Dear Sue

Dear Sue,

If I have a small advertising budget to reach Capitol Hill, how can I make the biggest splash?

- Lost in the Clutter


Dear Lost,

To advertise or not to advertise, the age old question for advocacy campaigns. Please only do so if you can answer, “Yes,” to all of the following: Do you have the right message to deliver? Do you have strong creative? Is this the right timing? A successful paid media campaign needn’t be expensive, but it needs to be strategically on the mark.

Second, it’s not the “clutter” you should fear. The media cacophony is a myth. In fact, a recent Washington in the Information Age study released by the National Journal shows that the number of Washington professionals who describe themselves as “thriving” despite their expanding media diet is increasing. Likewise, those who describe themselves as “overwhelmed” is decreasing.

Finally, do not underestimate the power of running a serial. Even if you can only afford three ads, I always recommend running three different ads in succession. There only needs to be a slight difference in each ad for it to be seen as "new" by the viewer. Consider just changing the background color, for example. This achieves a “surround sound” effect that has the impact of a much larger campaign under a small budget.


Dear Sue Signature