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PPC Influencing Voters

Staff Writer
Published: 2004-09-29

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As always, politicians are attempting to do everything they can to get their messages out to prospective voters in a timely manner and on a limited budget.

Web savvy candidates are using pay per click advertising to efficiently drive prospective voters to their campaign web sites.

"As more prospective voters turn to the web for election coverage and their daily news, it only makes sense that campaign ad budgets will follow," declared Ed Kohler, President of Haystack In A Needle, a web marketing firm based in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Teresa Daly, the Democratic congressional candidate in Minnesota's Second District realized the opportunity online advertising presents her campaign as far back as mid-June. "Haystack In A Needle approached us in June to explain how pay per click advertising could be used to get Teresa's name out in front of prospective voters and drive those prospects to her web site for more information," explained Brian Shekleton, field director for Daly for Congress.

Using Google's pay per click advertising program, Haystack In A Needle worked with the Daly campaign to place ads revolving around issues considered important to Teresa Daly's constituents. Additionally, the campaign was refined to use geo-targeting which forcing the ads to only appear when people from the second district type those phrases into a search engine, and set to use content targeting, which syndicates the ads onto other web pages including newspaper articles and blogs related to the purchased search phrases.

"Anything we can do to get Teresa's positions on restoring fiscal responsibility in Washington, protecting Americans at home and abroad, cutting taxes for middle class families, and preserving our country's natural resources in front of potential voters is a win for the Second District," says Mr. Shekleton, "especially if it can be done in a timely and cost effective manner."

According to Mr. Kohler, "Many campaigns appear to be slow to adapt to this new medium. The vast majority of congressional campaigns and many local campaigns have active web sites, but they are doing a poor job driving prospective voters to their sites."

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