What should your campaign website do?

What should your campaign website do?

Don't worry about a lot of bells and whistles

If you look at political websites of Presidential and Senatorial candidates, you may be a little intimidated by what your website needs to do. Those sites allow voters to sign petitions (which is just a way to collect information - the petitions don't mean anything), buy t-shirts and bumper stickers and watch their campaign speeches. Your website doesn't have to be that advanced. 

Here's what your website should do:

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Campaign Links, Week in Review

Campaign Links, Week in Review

A simple trick to help create your campaign message via @campaignsinabox
Messaging can be tough. Follow this example to make it a little simpler to figure out what your campaign will be about. 

Grassroots to lawn care: building a successful campaign via @am_national
American Majority has a ton of resources on their site for building a grassroots campaign. Check out this piece on volunteers. 

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Campaign links, week in review

Campaign links, week in review

What the 2016 campaigns can teach your campaign about mobile via @c_and_e
"Here’s something to think about when trying to gain traction on mobile: Creating a mobile audience is an innovative tactic that would likely have impressive results at low cost, especially when considering that down-ballot audiences are often limited to a district or a state."

Case study: Run for office...if you lose, run again via @campaignsinabox
"Senator Mark Udall of New Mexico made his first run for public office in 1982. He was 34 years old and came from a family of elected officials. He desperately wanted to be a congressman." Read the rest to learn from him. 

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Breaking Free of the Top of the Ticket

Breaking Free of the Top of the Ticket

Over the last week of campaign season I wrote about a number of Senate races and how you can learn from them.

Of all the lessons we can take away from the 2014 midterms, I think learning to break free of the top of the ticket might be the most relevant. National Journal covered the topic on November 3rd:

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Can't Hire Staff? Get a Volunteer to Do It

If you're a candidate for a small, local office, and particularly if you're a first-time candidate, fundraising may be a struggle to start. Frustrating as that may be, it also presents an opportunity - getting volunteers to donate their time to help you out. Using volunteers not only fills a hole for you, it begins to build a group of supporters. 

If you and your paid campaign manager sit down to stuff envelopes for a fundraising mailing one night, you've got two votes there. If you get a group of a dozen local volunteers, you've now got a dozen volunteers to finish the mailing in a fraction of the time (while you go out and talk to voters), and you've got a dozen new votes. 

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Will You Write a Handwritten Note?

I love how classy Bill Snyder is. We would all do well to have this kind of heart for the people around us. And another noteworthy takeaway is the players reaction - he is tremendously impressed by Coach Snyder. 

I occasionally write a handwritten thank you note, and every time I do I kick myself for not doing it more often. Because it's so easy to send a quick text message or email, people are profoundly appreciative of you taking the time to send a handwritten note. 

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Tell Your Volunteers Why They Matter

Tell Your Volunteers Why They Matter

Finding volunteers for your campaign can be difficult, so when someone shows enough interest to help you out, you need to retain them. It’s far easier to get one volunteer to come back to your phone bank 5 times than it is to recruit 5 new volunteers.

Volunteers want to know that their work matters to the campaign’s success. They’re often giving up a Saturday when they could be watching football, going hiking or spending time with their family. It’s vital that they feel appreciated and, that they know the time they’re spending helping you out means something.

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