Canvassing for votes
Most asked question during campaign season? How do I spend my money the best?
There is always a fear that we are allocating our money to the wrong areas and wow, do we hate wasting money! Fast fashion is never an issue, but overspend on the advertising budget for your campaign and you may find yourself out of job in the morning. Rapper Eminem was talking about political campaigning when he stated ‘we only got one shot - do not miss this chance to go’. That song didn’t win an Oscar for nothing you know. So, how do we run a campaign if we have no margin for error?
Simple, if your budget is limited, do the research and stick to the path most travalled, it’s worn for a reason. Direct outreach is and has always been the best value for your money. Political campaigns are big business in the US and across Europe these days, they are labor intensive and they are, for some, life-changing. This is why face to face contact and engaging canvassing is the best way to spend your time. Convincing conversations is what helped the Together for Yes win the Repeal vote at the recent Irish Referendum. You can read more about that here.
The power of word of mouth
Research states that canvassing is heavily influential when it comes to elections. This shouldn't be a surprise to us as the generation who are currently trying to stay afloat in the age of the influencer. We love listening to people, we love following them online and we love acting upon the information they feed us.
So throwback to the first real influencer -- if you will indulge me for a moment:
In his book The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell discusses many fads and trends. He settles the interesting topic of the importance of word of mouth and how we value it more than anything else (it’s no fad). Hands up if you agree? He recounts a story about a famed revolutionary by the name of Paul Revere. As a person who isn’t steeped in American history, I could still appreciate who Revere was and the moment in time he is synonymous with. You know, the guy who made that midnight ride to the warn the militia that the “British were coming” and forever altered the history of the United States. A strong case for the power of word of mouth right here?
So why do we continue to ignore the greatness that is face to face contact? Are we afraid of being too direct? Canvassing is an opportunity to share your message. In the case of Revere, carrying the warning through the night was the best way to deliver the message. There can be no room for error, you get to test your messaging with door to door canvassing and see immediate results. You also get an opportuntiy to convince, changing a non-voter into a voter is one of the main benefits of door to door canvassing.
Door knocking should never be substituted in favor of running an online ad or sticking up a poster in a shop window. We always advocate using social media to compund a message and help your campaign on a larger, broader scale but small local campaigns should always have a canvassing plan.
Yes, it requires manpower but manpower equals greater visibility. Canvassing is universal and a quick internet search will have you understanding the key fundamentals of running a successful campaign. People often canvass in pairs and record any issues they pick on pieces of paper or many nowadays use mobile apps (Ecanvasser is one such app)
So if you want to know how best to spend your precious campaign cash, look no further than canvassing.
If you need a little extra help knowing the best canvassing scripts, how to train your team for a canvass or information on deep canvassing, why not consult our free Virtual Campaign Manager by dropping a message into the chat box below.