Last week we began a series about the 5 components of a compelling message. Your slogan, your story, your values, issue positions and what you say about your opponent. Today is the first of some videos about the art of constructing a slogan.

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What is a slogan? It is a short set of words, or a phrase that you want voters to remember even if they remember nothing else about you. Short enough to fit on palm cards, literature, yard signs, and the header on your website.

The best slogans provoke, create curiosity, or spark an emotional connection with voters.

It can be a reason you want the job, what you’ll do with the job, something that makes you different than your opponent, or that special cause you are fighting for.

Must you have a slogan?

Next time you are in a drug store, look at the gum shelf. Hundreds of flavors begging to be noticed. Nearly all have a short slogan that tells you what you are getting if you buy it, or something unique that you won’t get if you don’t.

Gum companies spend a fortune on packaging. They are not in the business of wasting words on fancy graphics.

When you construct a slogan, there is a time tested formula I use that has served me well through 300+ campaigns.


The four things you should consider as you begin to develop yours:

1. The political environment.
2. The office you are running for and what you’ll do if you win.
3. The person you are running against.
4. The slice of the electorate you must win in order to prevail.

During the weeks to come I’ll be offering a tutorial on each of these categories. Today some words about fashioning a slogan based upon the political environment.

  • Is the electorate in a good mood, or an ugly mood?
  • Is the economy front and center, or are people more concerned about protecting the environment and improving schools?
  • Are people clamoring for more social programs, or would they rather you cut their taxes?
  • Do they feel safe and secure, or is terrorism on the front page of the daily newspapers?
  • Is there a particular issue that is on the lips of everyone in your community?

Last year, the American people elected a President. One had a slogan, “Make America Great Again.” The other candidate’s slogan was, “I’m with her.” Which of those two slogans do you think sparked an emotional connection with voters?

Next week you’ll learn how to develop a slogan based on the office your are running for. And I’ll share a few that propelled little known candidates to upset victories.

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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