Catalog Targets Local Candidates

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More than 20,000 elected officials in California had the ability to run the last few weeks of their re-election campaigns this year using items from a new catalog.


Winning Directions, San Francisco, a full-service political campaign company, mailed the premiere issue of the Local Campaign Catalog during the first week of October. The catalog is described as a "one-stop political campaign store" that offers a step-by-step presentation on how to mount a local campaign, including products to target direct mail pieces and conduct voter file data analysis. The catalog also has a Web site at www.winningdirections.com.


"It was sent out this close to election day [because of] the amount of time it took to put together and because of the fact that we felt it would be best to release the first issue about a month before the election," said Anthony Fazio, president of Winning Directions. "During that last month, there are always a number of candidates who do a lot of last-minute campaigning."


According to Fazio, Winning Directions has worked with political consultants for most of its nine-year history by providing its services and products to their candidates. The catalog streamlines the process, allowing Winning Directions to deal directly with candidates at times. He said the catalog isn't an attempt to eliminate consultants, but to make it easier to run an effective campaign on a tight budget.


"I am not saying that every candidate doesn't need a consultant, but some can't afford one," Fazio said. "For some consultants, it is also not cost effective to deal with smaller local campaigns. We put out the catalog so that candidates could find the products and services they needed."


Mayors, city council members, district attorneys, town assessors, judges and school board members throughout California all seeking another term in office received copies of the catalog. The first issue was only mailed to incumbents. Fazio felt that for the first drop it would be easier to target a market that had the money to spend on its products.


"A catalog like this makes it 10 times easier for people to figure out what it's going to cost them to run for office," said Adrienne Tissier, city councilwoman of Daly City, CA. "Instead of calling for quotes on products and services all over the place, the catalog puts all that information at our fingertips."


The 32-page color catalog contains offers on all of Winning Directions' products and services. Candidates can purchase a campaign starter kit, fundraising packages, data products with voter information, signs and buttons. Also available is Winning Directions' campaign targeting software titled War Games, which lets candidates develop a targeted campaign by identifying a specific voter database.


The catalog contains offers on numerous services provided by Winning Directions, such as the development of a campaign plan, photography packages, polling data, campaign image development, TV and radio advertising, phone banking services and Web-site development. In December, catalogs will be mailed to a number of other states where, Fazio said, the campaigning season will begin again. He plans to customize the catalog for those areas.


"The products we offer will stay the same," he said. "The thing that will be different is the local suppliers of the offered products."
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