Case Study: Robby Miller Campaign

Robby Miller, 2015 candidate for Tangipahoa Parish President, brought 30 years of trusted business leadership onto the campaign trail. There was no doubt, Robby would put in the hard work to get the job done. His commitment to the Tangipahoa community was strong - so strong that we built his entire political campaign around it.

In a record election year for Tangipahoa Parish, more than 13% of the parish’s registered voters cast ballots during the six-day primary early voting period, making it the largest early voting turnout in parish history.

Even though the general election early voting period was cut short one day due to Veteran's Day, parish voters cast 1,900 more votes than they had one month prior for the primary election. By November 17, the registrar of voters in Tangipahoa Parish received 9,996 early votes, leading to a record general election on November 21, 2015 where 42.8% of the parish’s voters, more than 74,000 registered voters, cast their ballots.

What is the Tangipahoa Parish President Race?

After 29 comfortable years in cruise control with the same parish president, Tangipahoa voters were going to decide who would take the wheel and drive the parish in a new direction. Miller and Notariano, both Republicans from Hammond, were running to succeed the retiring Gordon Burgess, the only president the parish has had since adopting its home rule charter in 1986. Both men had before tried to win the position against longtime incumbent Gordon Burgess — Miller in 2007, Notariano in 2011 — but were defeated by narrow margins. With the president's seat open, both were hoping to convince voters their path was the one to follow.

Challenges and Opportunities

With results driven experience in both private industry and community development, Miller focused on the economic and technological future of the parish. His campaign was based on a team building vision to make Tangipahoa the best parish in Louisiana to work, play and live! His belief was that everyone - citizens, staff and elected officials - should take an active part at each level of parish government. Quoting Miller, “We are all Economic Developers, We are all Litter Abatement staff, We are all TEAM Tangipahoa.” This plan focused on the immediate areas of concern:

  • Economic development
  • Technological improvements
  • Infrastructure
  • Evaluating and improving existing operations
  • Appointing a parish improvement committee
  • Creating litter and blighted property programs
  • Quality of life and recreation

To best reach Robby Miller’s target audiences 5 Stones Media developed a public relations plan that strongly utilized strategic social media campaigns, Constant Contact email marketing campaigns and print advertising; contributed to the creation of a logo and brand for the aspiring Parish President; and developed a website to communicate his stance to the public.

Strategic messaging was crafted for social media campaigns and email marketing campaigns. Campaigns focused on the following:

  • Commitment to hard work
  • Committed to Tangipahoa
  • Committed to faith and family
  • Committed to integrity
  • Infrastructure
  • Litter
  • Robby loves Tangi
  • Parish Improvement Committee
  • Evaluate & improve existing operations
  • Miller’s qualifications

There were also campaigns targeted around voter registration, early voters, young voters, getting involved in his campaign, email alerts and more.

Results

Primary:

With all 84 precincts reporting, Miller took 14,819, or 49.7 percent, of the 29,834 votes cast, while Notariano earned 13,686 votes or 45.9 percent. Sean Granger came in a distant third with 1,329 votes, or 4 percent. Turnout for the election was 40.2 percent.

Miller took the top spot in the Tangipahoa Parish president race’s primary election, but didn’t garner quite enough votes to avoid a runoff against Notariano. The race then jolted into a hotly contested runoff between Miller and Notariano that would engage the entire parish over the coming weeks.

General:

In the general election held on November 21, the voters of Tangipahoa Parish overwhelmingly elected Robby Miller to succeed Parish President Gordon Burgess.

According to the Tangipahoa Parish Clerk of Court’s office, Miller won with 52 percent of the vote to Notariano’s 48 percent. There were approximately 1,117 votes separating the two candidates.

Approximately 42.8 percent of the parish’s more than 74,000 registered voters participated in the general election. More than 13 percent of the parish’s registered voters cast ballots during the six-day early voting period, which was the largest early voter turnout ever recorded in Tangipahoa .

The turnout for the primary election was 40.2 percent, the election gained a .6 percent increase in voter turnout between the primary and general elections. This increase from 40.2 percent to 42.8 percent is not common in local level political races. 5 Stones Media attributes this increase to its strategic involvement in the campaign which yielded an increased social presence that adequately addressed community questions and concerns while utilizing email marketing and traditional media advertising (such as newspapers and magazines). In the final analysis, Miller’s increased media presence influenced his supporters, who were more informed on the issues and more positively engaged in the campaign’s ongoing dialogue and debate, to vote in the general election, clinching a firm victory for Robby Miller.

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