Donald Trump controls the media. We were all wrong when we thought that the media was favoring Trump because he brought ratings. We were only partially right when we thought the left-wing mainstream media was favoring him because they want Hillary to have a clear path to the White House. It’s worse than we thought.
Fox News, the “right-leaning” portion of mainstream media, is all about pushing Trump. Drudge Report, Breitbart, WND – they are all banking on Trump. It’s time to handle the necessary press with more of an edge and find the smaller media outlets that are more supportive.
It’s time to hit the grassroots.
There’s two reasons for this. First, there’s a notion that candidates need to go to the places where there are eyeballs, but this is only partially true. He still needs to go into enemy territory and chat with people like Sean Hannity from time to time because of their reach, but by branching out to talk to small- to medium-sized conservative publications, YouTube channels, and social organizations, he’ll be able to bring the eyeballs to them. The audiences at sites like Politistick, Caffeinated Thoughts, and The Lid are relatively small compared to Breitbart but they have passionate and influential readers. When Cruz speaks to these publications and offers them unique quotes (and occasionally zingers) he’ll accomplish three things:
- Expose these Cruz-friendly conservative sites to a broader audience of conservatives because they’ll be quoted by the higher-volume mainstream media sites
- From an audience perspective, the readers of smaller sites are often more impressed when their “hidden gems” are granted exposure based upon Cruz’s stature. This will take a friendly crowd and turn some of them into more passionate supporters.
- Establish what he’s been saying on television for months – that he appeals to the grassroots Republicans rather than the mass media that Trump craves.
The Cruz campaign would do well for themselves to offer unique and compelling quotes. Even if he only answers a single question via email, the story that smaller publications will write about him have an opportunity to go viral. Perhaps most importantly, he’ll be able to spread the word and make the news much more quickly; a single paragraph unique answer to one question would be enough to get the attention of the larger outlets.
By going small and helping it go big, he’ll have a broader reach. It’s only counter-intuitive on the surface. In practice, it’s the right way to go.
For those interested in seeing the Cruz grassroots, there’s a good list over at Conservatives4Cruz. Of course, you can always find good Cruz stuff here as well…