Political Campaign Strategies (2019)
Saturday, 04 January 2020

Personal branding
Like it or not the campaign is personal. As a candidate you embody the values of the campaign and you need to represent that in your public persona. Don’t be afraid to take strong positions and don’t be too politic. Voters want to see personality and for that personality to be consistent across social media, public appearances and in campaign messaging. It is important to discuss the personal branding of the candidate at the beginning of the campaign so it is strategic and proactive, rather than just responding to what happens on the campaign trail.
Action tip: Research your audience, set out your personal brand in terms of backstory and current positions. Have a kick-off meeting with your campaign team where you explain to them the personal brand that you are all working with.
Campaign team onboarding
Your campaign team size will have a significant impact on your ability to campaign successfully. It is an important strategic element to aim for the highest possible number of volunteers and paid members of your campaign (that you can afford or that you have the ability to manage). Team onboarding drives can take place online or when meeting supporters but a system should be in place to take someone from declaring an interest in becoming a team member, right through to having them onboarded very quickly. This process can be handled through email if the system are in place.
Action tip: Build a template email that can be sent to anyone who declares an interest (and who’s email is captured). This template email will included requisite information plus an invite to either a campaign onboarding meeting that takes place weekly, or to a campaign team software like Ecanvasser. If you would like a template email just request it from us in the chat box below.

Combating fake news
Fake news, misinformation, lies, whatever you want to call it, has been around forever in political campaigns and it will continue to be in 2019. Being able to respond to it means you will need to have a social media presence and a public presence. Otherwise you will be unable to counteract the false information. A great example of this inability to react to news was Lockheed Martin in 2016 when Donald Trump tweeted that their F-35 program was plagued with cost overruns. Because they did not have very well-developed social media channels they took a number of days to publicly react to the tweet.
In the meantime, $1.2 billion had been wiped off their share price! In a similar way, politicians need to be able to respond to accusations or fake news quickly and to provide hard evidence where necessary to refute those claims.
If your campaign feels that somebody is spreading fake news about you then it is advisable to challenge that publicly and get out ahead of the story. If you have developed your social media presence you may find you are able to lead the conversation rather than reacting to what is happening.
Action tip: Assemble a list of possible areas of misinformation that the campaign might come up against and develop clear responses to these or have clear campaign messages for those areas. Make sure you have good social media channels that have connections to media outlets and social influencers.

Campaign messaging
Campaign messaging needs to be developed on each issue area with background information, the candidate’s track record in this area and their plan for that area in the coming years.
Once all of these have been filled out the overall campaign message that incorporates the personal brand of the candidate can be developed. Remember to be distinctive, your messaging can be the same as your opponents but it does need to be delivered differently.