andy Luttrell:

That’s great. Looking forward to it.

Joe Fuld:

Yeah, well, thanks. Yeah, I appreciate it. Like and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. You can check us out on Apple Podcasts, but Andy, this has been a great conversation. It’s a lot of fun.

Andy Luttrell:

Thanks so much for doing it. It was super interesting.

Andy Luttrell:

That’ll do it for this episode of Opinion Science. Thank you so much to Joe Fuld for coming on to talk about political and advocacy campaigns. Check out the show notes for a link to Joe’s political consulting firm, The Campaign Workshop. There you’ll find more info about what he and his team do, but there’s also tons of useful information on their blog. And definitely check out their podcast, How to Win a Campaign.

And thanks to Pavan Parikh, who you heard at the top of the show. To learn more about him, you can go to pavanforjudge.com. And we had an interesting conversation about campaigning and why voting for probate court judges is actually really important. To hear our full conversation, you can find it as a bonus episode on OpinionSciencePodcast.com.

As always, please rate and review the show on Apple Podcasts. Your support helps the show grow!

That’s all for me. See you next week for more Opinion Science. Buh bye…

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