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The message part of your campaign has five components: your rationale, your story, your values, issue positions, and what you say about your opponent.

Looking for Help in Your Campaign? Call Jay at (845) 458-1210. The call is FREE.

Last week I covered what we call your rationale, otherwise known as your slogan.

Today we’ll discuss how to tell your story. And I’ll start with a basic and fundamental truth. Voters don’t care about you. They care about what you are going to do for them. So why tell your story at all?

Running for Office? Your Campaign Message—Telling Your Story


Because it is through your story that voters will judge the credibility of everything you say. If you don’t tell your story, they won’t know what grounds you, what you have done, or accomplished, or what qualifies you to make decisions and govern on their behalf.

Think of it as building a house. Your story is the foundation. Without it nothing will stand.

There is another very compelling reason to tell your story. Politics is civilized warfare. If you don’t tell your story on your terms, your opponent will tell your story on their terms— and they won’t talk about the good things you did…they’ll talk about the stupid things you’ve done or said.

The mistake that many candidates make when telling their story is that they slap a detailed bio on their literature, or clutter their first commercial with meaningless prattle.

Don’t do that. This is what voters need to know. What have you accomplished? Did you create jobs? What causes did you embrace? What movements did you lead? Who are the people you helped and how? What hardships did you endure? What aspects of your story tell the voters about your character…your beliefs and convictions? That is what makes you interesting.

Smart candidates display their biography and story through a seminal event that happened in their life… one that helps explain their point of view and what makes them tick.

A couple of examples:

1) A client of mine who was a contractor had once declared bankruptcy. The circumstances were this. He was building an expensive home. The owner fell behind on the payments. Rather than layoff his workers and walk away from a job half done, he continued doing the work until the house was in a weather ready condition. He was eventually forced to declare bankruptcy until his successful lawsuit against the owner wound its way through the court system. When voters heard the story, they quickly concluded that he was a man of integrity, character, one who would do the right thing when confronted with a difficult decision.

2) Another client of mine ran for Family Court Judge. She was a single mother who was raised on a farm. We told the story of how she worked side by side with her brothers digging ditches in the family orchard, put herself through law school, raised a daughter to be a star athlete, and a son who was valedictorian of his high school. Voters concluded that she was grounded with a work ethic, would treat men and women as equals in the courtroom, and that she placed special priority on the welfare of children.

How you tell your story makes all the difference. Need help in telling yours? You’ll find me at 845-458-1210. Or email me a Jay@JayTownsend.com.

Last Week’s Video: Running for Office? Your Campaign Message- The Slogan

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