Jay Solly seems to know a bit about marketing.
His shamelessly self-promoting CNMI gubernatorial 'poll' landed him on the front page of the Friday Marianas Variety and the election-day Saipan Tribune.
Not bad for a young guy who seems to be looking for a job. Unintended consequences kick in, of course.
He reportedly used his 'significant other's' (gad I hate that term) phone to survey voters. Well, not hers exactly. According to the Tribune, it's a residential phone but it belongs to Bridge Capital LLC *. They fired her, "for improper use of company resources." A company whose unrelenting campaign for gambling on Saipan has been controversial doesn't need a pissed-off Governor.
And he was pissed, or at least his minions were. That's easy to understand. Who needs to get blind-sided the day before the election by a poll showing the incumbent is in third place? The obvious --and legitimate-- questions were asked: who is this guy and who does he work for?
So they called Bridge Capital, who quickly cut their losses... and their payroll. Pressure from the Governor's Office? I have no idea, but there's no crying in Public Relations. It seems like a move they would make with or without pressure. But Jay and the SO (girlfriend) are victims now. Stay tuned. We need two jobs now.
Who does he work for? There's nothing obvious to go by. Personally I think he free-lanced this, but time will tell. Stay tuned. With due diligence, the Governor's people checked out Marianas Consulting on the internet, and only got marianasconsulting.com, evidently some consultants in Toronto. Nay, says Solly, it's marianasconsulting.biz, which is true enough. He bought that domain name on October 26, but it's not functioning yet. The Website Title is 404 Not Found. **
Haidee V. Eugenio writes that the Tribune got Solly's Press Release Friday. I suppose he was trying to maximize coverage in both papers. He puts a brave face on it, but I don't think this is the story he expected to read.
And the voters say
Solly claims that his methods are sound, but the numbers don't add up to me-- figuratively and literally. My "Pala-Pala Poll" shows the Governor ahead of Juan Guerrero, with more than 20 percent of the vote. I guess we'll know tonight.
I could comment on the poll's design if I knew more about it. I was looking for his Press Release or other information when I tried to track down the Marianas Consulting website. Big assumption here, but if they only called landlines they would get a skewed view of the population. A lot of people only have cell phones these days, particularly younger people. Also, in this political climate, I would expect some people to hold their cards pretty close when talking to an anonymous voice on the phone.
Survey questions have to be designed very carefully. For instance, 'Do you think the Commonwealth is headed in the wrong direction?' would be leading. 'In which direction is the Commonwealth headed?' with choices would get a better result.
Then again, at least he tried, and he's sure poked himself into the public eye.
* Mo' marketing: Bridge Capital got in its own public relations licks with the irrelevant "Since June this year, the company has donated nearly $25,000 to the CNMI community."
** The WHO IS pointed at http://www.marianasconsulting.biz instead of just http://marianasconsulting.biz There's a little more information at the site, but the Press Release he posted has less information than what was provided to the local papers. I got through once. The connection has 'timed out' every other time I tried.