Where and how voters get their information is rapidly changing. In this video, the story of two candidates in a political campaign. Why one lost. How the other pulled off a landslide victory.
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In a recent video I mentioned there are four key pillars of a political campaign: Your campaign message, how you execute it, your strategy and how you outsmart your opponent.
This is the second of two videos on executing your message.
Today we’ll turn our attention to your political campaign advertising tools, the means you use to present yourself to voters who will never meet you or hear your speeches.
They include your website, video and television ads, radio, persuasion mail, telephone calls, internet ads, newspaper ads, volunteers, handouts and yard signs. All cost money. All candidates have to make some hard decisions about which are best for them, for very few can afford to do all of them.
As you make choices there is one question that is more important than any other. “What is the most cost efficient and effective way to get your message to a voter?” There is no standard answer to that question, for no two jurisdictions are the same.
In a statewide race, cable and commercial television is usually imperative. Mail and internet ads are used for niche markets. In small, rural jurisdictions, sometimes mail, yards signs, and newspaper ads are the answer. In suburban districts, it is sometimes an adroit mix of radio, internet ads, persuasion mail, telephone calls and ads in weekly newspapers. Ultimately, your decisions will be based on your resources, the jurisdiction where you live, the number of voters you must reach, and the demographics of your target audience.
This is also a decision that smart candidates delegate to people who do it for a living. For with the rapid changes in technology, television viewership, radio programming, social media, internet advertising, what may have worked well for a candidate a few years ago, or even last year, might not be the right answer today.
And this is a perfect example. Meet Rob Astorino and Steve Neuhaus. In 2017, both were County Executives in New York’s Hudson Valley. Both running for reelection. Both Republicans. In a difficult year for Republicans.
Both had in past campaigns made heavy use of cable television to drive their message, supplemented with targeted mail.
In the 2017 campaign, they took different paths when executing their strategy. Astorino stuck with what he’d done in the past, spending more than 2,000,000 on cable TV Advertising. Neuhaus took a fresh look at demographic and viewership trends, and decided to change course. He cut all cable TV out of his budget, and decided instead to put it exclusively into mail, internet and Facebook advertising.
In a bad year for Republican candidates in the Hudson Valley, Astorino lost. Neuhaus won a landslide victory.
Technology has changed everything, and going forward it will profoundly alter where and how voters get their information. There is a high price to pay if those working for you are not up to date on where voters get their information in your jurisdiction.
If you would like some help with your campaign, please visit my website at JayTownsend.com.
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.
How to win an election:
Running for office and knowing how to win an election is a challenge, especially for first time political candidates just learning how to run for office. Discerning the fine points of how to campaign, raise political contributions, and execute a political campaign strategy often requires the help of someone who has served as a political strategist or who has experience as a political consultant.