Organising a successful election campaign is an undertaking that requires plenty of willpower and stamina. However, no amount of mental fortitude is enough if the implementation is half-baked.
Voters choose their candidates largely based on how the candidates' campaign themes align with their own values. In order to be chosen, a candidate and his or her campaign theme should be easy to find through the channels that are frequently used by the voters who the candidate wishes to reach.
As such, a candidate should consider in advance what kind of people they wish to reach with their message. Is the target adept at navigating the digital world, or do they prefer more traditional methods when choosing their candidate?
Ensure your online visibility, establish a campaign website
The most effective channel for sharing your content is the Internet, somewhat depending on the target group, of course. Nowadays, if you can't be found online, you don't exist. Your campaign website serves as a hub for all the content that you produce, allowing you to easily share it in social media channels, for example.
Having an online presence is crucial, especially for establishing new contacts. The Internet allows you to spread your message widely at reasonable cost, and to direct it at specific target groups. The results of campaigning in the digital environment can exceed those of traditional legwork several times over.
If you feel like producing content, such as writing a blog, is not what you do best, there's no need to worry. Few writers are masters of their craft, and the only way to learn how to write is to write. The content doesn't need to be perfectly outlined either. In fact, readers often respond much better to an approach that reflects the writer's personality than to some generic mass content polished into supposed perfection.
For some reason, establishing a website is often considered an expensive and time-consuming project. The reality, however, is that you can set up a website even on short notice and at reasonable cost. Keeping your website updated is also easy and fun nowadays thanks to advanced and user-friendly content management systems.
Your website should include at least the following:
- Your candidate number. Your candidate number should be prominently displayed so that your voters don't end up voting someone else by mistake. Add your candidate number at least to the front page or even to your website's navigation bar.
- Your campaign theme. Describe your campaign theme briefly and succinctly on the front page, so that readers can quickly form an opinion of what they're seeing. Readers typically spend only a few seconds deciding whether to stay on a website or click the Back button.
- CV. Your CV tells interested voters about your background, denotes openness and inspires confidence.
- A blog. Be an active blogger! Writing down your thoughts in a blog makes your website easier to find via search engines and gives you access to share buttons, with which readers can share your articles with others.
- Contact information. Readers should find it easy to contact you, so make your contact information clear and easy to find.
Business cards, brochures and other campaign materials support legwork
While the Internet may indeed be the modern equivalent of the megaphone, one should not underestimate the importance of legwork and establishing personal contacts. The fact is that there are still plenty of voters who appreciate coffee at the marketplace and balloons adorned with the party logo, and getting your message across to these voters in a credible manner may require you to put on your woollen socks and brave the early morning frost for a bit of personal promotion.
There are plenty of different campaign materials that you can distribute to potential voters, the most popular ones being business cards and brochures. However, many candidates also opt for something more novel and memorable, one recently spotted example being matchboxes adorned with the candidate's number and photo. Distributable campaign materials form an effective combination with online visibility, supporting each other and ensuring that your message is repeated.
The most often used campaign materials include:
- Business cards
- Stickers for car rear windows or office windows, for example
- Roadside signs
- Roll-up banners
No matter the material, the most important thing is to make sure that your message is short and concise, so that readers can quickly get an impression of who you are and your main themes. Keeping your campaign visually consistent is also crucial.