We’ve been discussing how to construct a compelling campaign message. Today’s video is the first of a step by step process that will make it easy.
A good campaign message has all of the elements of a good story: A threat. An evil. A villain. Fear. A victim. Hope. Opportunity. A resolution. A hero.
Today a few words on how to do step 1, identifying the threat, evil or villain that you want to mitigate, fix or fight if you are elected. In a nutshell, if your way of letting voters know why you are running for office. Voters will expect you to have a good reason.
So what are the threats facing the jurisdiction where you are running. Poverty? Too few jobs? Too much spending? Income inequality? Failing schools? Drug and gang violence?
If you can’t readily think of any, read the newspapers for a few days. Newspapers cover pain, and you’ll find plenty of articles about problems in your district or jurisdiction.
Is there an evil that you can easily identify? It could be racial conflict, the way immigrants are treated, intolerance of other religions, ethnic strife, lack of civility in our public discourse, people denied economic opportunity, children denied a decent education.
Is there a villain you intend to fight? It might be your opponent. Or the so-called establishment. The powerful who rig the tax code. People who trample on the civil rights of others. Political leaders who line their pockets.
One word of advice as you jot down the threats, evils and villains you want to mitigate, fix or fight. Make them your own. Don’t look at what other candidates say. If you do, you’ll sound like them. Make your message uniquely yours. One of the keys to success in a political campaign is telling a story that no one else can or will.
Next week I’ll be back with a few words on Part 2 of the step by step guide to a compelling campaign message. Letting voters know why they should fear the threats you identified, the victims of the evil you mentioned, and the hope you can offer those victimized by the villains you named.
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Political consultant Jay Townsend works with smart, passionate candidates who want to run for office, win elections and make a difference. He has successfully helped candidates learn how to run for the U.S. Senate, how to run for Congress, how to run for Mayor and develop a winning campaign marketing strategy.
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