Communicator and Chief: How InfoCision is Assisting in Dr. Carson's Presidential Campaign

Editorial Series

Communicator and Chief: How InfoCision is Assisting in Dr. Carson's Presidential Campaign

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, TMC  |  March 31, 2016

It’s 2016, which means this year the nation will elect a new president. But as you know if you haven’t been living off the grid for the past year, the race for the new president has been front-and-center for several months now. And retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, a relative unknown outside of conservative circles until recently, last year moved into the spotlight in a big way. He occupied the position of GOP frontrunner for a while, and as of mid January was among the top four Republican presidential candidates in the polls.

Dr. Carson came to national prominence in 2013 when, as the keynote speaker at the National Prayer Breakfast, he articulated many of his social and political views, which resonated very positively with many Conservatives across the country. A graduate of Yale University and the University of Michigan Medical School, Carson became the director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Maryland in 1984, and was the first surgeon to separate conjoined twins. He is a 2008 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and has authored numerous books on his medical career and political stances. He retired in 2013 and launched his presidential bid two years later.

Carson America Inc., the name of Carson’s 2016 Presidential Campaign, began working with InfoCision (News - Alert) Management Corp. in March of 2015. Originally an exploratory committee, it evolved into an official presidential campaign last year, on May 4.

Since then, Carson America has been conducting its fundraising and information campaigns primarily via direct mail, online, social media, and telemarketing. InfoCision manages an extensive donor acquisition program for the Carson campaign, helping to harvest and cultivate supporters for the life of the presidential campaign. 

InfoCision’s communicators, as the company calls its contact center agents, handle the outbound phone prospecting and the inbound donors, along with all inbound customer service for donors generated from all fundraising channels, including direct mail, the Internet, phones, and social media.

The communicators serve as the front-line voice of the Carson campaign, identifying potential donors, conveying the campaign’s brand and up-to-the-minute messaging, and ultimately bringing new donors and their support directly to the campaign.

InfoCision also manages a very successful housefile campaign for Carson America, which includes timely updates about the campaign so that donors are kept informed about Dr. Carson, his poll numbers, initiatives, and go-forward strategies. The housefile campaign also provides further cultivation and upgrading of current donors, and reactivation of lapsed donors.

“Communication between candidates and donors is a key aspect of any presidential campaign,” says InfoCision Chief of Staff Steve Brubaker (News - Alert). “InfoCision plays a pivotal role in that effort as the only form of campaign outreach that can provide instant feedback on the effectiveness of different marketing appeals.”

InfoCision can provide that feedback both based the performance of key metrics such as response rate, average gift, and credit card rates, and also from actual donor or prospective donor’s comments and conversations they have with the communicators –  that’s something Brubaker says no other medium can provide.

Results of every prospecting and housefile campaign are posted in the call centers on high-definition screens so communicators can see their real-time effectiveness on the Carson campaign. Daily results are sent electronically every morning to the Carson campaign manager and marketing team, along with feedback – specific to the appeal used and the audience called – and go-forward recommendations and strategies based on donor feedback, and both qualitative and quantitative call center analysis.

The ultimate goal of the campaign is to generate as many new donors as possible – as quickly as possible – from the prospecting program, and to generate as much revenue at the highest ROI possible on the housefile program. This is accomplished through quality phone calls.

InfoCision targets potential supporters utilizing a proven donor acquisition strategy to recruit new donors to the Carson America campaign.  Donors who pledge to mail in a gift are sent a thank you letter signed by Dr. Carson. After donors to the campaign had fulfilled their initial gift, they were added to the campaign’s housefile database, and received follow-up calls throughout the following months with updates on Dr. Carson’s travel, the latest poll and debate results, and talking points from the campaign trail to keep donors informed. During the course of these housefile calls, donors were asked to help keep the campaign moving forward – and to help recruit more donors – by making additional donations. 

 “Another important aspect of these calls – regardless of whether or not an additional gift was secured – was to ensure that the donor base was getting information directly from the campaign, unfiltered or edited by the mainstream media, so that subsequent calls from the campaign would be well received and increase the probability of future gifts from these active donors,” says Brubaker.

Edited by Rory J. Thompson
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