Friday Favorites – Part 2

We’re taking another look at some of CampaignHQ employees’ favorites today. As a reminder, we originally posted these fun look backs on our Facebook page. You should head on over and give us a follow for more posts and updates from our team.

My favorite call and why:

My favorite call was the call to an elderly lady who had many, many questions. I answered them as they came up. She wasn’t real comfortable donating until all the questions were answered. I must have done well because she gave me a $20 donation on a card.

 

My most embarrassing call:

I asked for the expiration date, “And your expiration date?” They replied, “Hopefully not soon!”

Nicole Schlinger promotions

My favorite client to call for and why:

Pro Life (SBA) – I want to be able to save as many unborn children as I can. Everyone deserves the chance to live. There are people that can’t have children and dream of having a family.

 

My favorite CHQ story:

November & December 2018 – On that: “Christmas Bucks/Points and prize store” promotion: I loved when everyone worked together to get each person (without supervisors suggesting it) to get a prize that they wanted. Everyone teamed up, that they came to work and made sure each day, at least, to have one person get their prize/s. I witnessed the true Christmas spirit with everyone – even a little within myself. Also, I was thrilled to see a dog eat from the shelter at the very end.

 

My favorite promotion and why:

I like the promotion to give to the animal shelter last year for dogs and cats, less fortunate than out own! I have a “soft spot” for cats, in particular. I also liked last year’s Christmas promotion with the points store. Everyone helped each other (without supervisor prompting) to get their gifts – The true spirit of Christmas was shown.

My favorite call and why:

I called in a southern state (had accent). He was drunk but he was funny! He kept trying to get me to come over after work and he’d buy me a drink! I got through the script and got a donation, but could hear him falling over stuff trying to get his card. What a sweet talker!

 

Have a great weekend!

Nicole Schlinger

Movin’ On Up

We recently had some promotions within the CampaignHQ team.

Nicole Schlinger promotions

These three are such great assets to our team and we’re happy that they have been promoted to their new roles.

 

 

If you’re looking for a rewarding career where you can make a difference, find success, work with a great team, and have opportunities for growth, give us a call – we’re hiring!

Nicole Schlinger brooklyn

Get started with us today!

Nicole Schlinger, President of Campaign Headquarters

Nicole Schlinger

 

Reed Awards Finalists!

We are Reed Award Finalists!

Nicole Schlinger Reed Awards

I am so incredibly proud of the hard work and dedication of the CampaignHQ team. it is an honor that an organization like Campaigns & Elections recognizes my tremendous team.

Nicole Schlinger Iowa Politics

What can this award-winning, best conservative call center in America get to work on for you today?

Give us a call! (888) 722-4704

Thanks for your support,

Loree with Nicole Schlinger, CHQ president and Chad Foster, CHQ vice president

Nicole Schlinger

2020 Pollie Awards

I am so honored to have been chosen as a speaker at the 2020 Pollie Awards. 

Nicole Schlinger Pollie Awards

According to the American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC),

The Pollie Awards are hosted by the American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC), the only bipartisan, non-profit organization for political consultants and public affairs professionals. Our mission is to honor excellence in the practice of political communications.

This year’s Pollie Awards will be held in Washington D.C. and is sure to be an exciting event for our industry. I love attending the Pollies and hearing about the cutting edge changes in campaigns and finding opportunities to grow business.

The CampaignHQ family is not new to the Pollies. Last year, we won two awards for our Teletownhall and Text Messaging work. 

We’re looking forward to a great time!

Nicole Schlinger

 

Friday Favorites

Back in December, we started a new series of posts on our CampaignHQ Facebook page where we shared “favorites” from our CHQ employees. We thought this would give folks a good look at our awesome employees as well as a chance to see what we do every day. Here are a few of my favorites:

My most embarrassing call:

I got their name wrong. Said, “Sir” instead of “ma’am.” They still gave a pledge. Then I said their name wrong again.

