I recently watched a TV show which showed a political candidate at a fundraiser. He had one job in mind and that was to secure as many donations as possible as his race was on the brink of being over. He worked the room, he used his phone to identify potential targets, he recorded names of individuals with a few clicks of his fingers and he snapped pictures with many high profile guests. The candidate left that party with $100,000 in his wallet and now it looks like he will win the fictional race he is running in. Real life? No! Real life lessons? Absolutely!
Easier said than done, we know, but help your candidate by giving them as much information as possible. It isn’t all about money and endorsements, leave that to the high profile TV elections. Work the room to make a connection and more importantly to earn votes.
Many political campaigns have already delved into the world of politech - check out our most recent case study on it here. Networking is a major part of campaigning. We are going to break down the 3 most basic things digital tools can help you with in these scenarios.
Identify individuals and build up a knowledge base
This is the place where a lot of candidates go wrong because they neglect the fact that not every networking event is the right fit for their campaign. Would a networking event for young Republicans be worthwhile for a Democrat to attend? Probably not.
If you're on track you will know the names of the people you want to meet before you attend the event. You might have to do a little asking around to find out who will be at the event, but once you've identified your target contacts, learn as much as you can about them. Then use the information you gather to establish points of contact and hone your conversation points. One way to strike up a conversation with a high profile contact is to use recent news items about their company as an entry point.
This is where a digital device such as an iPad or mobile is your best friend. Apps such a Linkedin, Medium, Twitter and Facebook are the places where you will find the kind of info you require here.
Record issues and opinions
Help others and you will be helped.
If you only want something, people won’t be interested in talking to you for very long. Political candidates need to show that they are in a position to give something back. Ask people what is bothering them or even just engage with them on community matters. You don’t need to focus on negative issues, instead, hone in on a positive opportunity that you and the person you are talking to may be interested in exploring further.
As a political candidate, it is your duty to want to know what affects your voters. Many candidates use digital tools to record issues and attach them to specific people or profiles. This can be particularly useful when networking because it shows you are going the extra mile. Mobile phone functionality may be able to carry out small-scale issue capturing simply by adding a phone number and comment attached to a name. If you are looking to take your issue capturing to the next level, we recommend trying out Ecanvasser. Our mobile phone app allows you to keep a fully comprehensive issue report on any one individual. It also allows you to keep all your interactions with an individual in an easily accessible place.
Bolster your image by sharing events and pictures on your social media accounts
Truly effective networking involves being your authentic, fabulous self and becoming your own best cheerleader, so be the social media candidate! People are always asking how they use social and the answer we give? Promote thy self!
Networking events are the perfect place to start your social media story. Tag yourself in at benefits and talks. Your followers will be able to see what kind of events you attend and it also opens you up to entire new potential support base. Photos and tweets from functions also serve the purpose of showcasing a side to your personality that may not have been present before. Networking using social media means that your profile goes further than the room, remember that.
If you'd like to learn more about Ecanvasser, why not get the app and dashboard for free and see what it can do for your campaign.
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Listening to our current users, we are aware that there can be an internal struggle of team management when it comes to organizing quickly. To get people out on doors, the back and forth over Whatsapp, Messenger, and (insert other apps here) can be endless. We aim to streamline this process for you with Ecanvasser. Now organizers can commit via the Walk app (their canvassing app!) and get notified in the run-up to the event so that they don’t forget. By building it into the door knocking process life has gotten a lot easier for campaign managers.