Speech for Meet and Greet at Judy Kallal’s
Today I want to talk to you about how I would be as your next Mayor through the eyes of branding and marketing.
Gabe Kaufhold is this amazing 23 year old millennial who can do something that I can’t do: he can design.
Since I decided to run for Mayor, Gabe has been there will me every step of the way helping me brand and market myself as not only a Mayoral candidate, but as the best Mayoral candidate.
He first designed my logo and it had blue and red and white and stars and I immediately said no. I’m a straight shooter like that. Life is too short to waste time and honest feedback is not distributed often enough.
I said, “I think you maybe need to understand a little bit more about who I am” so he came over. He met my kids and my dog Marley. I showed him my clean kitchen counters and minimalistic preferences. Next we sat down at my kitchen table and began to brainstorm.
“Can we find a clean, organized brand amongst all the chaos?” I asked. That’s who I am after all: simply, straightforward, organized, efficient in a world of chaos. In fact, the more chaotic thing are the more organized I try to be. My son was in the hospital. I swept my garage. My other son left for Haiti, I cleaned my desk. The more stressed I am the more organized I am.
We came up with a very simple logo. I wanted to only use lower case, because I didn’t want it to be about me. I wanted to be subtle if possible. Classy. Not predictable, but yet not uncomfortable. I loved the sophistication of black and white, yet nothing is really black and white and so we added a splash of color: green. It’s energizing, modern, it means go. I wanted to be as simply as possible. My brand is just my name and the word mayor. There was no need to clutter it with anything else.
As a brand should be, this brand does reflect who I am and how I would be as the next mayor.
- It’s not about me. This is a team and a community. I am a representative voice making the most informed decisions possible for the greater good.
- I’m simple. I hate the BS. Strip it down to the basics. What are we trying to do? How can we get there? Implement.
- I am not status quo. I did not want to do blue or red or white. I actually did not want to do yard signs, but my campaign team made me. Then I wanted to do moving signs and we couldn’t figure it out, so we have black signs. They are different and classy. They are different but not so different that they are uncomfortable to look at. Instead, they are just different enough that they draw your eye and make you curious. In office, I would be different, but not so different that you are going to cringe. I am going to be different because I am different. I am the only candidate with the military experience I have. I’m a LTC in the WYARNG. I’m a small business owner who owns two small businesses. I’m a medical provider. I’m the only one who understand downtown revitalization completely. I’m the DDA Director. And I’m different because I am the only candidate who has founded a non profit. I understand fundraising, grant writing, and volunteer management. I find opportunities in obstacles. I build teams, coalitions, and armys. I mobilize forces. I accomplish the mission. I am a visionary. I see the finished product and I know how to get to it.
- Like the green, I’m energetic, modern, and I like to go. I am not a good old boy. I believe in equity, fairness, and being transparency. What is transparency? You want to know what I am thinking, I will tell you. You want to know what is going on? Well, let me fill you in. It’s about opening your books and your doors and creating an environment where the public feels like it is their city hall as much as the Mayor does.
What is energetic? It’s a 0500 work out class, lattes, and working in uninterrupted blocks to maximize productivity. People often say “I don’t know how you do everything you do.” I don’t watch tv. I love to be productive and work. I have wonderful teams. I exercise, I eat right. I sleep 7-8 hours a night, I have family and friends who I love and they love me. Life is good. I do everything I do because it’s all important to me. I make time for it and I love it.
Besides the logo, a few other essential components needed to be formed to brand myself.
First, I had amazing headshots taken by Janelle Rose. We took them in the Paramount and in front of the Paramount. It was chilly and breezy outside and I felt so self-conscious and ridiculous posing like a senior picture. We also took a family photo. It was snowing and do you know how hard it is to corral 4 kids and a dog and a husband? It took us longer to get on the porch than it did to take the picture. I love these pictures to capture this time in my life both with what is happening but also the feelings of this journey.
I think as Mayor it important to capture what is happening, both subjective and objectively and communicate that to the public. Whether it is a picture, a video, a website, a Facebook page, Twitter, a newsletter, there needs to be lots of ways to communicate with lots of people in lots of different ways so that when they look at the picture and when they feel the picture, they understand what is happening.
Maya Angelou said, “people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Another component of my branding has been communicating a message and being consistent. On my website I have meet Amy and also my four part action plan about what I think is important to move forward as a community. There is a ton of detail about economic development, the budget, the city organization, and health wellness and safety. No one is going to read all of that! How can I communicate my message more effectively? Explain it to a five year old. I care about families and I care about a positive community. Is it positive? Yes. Does it help families? Yes. Ok, let’s go.
Finally, I have a blog. This is more of a diary approach to the community. We have the here-are-my-ideas-Amy and the blog is the hi-here-is-who-I-am-Amy.
Being Mayor doesn’t mean you are not human. I think being accessible, personable, and real, bring the organization and community together. The blog has also helped me clear my thoughts. There have been several that I have written that my campaign manager says, that’s good you got that out, but let’s not publish it. The blog has been a good lesson in choosing my words carefully, intentional communication, and staying true to myself during this process.
I’m so thankful for all of you and your support. I want your ideas and visions and your brand values. It’s important we pick the best from everyone and weave together a beautiful tomorrow that we can strive to attain. I’m asking you to vote for me so that together we can create our brand, our community brand, as we move into the future.