 

My favorite call:

My caller said that they would not donate a red penny because of all the calls, text messages, and emails. He had called it harassment. I stuck to my guns and kept going. He finally gave in after the 4th ask saying how wonderfully I was so passionate and how I believed in what I was doing by making a difference. He donated $1,500 on a credit card.

 

My favorite client to call for and why:

Ted Cruz. I believe in Senator Cruz and his agenda! Cruz is a senator we can be proud of. He goes the extra mile for our country and all Americans. He is honest and straight forward. Good family man and an example to the young people in America. We need more senators and congressman with his morals.

 

My most embarrassing call:

A man asked me if I was married. He didn’t want to hear anything about what I was calling about. No matter how hard I tried to get the first ask in, all he wanted to do is flirt and wanted my personal email address.

My favorite call and why:

When I made a call to a veteran in New York. He was really gruff and grumpy at first but once I got through the first ask, he was pretty nice and ended up donating $100 on a card. He was very sweet and that call made my day.

 

My favorite CHQ story:

We got to meet Ted Cruz in person. Ted Cruz came to Brooklyn for a town hall meeting and met with all of us callers before hand.

 

We’ll share some more soon. Thanks for reading.

Nicole Schlinger

Is a Microforum Right for You?

Do you want to engage up to 500 people on one phone call? Do you wan treal-time feedback from your supporters/donors? Do you want to rally your audience to take action? A microforum may be for you!

Nicole Schlinger Brooklyn Iowa

A microforum is a moderated conference call where you decide who joins the calls, speaks, and asks questions. You can have one conversation with everyone who needs to hear your message, which is both personal and time effective.
The first step to a successful microforum is to spread the word to your target audience, whether that be through text message, calling, word of mouth, or even email. Plan your event with us so that we can guide you in the best steps to inform YOUR audience.
Step 2 is to begin with your end in mind! Determine the specific action/reason for your microforum. Is your goal to update your donors on private campaign information? Do you want to rally your volunteers before a National Day of Action? Are you in need of a private connection to give high-profile candidates a chance to speak to their top supporters?

ALL of the above are reasons to have a microforum!

The third step to success is to plan the call. You should draft a line by line script in order to make sure you tell your audience exactly what they came to hear! Jot some notes down on possible questions that may be asked – YES, you will be able to communicate with your audience. Not just that – but CampaignHQ will screen questions FOR YOU to make sure you get the questions you want to answer live! You can also ask a poll question to determine the opinion of everyone on the call!

It is always good in the planning phase to hold a brief meeting with us here at CampaignHQ to discuss the platform, format, etc. We will provide you the training you need at no extra charge!

Step 4 is audience participation! Ask your audience to press *3 to ask questions and engage in the conversation. Encourage participants to answer poll questions and follow up with them after the call. This is a great way to get information from your audience!
Click here to contact us about scheduling a microforum!
Are you ready to take it to the next level? Give us a call about hosting a telephone townhall! We can outbound call up to 2 million people!
Contact CampaignHQ at (888) 722-4704 or marlys@chq.us to schedule a consultation to discuss how we can give you the winning edge in your election, ballot initiative, or issue advocacy campaign.

Thanks for the memories 700 East Pleasant

Election Night 2010. The last with our team under one roof at #700EastPleasant.

Jake Ketzner asked if I’d be in the room with Governor Branstad. They needed three people to man three computers to check election results. Basically, they needed a third body to hit “refresh” over and over again until Governor Branstad was announced the winner.

Nicole Schlinger Terry Branstad

At first, I declined.The last time I’d been in the room with a candidate had been in 2006 with Bill Dix. Before that, 1996 with Mike Mahaffey. Frankly, my record of being next to a candidate while they watched election returns was bad.

Jeffrey Robert Boeyink told me if I was asked, I needed to be there.

So on Election Night 2010, I sat in a room and hit refresh over and over and over again alongside Jake and Lynn McRoberts. And lo and behold, Terry Branstad was our Governor again.

