We were seriously entranced with Bloomberg Businessweek’s op-ed on why Hillary Clinton lost her first POTUS campaign.

So much so that we read it twice, and mused about parallels to our business.

The reasons for her demise, asserts writer-pundit Joshua Green, were multiple, specifically:

  • No clear overarching justification for candidacy
  • Not focusing squarely on the issues
  • Trying to be all things to all people
  • Delaying a response to uproars and turmoils and
  • Not recognizing her own shortcomings.

First things first:  The business case.  Right now, it’s clear that Hillary is concentrating on middle-class economic advancement and, as a sub-theme, making Washington work better.  That’s a singular target – and though overall motifs might vary (depending on the audience), messaging potentially will carry the same narrative.  It’s simple, impactful, and just might be as powerful as Obama’s ‘change.’ 

On the other hand, it could be subjected to the candidate’s (and her/his strategists’) boredom and continual polling.  Hear it now:  “The economy has changed; the middle class isn’t as worried as before.”  Or:  “Xyz is much more critical these days; let’s zero in on that issue.”   And:  “The opposition is attacking us on abc now; we need to answer.”

Squirming yet?  Check how you’d respond to these questions:

  • How often do we abandon our messaging at the drop of a survey – and latch onto another hot topic? 
  • Are we easily dissuaded from pursuing original goals? 
  • Can we withstand corporate requests and continue our mission?

Next up:   The stuff that campaigns are made of …