Announcing your campaign candidacy is one of the most important steps in your campaign. It will set the tone for the initial phase of the race and establish your early momentum. Getting early momentum and keeping it throughout the course of your campaign is the key to finishing strong. Here are a few tips and tricks to making your announcement count!
Generate the A-List
Your goal is to put an email list together of everyone you know and everyone who cares about your election. Literally create a spreadsheet and begin importing names and emails from the following sources:
- Your personal contact list – Export this from your phone and computer.
- Business Cards – Get a business card from everyone you meet. Go through your piles of old business cards. It is time consuming, but enter them into your spreadsheet.
- Grasstops Leaders – Gather the name and email address of every elected official, appointed committee and commission member, key party leaders, civic organization leadership, community association presidents and, frankly, anyone with a title.
You want to build a buzz among the insiders – who are the only ones paying attention early – about your candidacy.
- Donors – Gather a list of local political donors. We’ll talk more about that later.
Launch an Email Platform
Once you build your A-List, you need to load it into an email platform that is built to send mass emails. Given the simplicity to use, ease of design, and overall value, we recommend AWeber. Create a template, insert your logo on top, and you are ready to go!
Crafting your announcement letter takes skill and precision. It is your first impression to your network and you need to make it count. Please read our detailed break-down of the announcement letter here.
Choosing a Date & Key Messages
Choose a date that does not compete with a major local event, holiday or weekend to ensure your supporters and targeted audience are able to celebrate with you as they learn you are running.
For messaging, compose your key messages so that you can share these with voters. Make sure to run these messages by your community of supporters, family and friends. Are these messages resonating with voters? Are the important issues of your campaign aligned with the important issues of the community? More on messaging is forthcoming.
Social Media Accounts
We recommend setting up Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts for your campaign and link them together. For example, if you post on Instagram, that post can easily go to both your Twitter and Facebook accounts. YouTube, of course, is a great platform to share campaign videos. We also recommend setting up a personal LinkedIn profile so that you can share campaign news across your professional network.
Finding the Right Location
Select an appropriate medium to make the announcement. Decide if you would like to call a press conference at a school, business, City Hall, or a local park. If you do hold an event to announce your candidacy, make sure you are surrounded by dozens of friends, family, and a few key community influencers. Also, ensure you have your campaign logo printed up on large poster boards and have your volunteers hold them in the background. Your goal is to intimidate, and possibly discourage, the competition by the having the right people present.
If you don’t think you can pull together the right crowd, sometimes just submitting a press release to local political reporters will suffice. This, along with your letter to your A-List will get the ball rolling. Be sure and post any press stories to your social media accounts.
Like that, you are off and running!
Interested in scheduling a 30-minute complimentary Political Coaching Session, go here to contact Gary Davis today.