NEWSLETTER: Don’t Let Your Mail Go Unnoticed | Dog Days of Oppo

May 24, 2024

Don’t Let Your Mail Go Unnoticed

We offer our clients crucial services such as award-winning, creative, and eye-catching direct mail. We’ve won awards for our work for those seeking to lead this nation as president, local leaders who shape our communities, and everyone in between.

We’d love for you to look at just a few pieces we’ve created over the years here. If you like what you see, reply to this email to discuss how we can help you grab your audience’s attention.

Kory Wood: Introducing Naji Filali

As part of our company e-newsletter, we will highlight some of the individuals and firms we work with, allowing them to share their expertise with you. If you would like to be a contributor to our newsletter, please reply to this email or contact

Research is a pivotal part of every campaign and the key to success. At Ascent Strategic, we approach research in two ways: 1) preparing for the vulnerabilities of our candidate and 2) opposition research utilizing voting records, past social media posts, and public records to define our opponents.

It’s essential to have a partner who understands politics, voters, and how the information found can best be utilized to give your campaign an advantage.

Not all research is equal, however. That’s why Naji Filali, our guest contributor this week, is one of the talented vendors we work with.

Naji Filali: Dog Days of Oppo – How to Get the Most Out of Your Campaign Plan This Summer

For most Americans, the upcoming Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial kickoff of summer—a welcome reprieve for families to unwind, fire up the grill, and head out of town.

Unfortunately for those in politics, the summertime feels more like the kickoff of a five-month sprint to November—a particularly unpleasant proposition for those living in the thick of the DC Swamp.

It is understandable how it sometimes might feel as though time is against us to set our clients toward a path to victory, given the date on the calendar. After all, the answer for when a candidate or consultant would ideally like their research books in hand is always “yesterday.” However, it’s important not to lose perspective: more than half of state primaries occur from June to September, and expertly-targeted research that informs polling and creatives can be turned around in a matter of days by the right firm.

So, what should your team be seeking to accomplish by commissioning research at this stage of the cycle?

  • Define Your Opponent And Lay It On Thick. Pore over archival news and online content, delve deep into the annals of their social media, use automated tools to transcribe relevant interviews, and analyze their legislative/executive public office tenures. Then, find several defining thematic narratives and hammer them home regularly with it until Election Day. Not conservative enough, too progressive. Fiscally irresponsible. Ethically challenged. Guilty of voting twice in the same election across state lines. Whatever the dictates of the field and gut intuition tell you, follow it and double down to make every week ‘Vulnerability X’ or ‘Vulnerability Y’ Week.
  • Acquire Visual Collateral To Support Your Narrative. Telling a story resonates and elicits an emotional response when buttressed by visual evidence to support your claims. Photos with partisan figures or at a rally/protest on social media. Video of the candidate in a heated exchange on the news. These are all compelling multimedia snippets to catalog and utilize for creative paid media. Bonus points if you can obtain police bodycam footage and turn it into a Reed-award winning ad.
  • Don’t Forget Public Records. Public records—whether obtained online or by public information request—tend to yield some of the most original finds of the cycle. Obtain what is readily available first (e.g., campaign finance, court records) and simultaneously send out requests to localities for primary source materials to serve as a useful visual foil with your client, like an opponent’s lackluster voting history, interactions with law enforcement, or applying for discounted resident hunting licenses in a state other than one’s sworn primary residence.
  • We at Percipient Strategies are certainly strong believers in the notion that opposition research is a campaign necessity, not an option. Over the intervening eight years, we have prided ourselves in providing our clients—be they town councilmen, state legislators, or Governors—with honed insights that serve as the foundation of their roadmaps to victory. After all, how could one secure victory on a battlefield without a battle plan?

With the coming of these later primaries and Election Day to follow, remember to always ask how you can define your opponent and then do so relentlessly. And if you need a hand, a good researcher shouldn’t be difficult to find.

Memorial Day marks the “unofficial” start of summer, but more importantly today is a day of reflection and honor. We must never forget those who have made the ultimate sacrifice while protecting our freedom.

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