The TL;DR Version
Hines Digital has been selected as a finalist for five categories in Campaigns & Elections Magazine’s 2017 Reed Awards, including:
- Best Online Fundraising Program;
- Best Website For Presidential Campaign;
- Best Website Overall;
- Best International Website; and
- Best International Firm.
Today, Campaigns & Elections Magazine formally announced the finalists for the 2017 Reed Awards in Las Vegas. We’re incredibly honored to have been recognized as finalists in each of the five categories in which we chose to compete — including several of the most prestigious and competitive categories in digital consulting.
These nominations follow Hines Digital’s 2016 successes at the Reed Awards, where we were the winners of Best Overall Website for our work with Bill Bryant for Governor and Best Website for an Independent Expenditure for our work with The Republican Party of Florida.
This year’s recognition comes primarily as a result of our work on two projects: Britain Stronger in Europe and Evan McMullin for President. And while each of these efforts proved ultimately unsuccess at the ballot box, they also reset expectations for what’s possible in a digitally-centered campaign effort.Read more
In August 2016, we received an unlikely phone call. Evan McMullin, an unknown former CIA agent and chief policy advisor to the Republicans in the US House of Representatives was running for President of the United States as an independent, and his campaign manager—Joel Searby—wanted to know if we would help.
I had been talking with Joel for some months about the possibility of an independent campaign, but now that possibility had become a reality. The campaign was launching on Monday, Joel said, and we had three days to develop all the digital infrastructure and strategy for launch.
Politics is a fast moving industry, for sure, but even by political campaign standards launching this sort of campaign in just three days would require a Herculean effort. Everything had to be done right, and there was no margin for error — no time for do-overs. Luckily, we had undertaken a similar effort for UK Prime Minister Theresa May earlier that year and knew it could be done.
Of course, we said “yes.” What happened next was nothing short of historic.Read more
As Americans head to the polls in 2016, they’re faced with two of the most unpopular presidential candidates in modern history. In fact, a majority of Americans — including 90% of millennials — want to see an independent candidate run. And the more people see of Clinton and Trump, the less they like them.
Better For America is out to give voters another option — one they can be proud of. BFA is building a campaign-in-waiting, clearing the way for a principled, credible, worthy candidate to step forward by securing ballot access across the country.
We partnered with BFA to infuse new energy into their branding, redesign & relaunch their website, and lead the digital advertising and email/fundraising efforts.
In the weeks leading up to the 2016 Republican National Convention, a group of convention delegates banded together to block and reverse Donald Trump's political ascent.
Their goal: calling on the party’s chairman to support and reaffirm the longstanding principle that delegates to the GOP Convention can vote their conscience in the name of preserving the legacy of the party and the nation.
We partnered with Free The Delegates to lead their national digital strategy. We designed and launched a petition microsite — in just one day — using NationBuilder’s grassroots organizing platform, and leading an aggressive email and online fundraising effort.
Over approximately three weeks, Free The Delegates sent more than 60,000 individual emails to conscientious conservatives across America, earning a whopping 36% open rate and a 3.8% click rate (fantastic engagement). In the end, more than 900 grassroots donations supported the effort, with an average gift of just $35, despite spending exactly zero dollars on online advertising.
When Dr. Kelli Ward decided to take on longtime Senator John McCain in the Arizona Republican Primary, she knew that she would need an active, engaged grassroots movement to succeed.
We had the opportunity to partner with her campaign to develop and lead her digital strategy, building that grassroots supporter network across Arizona and the country.
We redesigned and relaunched her website, helped grow her campaign’s email list by a whopping 760%, and set a blistering pace of online fundraising — setting a new standard for running an efficient, effective digital organizing campaign.
A few minutes ago, a friend of mine tweeted this and it caught my attention.
I’ve been circling around a similar thought as we’ve rolled through the most recently quarterly FEC reporting deadline, and I think Steve’s right. The “burn rate” is a silly metric.
For those unfamiliar with the term, a campaign’s “burn rate” is the rate at which they’re spending the money that they’re raising. It’s good to have a low “burn rate” — the conventional wisdom goes — so that you have more cash-on-hand. More cash on hand means you’re “stronger.”
Like Steve, I don’t buy it. Campaign’s cost money, and — as Steve says — there’s no prize for having the most money and losing.
Spending a lot money means nothing more than that you’re acting, rather than laying in wait. But an irrational fear of low cash-on-hand can lead you to forego crucial early investments in digital and field that’ll lay the groundwork for success down the stretch.
The truth is that I don’t care about your campaign’s “burn rate.” It’s a vanity metric that the media focuses on because it’s easy to grok. But campaigns aren’t businesses, and the goal isn’t profit. The goal is victory.
If you’re spending what you’re raising on smart, forward-thinking investments in critical campaign infrastructure, more power to you. If you’re blowing it on non-essential things like expensive hotels and branded tour buses, that’s a leading indicator of deeper problems within a campaign. But either way, don’t just sit on the money in order to get a positive press story because while you do your opponent — the one with the huge “burn rate” — is laying the foundation to beat you.
When people think about Democratic Party dominance, they tend to think of states like Massachusetts or Maryland. But in reality, it’s Washington State that’s had the longest drought of Republican leadership in the nation. And if you’re going to run for governor in the bluest of blue states, you need to bring your “A Game.”
We partnered with Bill Bryant as he launched his campaign for Governor of Washington State, designing what Campaigns & Elections Magazine would later call the “best overall website of 2015.” It’s beautiful, functional, and easily maintained without every updating a single line of code.
In May 2015, we had the opportunity to design & develop the website for Rick Santorum’s campaign for the presidency of the United States.
Well known for his grassroots campaigning style, Senator Santorum decided early on that the campaign would lean heavily on NationBuilder’s state-of-the-art grassroots organizing platform. Working with his campaign team, we developed a website that is built for action — featuring an action on every page and a personalized “Action Center” for grassroots supporters.
In the months that followed, we stepped in as the campaign’s lead digital consultants, responsible primarily for supporter engagement, online fundraising, and management of the campaign’s national digital & data infrastructure.
Senator Santorum’s commitment to cutting-edge technology allowed the campaign to be a leader in digital organizing in a way that — we believe — led the charge among Republican candidates during the early part of the 2016 presidential primary election cycle.