Craft your OUTREACH STRATEGY
Now that you’ve created your campaign, think about how you’ll take the next step and promote your project. You’ve already told your closest friends and family, now it’s time to think about how to get in front of new audiences that will be receptive to your pitch.
Start by doing some homework.
- Who will your story resonate with best?
- Will your local paper be interested by the fact that you’re a leader and innovator using a new tech platform to run for office?
- Do you identify with a particular group or constituency with an active political base?
Figure out who’d be interested in your story, what they read, and where they hangout online. Use that information to build your list of blogs, websites, forums, Facebook groups, subreddits, media outlets (TV, print, radio), etc that will respond best to your story. With a solid list of targets you can create a solid strategy.
Announce your PLEDGE CAMPAIGN
You’re live! You’re using a brand new platform for building political support, now let your network know about it. Once you’ve created your campaign, share it on Facebook, tweet it out a couple of times a day mentioning people you know will be interested.
If people engage with you, engage back. Thank them for their support, encourage them to endorse, make a pledge, share with their own networks, and move you up the Crowdpac leaderboard.
Put your email list together, create different lists for different groups like:
- High school friends
- College friends
- Volunteer teams
- Social clubs
Tailor your messages to those specific networks and engage with them. Use inside jokes and references. You want people to connect with you personally instead of coming off like a generic political campaign email.
Don’t spam people every day, but do give updates every so often as you approach new fundraising milestones, deadlines, or to thank people from your group who have pledged and endorsed you.
What to ask for
There are two easy things you can ask people to do to support your Crowdpac pledge campaign. Endorsements and pledges.
- Pledges - This is what your campaign is all about. Make it clear that you’re looking for pledges of financial support as a potential candidate. Much like Kickstarter, these pledges are conditional and your supporters will only be charged if you can build enough support to officially declare as a candidate and enter the race. Don’t be afraid to make the ask, you’ve come this far, let them know that any amount will help and that this is how your campaign will truly be about your constituents and not be beholden to the well-connected insiders that have come to dominate politics.
- Endorsements - Think of it as a virtual lawn sign. These are simple statements of support that make your campaign pages come to life. The more genuine supporters you have reporting back on the page, the more people getting exposed to your campaign for the first time will trust that you or your candidate are the real deal. If you have ardent fans who can’t afford to make a pledge, ask them to show support. If most of your network has already pledged to your campaign, make sure they leave endorsements as well. Endorsements are featured on the Crowdpac leaderboard and are a great way to show people following your race that you/your candidate are the real deal.
If you choose to make your goal public your supporters will be able to see your progress. When you reach certain milestones like 25%, 50%, or 75% to goal, use those opportunities to go back to your lists, networks, social media audiences, and supportive publications. Thank those who’ve pledged, let people know your campaign is picking up steam, and make your ask again to those who have yet to to take action.
Don’t forget, your campaign will be featured on the Crowdpac leaderboard for your particular race. On our race pages we track all of the declared and potential candidates in a race and the support they’ve received via endorsements, pledges, or donations on Crowdpac. Use that leaderboard to let your audience know how your campaign is stacking up against the competition.
For your Peace of Mind: Is this legal?
Crowdpac uses a pledge system to make it possible for you to support prospective candidates before they officially register with the appropriate regulatory agency such as the Federal Election Commission (FEC). If your candidate declares, our payment processing partner Democracy Engine will charge your credit card, and the donation will be transferred to your candidate. If they decide not to run, your credit card is not charged.
- Use high quality visuals to tell your story. Facebook and Twitter are highly visual platforms and people respond well to vibrant images of real people. Follow the Crowdpac guidelines on image size to make sure your page looks professional.
- Shoot a video to tell your story and pitch your campaign on Crowdpac. No medium works better to connect with an audience, use it if you can! Here are some helpful tips.
- Host an event. Make your campaign social, tangible, and fun, by inviting your community together. Make the pitch in person, then send people to your Crowdpac page on their mobile phones where they can all pledge at the same time.
- Get some help. You can’t do it all yourself, whether it’s getting photos of you or your candidate in the field, manning your social media, or responding to and thanking your supporters, the work can stack up so try to enlist a right hand.
- Keep at it. Your campaign probably won’t explode with pledges and endorsements overnight but keep at it. You’ll see your work pay off steadily. These things can take time, but as long as you’re getting a few new supporters every day, you’re doing great.
- Don’t spam. The quickest way to turn off potential supporters is to spam them. Don’t post the same links over and over again. Don’t hijack comment sections, discussion threads, or Facebook pages with spammy links to your page. Don’t harass your contact lists. Treat your potential users with respect. Aim for high quality engagements.
- Ask for help! We’re here to make your campaigns successful. While we can’t manage your outreach and engagement for you, let us know if you have any issues using our products or ideas that can make your work easier. We’re here for you.