Advertising Ideas

In designing your campaign logo…
I like to design it in proportion to your yard signs. Why? Your yard sign will probably be seen by more people than any other advertising medium. That proportion will fit your lapel stickers and can easily be adapted to other medium, too

In choosing your colors…
Use the basic colors of the screen printing industry instead of a PMS chart used by offset printers. Why? If you choose a PMS color (and you can), you will be charged for a PMS match color on many screen printing jobs. Typically, this is $25 - $45 for each match. In selecting your advertising products… Remember your basic needs: yard signs, bumper stickers, field signs, lapel stickers, push chards, and shoe leather. Shoe leather!?! Yes! You and your campaign team need to be out contacting people asking for their support.

In your newspaper advertising…
Oh, I’m going to upset some of my newspaper friends. But never, never, never run a full-page ad. Why? It’s easy to glance at and believe there is nothing worth reading in the ad — especially in a political ad — and then turn the page. The largest ad I recommend is a 1/2 page (island preferably). When you run 1/2 page or less, there are other ads and news articles to keep a person’s eye on that page. They will then be more likely to see your message

Okay, now for radio and television…
Broadcast media costs a lot, so don’t run broadcast media ads just because your opponent does. If you’re in a major regional or state-wide campaign, you need broadcast media (and a BIG budget). Choose your stations carefully. Remember, people get a lot of radio stations and many people receive 50-100 television stations. So, who is going to be listening or watching when your ad runs at 9:27?

Watch the “old-wives tales”…
You will hear things like “a bumper sticker is worth seven votes,” “a hand shake is worth four votes,” “a kiss of the baby is…” These statements can be mathematically proven false.

Be aware of winning formulas…
A number of years ago I attended a seminar where the speaker was telling candidates how to win their race. He had five actions for them to take and told them that if they did those five things, they would win the race! I wanted to say, "Wait a minute! What if the opponent does those five things also? What if the opponent does six things?"

Know your audience…
Although you want everyone to get your message, not everyone is a voter — or will vote. It pays to build a database of those who have voted in previous elections or those living in specific geographic areas. This is especially helpful in direct-mail advertising.

Have a great website…
In all but the smallest of campaigns you will want a great website. When people go to your website, they should see your logo along with the other items you have on the first page. For most campaigns the logo is the #1 visual identifier for the candidate. You want to have photos, position statements, a bio sketch, and high resolution downloadable files for your logo and your press photos. Make sure your "landing page" is one which comes up fast, captures their attention, and drives them to check out other pages.

Put together a media kit…
Even if you have a website, having a media kit makes good sense. Many times reporters like a brief statement or “sound bites” rather than a detailed response or explanation of your platform. By putting together a media kit with your biographical sketch, a professional photo or two, position papers on key issues, a bumper sticker, and a business card, you give the reporters tools to help them know you and your positions. They can accurately quote from positions papers, have a quality photo for articles, and reproduce your logo from your bumper sticker for a graphic in their article. If you also have these items on a CD in your kit, that gives them the best quality files for your photos and your logo. Remember that many reporters will just want your website address so they can download these items directly.

Remember social media…
From Facebook to Twitter to Foursquare to Pinterest to … you name it … there are numerous sites for social media. Do NOT use social media if you are not going to use it responsibly and keep it up-to-date. If you have a Facebook account, place a link on your website, and post good relative information on your Facebook account. If you can build a Twitter following, post items which will help build a positive image and generate interest in your campaign.

A word about color printing…
For business cards you will probably want full-color printing. This allows you to have a nice photo on there with your logo and contact information. Your pocket cards or push cards should be full-color, also. However, for your logo I prefer a two-color design. Why? Your lapel stickers, bumper stickers, yard signs, and field signs are typically printed either by flexo printing or screen printing. These processes print the specific colors in the design, and there is a setup and run charge for each color. Having said that, because of the increased quality of digital printing, we are seeing an increase in full-color yard signs. Many times these will have the logo in the two or three-color design with a full-color photo of the candidate.

And the list goes on…
This certainly is not an inclusive list of all that your campaign needs to do. All campaigns are different. Even candidates for city council in the same city may approach their campaigns differently because of their personality and the unique characteristics of their area of the city.

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