Published: March 31, 2020
The good news is the basics haven’t changed. Campaigns are still about connecting with voters based on your vision and your personality, even while social distancing. And they’re still about organizing—inspiring your friends and supporters to talk to their friends (and their friends and so on) to build a vast network of support for your candidacy.
There is no secret formula. Human connection and organizing. That’s all.
The old-school playbook of big, expensive campaigns with lots of hand shaking.
Thinking outside-the-box. Economizing.
While it’s charming and traditional and very powerful to speak directly with voters on their front porches, this kind of person-to-person interaction isn’t sensible this year.
Digital Door Knocking
In the recent Buttigeig campaign, Twitter followers were sorted and targeted for direct outreach by campaign volunteers. Each follower was messaged with questions like “Do you have any questions about Mayor Pete’s policies? Do you know where to vote?” and then were contacted on voting day to make sure they did so.
In-person town hall forums
Let’s respect the public health experts and forgo these.
Zoom meetings can replace town halls and this year you have more opportunities to think outside the box. Give your supporters an incentive to join you on Zoom from the comfort of their homes. Use it to build connection between your friends and supporters. Host a political trivia night, share recipes or political memorabilia.
Even with masks and gloves, we won’t be shaking any hands or gripping and grinning in 2020.
“Ask me anything” sessions on FB and IG Live
It might feel artificial at first, but you get to have actual interaction with voters and speak directly with them—with an audience watching and even re-posting on social media.
Phone bank parties in a crowded campaign office
It was so fun—the buzz of a campaign HQ, the pizza, plugging your ear because the caller next to you had no volume control. But not this year.
Text banking is a lot less intrusive and contacts thousands more. With an open rate of 98% within minutes of sending, texting cell phones is the most effective way to reach voters. However, this can lead to voter fatigue. So choose your messaging wisely and always have a call-to-action to engage the voter.
Throwing your hard-fought fundraising dollars toward all manner of outreach in hopes of finding a few undecideds.
You can create content that can be shared on social media with targeted voters. Create specific ads and social media messages toward different segments of your targeted voter base. This gives you the opportunity to be creative and try out what resonates with different groups. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good; you’ll get better with practice.
If you want more advice, don’t hesitate to reach out to us!