After being told I was a terrible fundraiser, after working hard and coming up short for Jim Nussle in 2006, I was finally been the Finance Director for a winning gubernatorial campaign.

Shortly after, we were brought on to help with the fundraising and ticketing for the Inaugural celebration. And while working for Governor Branstad’s campaign was a great experience, the Inauguration was not.

Our call center was growing. Our national clients that year included Tea Party Patriots and Americans United for Life.

It was time to leave Iowa fundraising behind.

We moved our call center into the new building at 109 West Front St in July 2011. The rest of us moved into the basement we now call home in October 2013.

Terry Branstad Kim Reynolds David Young Nicole SchlingerThe last Iowa fundraising event I attended was Governor Branstad’s birthday in November 2014.

And as you read this, I am no longer the owner of #700EastPleasant.

Nicole Schlinger Brooklyn

Getting Crowded

If we met in the early years of this century, you may wonder how an establishment Republican major donor fundraiser became a Tea Party conservative.

I was tired of staying in my lane while our candidates put up loss after loss, despite record fundraising. I was tired of Republicans saying they wanted limited government, and then voting for a lot more government. I was tired of being told “we only hire our friends” or “we don’t play in primaries” when all that got us was a lot more cookie cutter and a lot less authentic emotion.

So when I heard JennyBeth Martin for the first time in 2009, shortly after Rick Santelli’s CNBC rant, I knew this was the moment I’d been waiting for. (Not just a conservative, not just a fire breather, but a woman. Someone who looked like me.)

Nicole Schlinger Tea Party

It was time to play full court press. Play like every day is the last play of the game. Let’s push people on their principles, even in primary campaigns, especially in primary campaigns.

At that particular moment, few people wanted to play in that niche. It seemed like a passing trend, and maybe a little dangerous.

Well, I wanted it. So CampaignHQ would be the Best Conservative Call Center in America.

***
2010 was a transition year for CHQ. Several key players who would build the foundation for what was to come joined us that year. Marlys De Witt Popma, Trevor Dodds, and Staci Shepard.

Marlys had been the Campaign Manager for a candidate for Governor who left the race shortly after Terry Branstad announced he was in. A key person on our staff had just quit and we were looking to fill the gap. But the notion that THE Marlys Popma would fill that gap (and more) #CHQ seemed outlandish.

Chad Foster and I giggled like little girls when I told him my big idea and read him the script of what I’d say when I called. But lo and behold in January 2010, she showed up for work and a new chapter began. When we hired Marlys, we didn’t have a place for her desk. So I moved out of my office into the vending machine closet, and my office was split in two so she’d have a space.

Trevor and Staci started on the call floor with amazing talent. We didn’t have assigned seats for everyone, and the day Trevor got a desk of his own (actually a $29.99 coffee cart from Wal-Mart) was a milestone. It was … as we like to call it… “Toilet Adjacent.”

Nicole Schlinger Nicole Schlinger employees

#700EastPleasant was getting overcrowded.

2006 – Campaign in a Box

A defining feature of Iowa campaigns in 2006 was the constant presence of 2008 Presidential hopefuls. While traveling the state in support of our ticket, they could actively recruiting activists, elected officials, and staff.

Mitt Romney was king amongst the “non-candidates” in 2006, attending more events for more candidates than anyone else.

Mitt Romney Nicole Schlinger

At one such fundraiser in Burlington for Congressman Jim Leach, I was cornered by David Kochel and Gentry Collins.

I won’t forget what Kochel said. “You could do a lot more than this.” He called it a Campaign in a Box. We would use our calling crew to drive turnout for events which I would plan and execute. This would give the campaign we signed up for a huge advantage by holding events from which they could build their organization of county chairs and precinct captains. This would culminate in the largest event of all, the Iowa Straw Poll. Putting the people on the bus would be just like putting the butts in seats at a State Party dinner.

