Sitting at the Shawnee Hotel in Springfield, OH on November 2, 2010 is a night that I will not forget. As the results began to pour in, the excitement in the room grew and grew – Rick Lohnes beat Roger Tackett, a 28 year incumbent, a Vietnam veteran, a well-respected staple in the Clark County community.
Now, I will not begin to think that Shout It Out Design is the reason that Rick won. That would be irresponsible of me to say. Rick Lohnes is a well respected man in this community. Former Commander of the Air National Guard 178th Fighter Wing, brought in and held on to many jobs at the ANG, Lifelong member of Clark county, church goer and family man. It took a guy like Rick to beat a long time incumbent like Roger Tackett. And when you are going up against someone that has been voted in for 28 years, you’ll need a little help.
In the same way that I won’t take credit for Rick’s win, it would be tough to say that Shout It Out Design didn’t have a big hand in deciding the race. It starts with his website: LohnesForCommissioner.com.
When we met in March to talk about designing a website, Shout It Out Design was still in its infancy. While I had been doing web site design for 12 years – being my own brand was something new. I really wanted to help Rick to make a splash. A win for Rick was going to be a win for me. Not only is he my father-in-law, I felt he was the best candidate for the position, regardless of experience. I wanted his website to be somewhat interactive, a way for potential voters to be able to write to Rick and ask questions and there had to be a way for people to contribute to the campaign. And something he wasn’t thinking at the time may have been what turned the page at the end – Facebook.
When I mentioned Rick joining Facebook, I could just tell that he wasn’t excited. Both of his daughters were on Facebook, but did he really want to join in with something his two mid-twenties daughters were into? I convinced him that if he really wanted to interact with potential voters, Facebook and Twitter were the way to go. While a lot of people would prefer to send Rick an email with a question, answering questions in an open forum like Facebook is what will get people talking and discussing his name in their social (media) circles.
Towards the end of the campaign, I brought up the idea of using Facebook to advertise Rick’s website and get some more attention before the big election. He gave me a fairly small budget and knowing Rick, was expecting big results. By the end of the advertising campaign, his ads had showed up on over 2.1 million computer screens in the greater Springfield area. Pretty big results for a small level position, I thought.
In the end, Rick won his race on his own merits. He is a great candidate, a great guy and will be a great commissioner. But I’d like to think that Shout It Out Design helped. Way to go Rick – I know you’ll make us proud.