Challenges and Opportunities for Local Campaigns

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The traditional conversation around politics often centers on presidential or federal races — and misses the opportunity to talk about state and local races.

But at SpeakEasy, we’re big fans of putting these learnings from national races and the unique opportunities created by local programs front and center. Below, we’ve broken down both the biggest challenges and biggest opportunities for local campaigns:

Challenge #1: Institutional Knowledge

The Challenge: In the realm of federal elections, many campaigns have staffers year round who not only hold institutional knowledge from past elections, but pass on this information to new staffers. Local races don’t typically have this type of staffing arrangement — which is why training resources and organizations that support candidates and staff are especially crucial. 

The Opportunity: Organizations such as The National Democratic Training Committee provide hundreds of free trainings — covering everything from fundraising, to field strategies, to campaign budgeting. Our team also has helpful complimentary guides for candidates and political operatives looking to dive deeper into media strategy.

Challenge #2: Reach

The Challenge: The next common challenge is Reach. Local races often have to fight toe-to-toe with well funded federal races for visibility, especially in a presidential year. Although these races may benefit from appearing on the same ballot as a state-wide or federal campaign as these races typically generate larger voter turnouts, down ballot races can be overshadowed by bigger candidates. Communicating with voters and achieving name ID can become complicated challenges in the lead up to Election Day. 

The Opportunity: Paid advertising can help smaller races push through the noise and reach their target voters. Some examples of paid advertising are boosted posts that can expand your reach on Facebook, Google Search ads that can place your name at the top of search results, and digital ads on websites and apps to amplify your campaign message across the internet where your voters are spending time (such a The New York Times, Bon Appetit, or ESPN). With innovations in voter targeting, these tactics can prove effective with investments as conservative as $100 — depending on list size. 

Challenge #3: Budget

The Challenge: Money remains a consistent challenge for down ballot races. Most school board races don’t have a five figure media budget to persuade voters in the weeks leading up to an election.

The Opportunity: Here at SpeakEasy, we partner with campaigns up and down the ballot. If budget is a concern, we’re here to walk your campaign through the ropes. We have digital plans starting at $1,000 – and we have a complimentary Mail and Digital Planner available to help you draft your program budgets. In our work with larger budgets — for example, mayoral races with $1M+ budges — our team deploys a multi-channel media strategy to reach voters across screens, in their mailboxes, and in their communities. This comprehensive approach helps to cut through the noise and reach highly-targeted voter segments with customized messaging. 

Our team is standing by to help you navigate the ups and downs of your next race and succeed on Election Day. If you would like to connect with one of our media strategists, please book a time to chat with us below:


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