The Power of Premiums
So long as Barack Obama is President, his reelection team has a lock on all these very exciting thank-you gifts that scream exclusivity, flattery and patriotism.
Show up at a dinner party wearing presidential cuff links or a Camp David polo shirt, and you have an aura of power and a seeming connection to the Oval Office.
This is very sexy stuff.
How to Say 'Thank You' with Class
In his Rules for Using Premiums, Max Hart wrote:
- Use premiums that have a logical tie-in with your organization.
- Use premiums with the highest perceived value at the lowest cost.
- Provide quality premiums.
- Feature the premium in the copy.
I take exception to the last rule in the case of Obama for President. It's okay for Team Obama to sell hokey little goodies such as a birther mug or a car magnet.
But it would be unseemly to hawk official presidential memorabilia in return for a partisan contribution. This would be naked politicizing of the presidency.
However, no one could find fault with the Obama campaign purchasing goodies from the White House Gift Shop (where all proceeds go to the Secret Service Uniformed Division Benefit Fund) and quietly sending a surprise thank-you gift to a donor commensurate with the value of the contribution (e.g., a presidential pen for a small donation, a Camp David polo shirt for an intermediate gift, a bronze bust of George Washington for a four-figure donation or a hand-carved replica of JFK's Oval Office desk for a seven-figure boost to the Obama Super PAC).
Precise Testing Is Imperative
This is not casual throwing eggs against the wall and hoping something sticks. All thank-you gifts are to be carefully recorded by donor and then the size of that donor's follow-up gifts precisely measured. An effusive thank-you letter asking for additional money would be included with the premium.