Joe Thomas "Blog-cast" Headline Animator

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Take a lesson from the ex-shock-jock and 'C.O.M.E.' out of your shell.

So, as anyone who has met me immediately points out, I do not 'look the part' of the sterotypical conservative talk-show host. (click for pictoral evidence) This is, as is the case with Rush, I was once a disc jockey and even a 'shock jock.' (as was Glenn Beck) It is with that experience I send the following advise to the seven GOP hopefuls and the one independant vying to unseat Congressman Tom Perriello in November of 2010; Do what Bob, Bill and Ken did and take a page from the 'shock jock' playbook. By that I mean; Don't just show up in a 5th district town and expect every one to come out and see you. You have to embark on a strategy I have always called; "C.O.M.E." Create One Media Event.

Much has been made out of the recently released F.E.C. fundraising reports and, quite honestly, it doesn't make any difference to me because no matter what, the Congressman's opponent has got to realize one thing; You are going to have much less money that Tom, no matter what. So, how can you over-C.O.M.E. that? C.O.M.E.-on, you know the answer... Create One Media Event. Now, don't panic, I'm not suggesting something outrageous. Here are some examples of what I mean...

In Middletown, NY your's truly was morning host on the now defunct WKOJ and we decided that for Secr... eh... 'Administrative Professionals Day' we were going to invite proffessionals to the studios (in the old municipal armory building called the "KOJ Kastle") to drop whatever office equipment from the reviewing balcony two stories to the stree below and their demise. We were the lead story live on the morning TV news, and again at noon and 6, no charge. *Note: The same type of stunt had me live at noon and top of the 5 and 6pm TV news and on the front page of the newspaper in Buffalo, NY, several years later. Also gratis.

In Hyannis, MA I wanted to apply my "C.O.M.E." strategy to a coat drive for the homeless. So, during the drive I did my radio show, guest-hosted everyone else's and slept on the roof of our studios for three days in the middle of December. Not only did we collect three delivery truckloads of coats, we were in the local news all three days, on the front page of the Hyannis newspaper AND were in the Providence and Boston TV news.

How does that credit card ad go?
Build scaffolding: $300; 
Hot tea to unfreeze your throat each morning: $3;
45 minutes and 5 columns of news coverage: PRICELESS!
(Actually, reseach shows that this kind of stuff is even MORE effective, vis-a-vis valuable than 'traditional' ads because viewers/listeners tune out or tune away from ads and readers hardly ever look at them.)

The point I'm making to these "Erstwhile Eight" (and anyone else thinking of running for office and worried about $$) is not to say; "sleep on the roof" or "smash office equipment" (although Fiorello LaGuardia is still most remembered for that shot of him bashing slot machines) but think hard about making each visit to the towns up and down the 5th District AN EVENT. Bob McDonnell, Bill Bolling and Ken Cuccinelli did last year and look what they did (against someone who spent more money). Ooh, ooh, I have an even better example: I know of a relatively unknown who won a seat in Congress using this same kind of idea just a couple of years ago. His name is Tom.

Thanks for all the fish...

PS; If you'd like to employ the "C.O.M.E." strategy in your campaign, get in touch anytime. Well, just not Saturday, April 24th because I'm challenging the Mayor, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors and some TV news people and another talkshow host to a pancake flipping contest at a charity breakfast. Watch for it on the news.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

"It was one year ago today..."

I've hosted some pretty big rock concerts in my career as a rock radio promoter and I am well versed with the nervous feeling that arrives at just about one hgour before the doors open. That was the exact same feeling I was suffering exactly one year ago. (3pm, 4/15/2009) I was setting up the sound system for this little group of people that I had joined called the Jefferson-Area T.E.A. (Taxed Enough Already) Party on the stage at the Charlottesville Pavillion. I looked up at Keith Drake, whom I knew from the growth (in both number and clout) of his Albemarle Truth in Taxation Alliance, and wondered aloud; "Where did all those people come from?" There were already at least 100 people sitting in the front rows on the way to 1500 jamming into the Pavillion. The moment I will always carry with me will be the image of the staffers from Charlotteville City Hall continuing to pop in and out to marvel at what was going on. I'll be at the Bradley Arms Memorial U.S. Post office shortly to celebrate a year that has seen the movement grow beyond anyone's wildest imaginings. For the record, I never, in all those concerts I promoted, felt quite so inspired as I did at the conclusion of that first Jefferson Area T.E.A. Party.