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Direct Mail & Auto-Phones


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I love this game. It's great. However, while you've got footsoldiers (field programs), speeches and advertising, you're missing two very powerful parts of political campaigning -- direct mail and auto-dialed robocalls. These are major components of most modern political campaigns, and it would be cool to integrate them into the game. Here's how I envision it would work:

For Direct Mail, you select a topic just like you do in a speech or ad (topic + pos or neg), then select a state or states, perhaps with sliders to determine the number of pieces sent (estimate $0.40 per piece), and click "send." Like an ad, the mail would take five days to prep, and then it would "hit." It should have an impact greater than television advertising, and be more effective when positive than when negative, though negatives should have a lower percentage chance of "backfiring" than TV ads. It shouldn't have a major impact on how well known you are, but it should gin up your base and convert some undecideds.

For Robocalls, you select a topic and tone, just like for ads, then select states and the number of calls to send to each state (estimate $0.05 per call), and click "call." These should hit the ground immediately, the next day, and should provide a spike in your supporter intensity or, if a negative call, a drop in your opponent's supporter intensity. Auto-calls have little effect on undecideds, but can be used to fire up your turnout or boost your support in the polls. Auto-calls are especially effective in the day or so before election day at turning out your vote.

Anyways, as someone who does campaigns professionally, those are the campaign "tools" that are missing in the game and I wish that I could use. If you can reasonably integrate them into the game, that would be fantastic!

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I don't know about anyone else...and I'm not a professional campaign manager like Fireball244 notes on several of his posts...but I see political mailings as junk mail and robo-calls as an annoyance...if it were up to me to program the game...a candidate that chooses those options would lose momentum in that state!

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I don't know about anyone else...and I'm not a professional campaign manager like Fireball244 notes on several of his posts...but I see political mailings as junk mail and robo-calls as an annoyance...if it were up to me to program the game...a candidate that chooses those options would lose momentum in that state!

They actually work, though. If you track turnout, you'll see noticeable spikes amongst populations that receive direct mail and/or GOTV robocalls. It seems counterintuitive, I guess, but the things do work.

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Hi Fireball1244,

Thanks for the ideas - to an extent, these can be added to a customized scenario by adding new Ad types. Having said that, some of the specific functionality can't be done with the existing Ad types customizability. It's noted.

Anthony Burgoyne

80soft.com

I love this game. It's great. However, while you've got footsoldiers (field programs), speeches and advertising, you're missing two very powerful parts of political campaigning -- direct mail and auto-dialed robocalls. These are major components of most modern political campaigns, and it would be cool to integrate them into the game. Here's how I envision it would work:

For Direct Mail, you select a topic just like you do in a speech or ad (topic + pos or neg), then select a state or states, perhaps with sliders to determine the number of pieces sent (estimate $0.40 per piece), and click "send." Like an ad, the mail would take five days to prep, and then it would "hit." It should have an impact greater than television advertising, and be more effective when positive than when negative, though negatives should have a lower percentage chance of "backfiring" than TV ads. It shouldn't have a major impact on how well known you are, but it should gin up your base and convert some undecideds.

For Robocalls, you select a topic and tone, just like for ads, then select states and the number of calls to send to each state (estimate $0.05 per call), and click "call." These should hit the ground immediately, the next day, and should provide a spike in your supporter intensity or, if a negative call, a drop in your opponent's supporter intensity. Auto-calls have little effect on undecideds, but can be used to fire up your turnout or boost your support in the polls. Auto-calls are especially effective in the day or so before election day at turning out your vote.

Anyways, as someone who does campaigns professionally, those are the campaign "tools" that are missing in the game and I wish that I could use. If you can reasonably integrate them into the game, that would be fantastic!

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