17 Nov 2014
November 17, 2014

Crucial Data Points to Focus On When Canvassing

By Ericka Andersen

If you’ve ever worked on a campaign, you know how important smart canvassing can be to reach critical voters efficiently.

In our previous blog, we talked in general terms about the things you need to put together a successful canvassing campaign: paper vs. digital walk books, data, and a canvassing team. In this blog, we’re going to look more closely at the importance of just one of those items — data.

The best way to ensure you aren’t wasting your time by knocking on the wrong doors is to have a walk book that utilizes good, solid, up-to-date data — an essential aide for campaign managers and staffers everywhere.

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03 Nov 2014
November 03, 2014

Tips for Putting Together Canvassing Walk Books That Work

By Ericka Andersen

Canvassing is both one of the most time-consuming parts of a campaign and one of the most effective ways of reaching voters on a personal level.

And the good, old-fashioned walk book is still one of the most useful tools for effective canvassing.

Except, the it isn't all that old-fashioned anymore. It's gone through quite a transformation in the 21st century, even though its ability to quickly and helpfully guide volunteers and campaign workers through neighborhoods to talk with potential voters, or leave literature when no one's home, remains the same.

It's the equipment available — whether paper or a downloadable app — and the technology behind the "books" that have changed the most. Understanding how they differ and the essentials they should have in common will make all the difference in your canvassing efforts.

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19 Oct 2014
October 19, 2014

11 Steps to Create a Successful Twitter Chat

By Ericka Andersen

Twitter chats are a great way to stir up buzz for a person, campaign, product or whatever if it is you’d like people to talk about. Because Twitter is in real time, it’s not hard to get folks to participate as you conduct the chat.

But the key to a great Twitter chat is preparation — so before you begin, check out these 11 steps to a successful chat.

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05 Oct 2014
October 05, 2014

7 Tips for Your Candidate's Next Tele-Townhall (And Why They Should Host One)

By Grace Frank

Former U.S. Rep. Walt Minnick during a tele-townhall

Imagine you had a reasonably inexpensive and effective way to reach thousands — if not tens or hundreds of thousands — of voters interested in hearing your message and sharing their thoughts. Would you jump up and yell, "Sign me up!"

Of course you would. Efficiently engaging with and helping the public are the very reasons you're in politics, or are campaigning for office.

We're not talking about Twitter, Facebook, or email blasts here, important as they are in getting messages out.

A Real Conversation, with Real Results

We are talking about a real-time, live conversation with your supporters and potential supporters — the interested public who want to interact with you without being limited to 140 characters or a response box. The people willing to ask questions, take part in polls, sign up for emails, and possibly volunteer or otherwise offer to assist your campaign.

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19 Aug 2014
August 19, 2014

Guest Blog: 7 Things Politicians are Doing Wrong on Twitter

By Ericka Andersen

They’ve finally all given in. It took a few years, but every single member of Congress now has a Twitter account.

Just claiming a spot on social media, however, doesn’t mean you've won the battle. Many members of Congress — and politicians across the spectrum — believe if they (or staffers) fill their feed a few times a week, they’re #winning. That couldn't be further from the truth.

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18 Aug 2014
August 18, 2014

6 Steps to Take Before Hitting the Canvassing Pavement

By Mitch Sands

Canvassing neighborhoods can be a worthwhile and highly efficient way to personally connect with your constituents and deliver, in-depth and face-to-face, your message to likely voters … IF you have the right tools.

It all comes down to careful planning, above all, and having the right equipment in place before sending the first volunteer out. Solid knowledge of the people you want to reach, the best ways of finding them, and the questions you’ll be asking them is key to getting your all-important message across in ways that resonate and inspire.

Here are 6 important steps, and some tools, that’ll help to ensure success in your canvassing efforts:

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14 Aug 2014
August 14, 2014

Q&A on Planning Your Voter ID and GOTV Phone Campaigns

By Grace Frank

Reaching voters by telephone is one of the least expensive forms of direct political marketing and intelligence gathering available, and has the best response rate. Whether via landline or cellphone, Voter ID and GOTV efforts enable campaigns of all sizes to effectively get their message across to the people they want most to reach.

An interview with John Connors, the Founder and President of Campaign Now, and Simon Lewis, its Director of Operations, who have conducted millions of phone calls over the last couple of election cycles.

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11 Aug 2014
August 11, 2014

Guest Blog: 3 Essential SEO Practices for Your Political Website

By Guest Blogger

by Phil Van Treuren, author at Political Campaigning Tips

Although political campaign strategy is a hobby of mine, my full-time career is in the fields of Search Engine Optimization, Internet Marketing and Online Social Media. All three are becoming more and more applicable to political campaigns of all sizes, and even candidates in local elections are starting to realize that simply having a website doesn’t capitalize on the many different ways to connect with voters online.

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the art and science of building a website that is most likely to show up prominently in search engine results when someone types in a relevant search. There are two main components of SEO: on-page efforts (stuff you do ON your website) and off-page efforts (stuff you do on OTHER websites). Both are equally important, but before we talk about them, let’s focus on your targeted keywords.

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04 Aug 2014
August 04, 2014

Tips and Tools for Candidates Starting to Raise Money Online

By Grace Frank

Raising money, lots of money, is essential to running a successful political campaign. And raising money online is a key component of a broader fundraising strategy.

You know this already.

You probably also know that national campaigns cost billions of dollars, with prices rising year by election year. In fact, for the 2012 congressional campaigns, candidates went through a total $3.66 billion, an increase of almost 68 percent since 2002, when $2.18 billion was spent, OpenSecrets.com reports.

When broken down into fundraising, the numbers are even more impressive. Successful House members of the 113th Congress raised on average $1.69 million, or about $2,315 per day, and winning Senators averaged $10.48 million, or $14,351 in daily donations, according to the research group Maplight.org.

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28 Jul 2014
July 28, 2014

Five Ways Politicians Are Under-Utilizing Blogger Relationships

By Ericka Andersen

Bloggers have been around for a long time now, but it took politicians years to realize their value. While some, like Gov. Rick Perry, Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. Cory Booker, took their campaigns and outreach straight to bloggers, others still underestimate the importance of these citizen journalists.

Here are five ways politicians are under-utilizing blogger relationships:


Exclusive Interviews

Most politicians are dying to give exclusive, news-breaking interviews to the largest outlet they can. They immediately try their contacts at the leading state paper or television station, or even look to go national. Unfortunately, the majority of people watching or listening to those outlets simply won’t care that much. But when you give your exclusive news in an interview with a blogger, you are reaching a highly targeted and interested audience that cares about what the blogger presents and has to say. Your information is likely to go a lot further when you have passionate readers consuming it — and knowing they are the first to see it.

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