Giebink for House.
Otherwise known as "What not to do in a fundraising letter."
This fundraising letter is making the rounds across South Dakota. This one is from Sioux Falls, but I've also seen a few people in Pierre who have gotten it (an attorney or two). I've got to say that without a doubt this is one of the worst fundraising letters I've run across this year.
It's not just that it says "Dear friends." Bleaugh. It's not just that it doesn't ask for an amount and you can barely tell that it's a fundraising letter. It's an entire letter of poison prose. Here's the basic structure of the letter - you tell me if you'd send her some money on the basis of it's content:
IntroductionBoy, that one just makes me want to get out the checkbook.
Vote for me
Oh, there's also an envelope enclosed for some vague purpose.
I've said before that "you need to show the need and make the pitch." In this letter, there's no illustrating why we should send HER money. It's just a string of complaints masquerading as a letter. Aside from a vague and general statement about "working together," what in the heck is she planning to do about all her gripes?
Really, if this is the type of campaign she's planning on running, the Republican opposition might just consider going home and waiting for election day to campaign. Because she's going to be busy defeating herself. In other words, in a fundraising letter, a little doom and gloom is ok. I'm known to use it myself from time to time to show a need. But as a candidate, aside from showing the need, you have to show visionary thinking. You have to show what you will do.
Getting back to the letter content, I won't even go into the fact she isn't telling people what they're money could go for, or suggesting amounts that they might consider sending. Or even mentioning what the enclosed envelope could be used for.
As mentioned, the whole tone is just angry and bitter. I don't think that people want to elect kvetchers who spend all their time cursing the darkness. They want to elect someone who will light a torch and lead the way.
And that's who they'll send money to.
And while I'm on the topic of Mary Ann Giebink, I notice her website is listed on her fundraising letter at http://www.giebinkforhouse.com. So, I'll take a moment to tear dow.. Sorry. I'll take a moment to critique her website as well.
Her website comes off as less negative than her fundraising letter, and graphically, it's attractive. But it's the little things that matter.
Her with George McGovern and Tom Daschle? You know, that might be nice among Democrats. But in a legislative district with 9950 Republicans to 5571 Democrats (according to the secretary of State), the first thing I would do if I were Roger Hunt and Shantel Krebs? I'd grab that picture off of her website, and make sure every Republican Household in the District saw her standing side by side with McGovern. (Hint - George might get members of the SDDP all tingly inside, but he's generally not a plus among members of my party).
That and some of the spelling errors on a fairly static website ("bothers and sisters?") detract from what is otherwise an attractive space on the web. I would tweak a little of the commentary on the page to make it more leadership oriented (and away from complaining), and if she had to have it, I'd save the McGovern picture for a direct mail piece to dems.
So, terrible fundraising letter, and an OK website. But in a district where Dems are outnumbered almost 2 to 1, if she wants one of those seats this fall, she has to do better than just OK.