In this video, how three candidates won hard races with a unique campaign strategy; what to consider when you construct yours for your political campaign.

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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.

Today we’ll discuss your Campaign Strategy. The way you are going to roll out your campaign message.

Think of your campaign strategy as a movie: It has a beginning. An end. A story line. A logical sequence. Otherwise the movie makes no sense.

You may have a great bio, a compelling narrative, popular issue positions, values in perfect sync with the voters, but if you don’t reveal those to voters in a manner they can easily comprehend, they’ll never understand you or your message.

As you begin to plot your rollout…your campaign strategy for what you are going to say, how and when you are going to say it, look at all the advertising tools at your disposal, select one that you will use as your primary tool, then use the others to supplement and support it. The best way to show you this is by example.

Example: Congressional Primary. Urban Jurisdiction

In a recent primary in New York, an underfunded candidate challenged a 10 term member of Congress in a democratic primary. She looked at all of her options and decided that the only tools she could afford to use were social media, a website, text messages and volunteer phone calls.

She produced a very compelling political campaign video that had all the elements of her campaign message: her biography, story, values, and issue positions. She then used social media to share it and drive people to her website, where many volunteered their email address and phone number. They were then contacted by volunteers.

The strategy worked. Her video was viewed two million times. She won the election, despite being outspent 18-1.

Example: Race for Judge. Suburban Jurisdiction

Two years ago in a race in a suburban district we concluded that cable television viewership had become too fragmented to be of much value. We instead used mail as our lead tool, a sequence of mail pieces sent to a broad audience to reveal the candidate’s biography, her story, her qualifications, her work on behalf of children, the elderly and the poor.

We then used internet ads to supplement and highlight information contained in the mail pieces to highly targeted niche audiences.

Volunteers were used to knock on doors and make phone calls in key geographic areas.

She was the only candidate in a four way race who used this campaign strategy. She won a landslide victory.

Example: Race for Town Supervisor. Rural Jurisdiction

In a recent political campaign in a small, tight knit rural district, we used newspaper ads, for it happened to be a community with a very well read local newspaper. We used the ads to highlight the accomplishments of a long serving incumbent who faced a very spirited challenge from a well financed opponent.

We supplemented the newspaper ads with persuasion mail to reach certain niche audiences. His volunteers knocked on doors and made phone calls.

He won a comfortable victory in an anti-incumbent year.

I am not sharing these examples to suggest they are just right for you. I share them to illustrate a point… There is no one size fits all campaign strategy that is right for every candidate in every jurisdiction.

Your campaign strategy is unique to you, unique to your jurisdiction, your resources, where and how voters get their information, the political environment, the demographics of the voters you must have to win, the opponent you face. Any professional help you hire should be factoring in all of these as they construct your strategy.

If you would like some help with your campaign, please visit my website at

running for office

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.

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