This was shortly after Bill Dix’s primary loss. And it was the first time ANYONE had painted a bigger picture for me, had pulled back the curtain to say there’s a bigger world out there and you are good enough to be in it.

It was the first time my head peaked up over the wall of Iowa politics, to see a tiny little glimpse of what CampaignHQ could eventually become.
So while it’s a little embarrassing in retrospect to say I was too head down, too buried in house party after house party, every night giving out nametags in a different town, to see this was not the mountaintop. I’m glad David Kochel did.

On Election Night in 2006, Jim Nussle lost the race for Governor to Chet Culver. Jim Leach lost to Dave Loebsack. And Republicans lost control of the Iowa House.

And I signed up with Mitt Romney right before Thanksgiving. Campaign Headquarters was born.

 

2006 – “Mom, Dad, I don’t think we’re going to make it”

If you haven’t been following along, in honor of our recent sale of the original headquarters, I’ve been throwing it back with old stories about where this company has been.

Two stories about the 2006 election cycle – the last cycle where we focused 100 percent on raising money for Iowa candidates.

So let’s recap the political state of play.

Iowa had five Congressmen, four Republicans – Nussle, King, Leach, and Latham and one Democrat – Boswell.

Jim Nussle’s would-be run for Governor was the world’s worst-kept secret. He did not immediately clear the GOP primary field. Rumors persisted through early 2005 that Doug Gross would run again, although he ultimately did not. Bob Vander Plaats was in.

Bill Dix, Brian Kennedy, and Mike Whalen were all in for the open Nussle seat. Leach and Latham ran for re-election. Jeff Lamberti ran against Leonard Boswell. Christopher Rants was Speaker of the House.

Nussle, Dix, Leach, Latham, and Rants were all our clients.

Two things happened in 2006 that would foretell what was to come for Capitol Resources and eventually for the business you’d come to know as Campaign Headquarters today.

Of all the candidates we worked for in 2006, we had the most direct connection with the Dix family. I cannot count the number of afternoons at his dining room table, drinking Gerri Dix‘s lemonade dialing and dialing and dialing for dollars.

Bill Dix was the last candidate for whom I wrote speeches. I helped write his announcement speech and the stump speech he gave at Republican dinners the first few months. While his platform was pretty typical for a Republican at that time – lower taxes, less government, pro-life – Bill had a unique voice and a special way of delivering that message that was his alone.

For those of you who worked in the 2006 election cycle, you probably remember it was the last mid-term cycle of the Bush 43 Presidency. The Iraq War was immensely unpopular, and Republicans had voted for the largest increase in government entitlements in a generation. It was the year Republicans lost the House and made Nancy Pelosi speaker. If Republicans weren’t going to be Republicans … well, you might as well vote for Democrats.

So when you convince a candidate like that to deliver a Washington, DC-style speech over and over again … well, it’s not going to work. Bill stopped saying “change the status quo.” His yard signs lost his trademark slogan, “Let’s Make it Happen.”

When I expressed concern, I was told in no uncertain times to stay in my own lane. And to this day, I regret that I did indeed stay in my own lane.

On primary night, I watched as Bill told his parents, “Mom, Dad, I don’t think we’re going to make it,” before making his concession speech.

Bill may have lost that primary no matter what. He was running against a self-funder. He wasn’t from the right part of the district. He had a statehouse record that an outsider could attack. But the fact is, I didn’t fight as hard as I could.

As I told you before, a fundraiser may get their paycheck from the candidates … but you work for the donors.

Nearly every donor I knew had maxed out to Bill Dix. And I had to answer for that.

These days, we make phone calls and text messages for hundreds of campaigns. It’s easy to forget as they fly across your desk one after another that running for office is the culmination of a life’s dream for someone, whether it’s Congress or Town Council.

When we jam them all in the same bucket, with the same tired old talking points, we are failing them mightily. When I start to forget that, I think of Bill Dix, and I know we can do better.

Stay tuned for the second story…

Nicole Schlinger always hard at work for CHQ clients