As the kids on them Internet tubes say, it was an epic fail. GOP Gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady held what was claimed to be a “blogger coffee” in a restaurant in Rosemont on April 17. Three whole bloggers showed, one of which is closely connected behind the scenes to GOP movers and shakers. In other words this was not a “bloggers” anything, but just another closely controlled Brady campaign event facade that amounted to nothing.
As the Ward Room notes,”there wasn’t any coffee, and there were only three bloggers.”
This is a huge failure to communicate. I can think of at least 5 conservative bloggers in Illinois that should have been sought out for this meeting, IF, that is, team Brady really wanted to meet with bloggers. It seems pretty evident that there was no real desire to meet any bloggers, however.
This event was sponsored by the Young Republicans group in Chicago and Cook County GOP Chairman Lee Roupas was also there to talk to all those many bloggers that attended. One blogger I spoke to about this seemed to recall a mention in a Young Republican email that there was going to be something coming up, but there was most certainly not any conserted effort to advertise this event among any actual bloggers. I saw no announcement of this supposed bloggers coffee on the Brady website, either (bradyforillinois.com).
Now, I am not blaming team Brady for wanting to have hand-picked Internet outlets coming out to his controlled event, but don’t act as if it was some “blogger coffee.” Not to mention that TEA is the word these days, not coffee, so we don’t even have the branding of the event right!
Brady needs to get some competent campaign staffers and pronto if he intends to be able to beat a Democrat in this blue, blue state.
It would be very, very easy for a Brady staffer to look around the web for a list of center right blogs. For instance, one can be found here: Illini Alliance. But the simple fact of the matter here is that very few Illinois bloggers knew anything about this meeting.
Bill Baar, one of the throngs of bloggers that attended, said that upon meeting Mr. Brady that he seemed like a “fundamentally decent guy.” Of this characterization, I would agree. Brady seems like a genuinely nice guy and I think he also seems pretty sure of his beliefs. So, why not reach out to all the center right bloggers in Illinois in a TRUE outreach program so that we can all get a chance to see this “fundamentally decent guy” and get a chance to interact with him, ask him a question or two, and get excited about his candidacy?
Are you listening team Brady? We are in an age when bloggers really can be an asset to a candidate. So far you are failing to take advantage of that possible asset.
Fran Eaton of the Ill. Review was kind enough to drop a message on my FaceBook page filling in a bit more info on this blogger coffee thingamabob. It seems it is not an effort of the Chicago Young Republicans, but the Cook County GOP (Lee Roupas Chair). It also seems that the invites, or at least advertising for the event, came through an email from the Young Republicans.
So, this isn’t entirely a mess made by the Brady campaign. In that, I was a bit off the mark.
However, this is most certainly something that a savvy campaign could have exploited for the good of the campaign. I wish that the Brady campaign had been a bit more proactive with this thing instead of blindly leaving it all up to the Cook County GOP.
I also have to say that it is still a fail by the Cook GOP. I am told they invited 117 bloggers. Three showed up. That is not a very good rate of return. Only three folks showing up to have face time with the candidate for Governor is not an encouraging thought! It shows a lack of excitement, a lack of advertising, and organizing.
In all, this shows that the Cook GOP’s outreach to the online community is still nascent and not running at optimal. I hope that the Cook GOP will work on this if they do, indeed, want to reach out to bloggers. They have a long way to go, for sure.