Thursday, February 8, 2007

ESSDC Meeting 2/7/07 7:30 Burns residence

C Kelly, J Burns, K Burns, P Johnson, D Faldet, J Hedstrom, E Lorentzen, M
Jorgensen, Kyrl Henderson (guest)

1. Jack asked for ideas about the marketing plan, leading up to our May
deadline and fundraising goals.
Kyrl said that the marketing should lead up to the fundraising-the
marketing is aimed at a fundraising objective. In our case, the
stages are to get a few big gifts up front, a bigger number of
middle-sized gifts after that, and then a lot of smaller gifts. He
wondered what marketing strategy goes along with that, especially
what we would be doing in March and April to get the word out to the
bigger group of givers. Kyrl is happy to make radio ads to fit a
plan, but he needs the plan.
Jim replied that we've targeted 100 people for calls. Alums of 30s,
40s, 50s from out of town have gotten letters. In-town alums who
are major prospects are on our current list. In-town alums will
also get a later Decorah mailing that may include 2006 school board
voters, a generated list of likely givers, and others.
Kyrl replied that the marketing might fulfill a second objective-not
raising 3.2 million but raising enough public interest and good will
to make the immediate demolition politically difficult.
Kari believes the tide has begun to turn, and that there is less ill
will and hard opposition than in years past. The Carlson gift helped
make that happen, and so did Kyrl's video.
Kyrl said that radio is the first new place to extend our
advertising. And we need to start now, as soon as possible. Then we
might extend to public access television spots. Billboards that
support the emotional investment and encourage people to go to the
website. We may also need more newspaper advertising.
Jim said to do informational work in February, stronger push in
March, and really hard rush in April. Kyrl said that it might work
backwards from that-with double the ads at first that we have a week
or two later.
Kyrl said we need to be focused-how many people to drive to the
website, how many to reinforce direct mail, how to integrate local
direct mail with billboard or television images. The action we want
people to take has to be clear, and clearly reinforced. We need
"crossfire" so people are ready and then reminded when they get the
letter of appeal.
Jim says the new "brand" should be Alice. Kyrl agrees, as did others.
Alice's parents are willing to have her appear in television ads, and
may agree to more. But Kyrl says we must be willing to take "no" for
an answer if the family is worried about overexposure.
Kyrl stressed that in the end it will be the programming that will
carry the day. So too, we must define the issue, not the school
board, so that people take ownership of the issue and feel that it
belongs to the community.

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