Pathway to Victory: Do I need…?

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 Signs and buttons and t-shirts, oh my! There are so many things that candidates feel as though they need, and sometimes it can get a bit scary deciding what is necessary and what is not. This Pathway to Victory blog walks you through how to determine if that extra paraphernalia is necessary in helping you win your race. 

We’re sharing a few of the tips you’ll find in 101 Steps to Victory: A How-To Guide for First-Time Political Candidates. This free e-book outlines the 101 most important things a first-time candidate needs to know to keep their campaign on the path to victory. And check back with the SpeakEasier blog in the days and weeks ahead for more of our 101 Steps to Victory.

Lawn signs or window signs — do you need them?

Yes and no. Signs don’t win campaigns. Connecting with voters and sharing a compelling message wins campaigns. So, if the sign program fits into your walk and phone program, it can be helpful. Go ahead and add it to your script. If someone says they support you, follow up with: would you like to show your support for (better schools, a better city council, etc.) by displaying a sign on your lawn (or window if you are running in a big city)? That works. What doesn’t work is just randomly placing signs here and there. In many places, it isn’t allowed. And in all places, your sign program should support your voter contact program, not distract from it.

“But the last person who won told me it was because she did lawn signs, newspaper advertisements, ads in movie theaters, skywriting, etc..!” No. That is not why she won. The lawn sign lady won because she out-raised, out-walked, out-hustled her opponent. Not because she had lawn signs. 

Buttons, T-Shirts, and hats 

Probably not. But here’s a challenge — your supporters may really want those buttons or T-Shirts. If it’s not in the budget, consider directing them to a website that will allow them to upload a logo and create their own. If they really want one, they can buy one there and it won’t cost you.

“My friend can do it for free.”

Maybe yes, maybe no. But free is good. Why don’t you give your friend a small project to try out. If it is actually free and the work is good, give him or her another project. But be careful. Many times it isn’t actually free —either because there is a hidden charge, because the work is substandard and has to be redone, or because it takes a lot of your time to manage. 

Should I work to register new voters?

Probably. If you have a “base” of likely support — say for example you are the only candidate of a certain ethnicity, or the only candidate from a certain town — then spend some time making sure to register voters from this group.

 PRO TIP: Need help designing a walk piece? SpeakEasyPolitical, has ready-made templates you can use for creating a walk piece! Click here to check them out.

Looking for more information about what it takes to run for office? Download our e-book designed to walk candidates through the process of running – and winning – their first political campaign. And be sure to check out more from our Pathway to Victory series!

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