First Time Candidate? You Need to Read These Tips.
Running for office for the first time can be daunting and confusing. Check out these simple tips to help you get your campaign off the ground running and headed for success. These tips were originally posted on our Facebook page during August 2020, here are all of those tips in one place for you, with a little extra information added.
Tip 1 | Familiarize Yourself with Campaign Law
Some campaign laws are federal or state, while others are specific to your municipality. Familiarize yourself (and ensure everyone on your team is also familiar) with campaign finance law. Where and how your money is collected, saved and spent is strictly legislated and subject to penalties that can end your campaign on the spot, whether you knowingly violated the law or not. Canvasing regulations are extremely important to observe as well. For example, never put anything in or on someone’s mailbox. Try doorknob hangers instead to leave info for folks who don’t answer their door. Check your local election board paperwork for mandated verbiage and disclaimers on your campaign signs and literature. Forgetting disclaimers where required can be a costly and time-consuming mistake as your election board will require you to go back to your lawn signs and either write or affix vinyl decals with the disclaimer onto every political yard sign posted around your community.
Tip 2 | Invest in Social Media
Social media is an excellent outlet for candidates to share their views, platforms, upcoming debates, fundraising efforts and more. Some channels are better than others, depending on your demographics, so take a look into your primary voter demographics and do a little research to determine which channels make the most sense to focus on. If you’re unfamiliar with effective social media management and specific rules applied to political campaign ads, you might consider hiring a social media strategist/manager. Before spending money on ads, look into Facebook’s policies for political advertising. Note that Instagram is owned by Facebook and subject to the same advertising rules.
Tip 3 | Engage and Follow up with Voters
Political campaigning employs some familiar sales and networking skills. Your supporters want to interact with you and learn more about you and your platforms. Depending on the size of your campaign, you may want to consider in-person fundraising events and town hall forums if possible. Make a point of replying to social media comments and direct messages. It’s important to voters to know that you hear their concerns and reinforces that you will be working in their best interest. Seek out endorsements from elected officials, organizations and businesses. (Pursue endorsements early – you won’t be the only one looking). The more support and endorsements you gain, the more legitimacy your campaign earns!
Tip 4 | Campaign ’til the End
Whether you’re winning or behind by 20 points, never stop campaigning. In fact, if you’re behind in the polls, this is even more reason to get your name out and push for voter support. Revisit supporters. reach out via email and social media, hold a town hall meeting and/or canvas new neighborhoods. Reach out to supporters to place more lawn signs around town and consider larger sized corrugated highway signs for high traffic and high speed limit areas. Consider a bulk email and text website like Sendinblue or Mailchimp to reach multiple voters at once. Just be sure you have permission from voters to contact them via email or text. You can collect permissions and contact information while canvassing, during a fundraising event or town hall meeting. Elections are never over til the polls close. Campaigning is a full time job and you might consider hiring a campaign manager, or at minimum, a treasurer and media expert to help you stay organized.
Of course one of the most important aspects of campaigning, especially for a first time candidate, is getting your name out there. Political Lawn Signs has multiple campaign product options like yard signs as well as lapel stickers, car window decals, bumper stickers and car magnets. Your supporters want to tell other voters about you, so don’t be afraid to offer these items for free or as fundraising gifts. Not sure how many signs you’ll need? You can reference this guide for more information.
Contact our experienced sales staff for product ordering and campaign product design information.