The two most common elements of an online campaign tend to be e-mail and a Web site with rich media and plenty of interactivity. The third and least developed leg of an online political campaign is online advertising. This article will answer questions about political online advertising strategies and explore how online advertising can target highly desirable audiences during parts of the day that are otherwise impossible to buy or prohibitively expensive. These “day parts” are subsections of the broadcasting day, used to determine the cost of advertising on a radio or television program.
Ten years ago, there was a legitimate question of whether the Internet had a role to play in political campaigns. That question has been decided. The Internet is here. Nearly 80% of Americans use email. Over half of US homes have broadband connections and wireless access is common and growing. As for political campaigns, the Internet has been accepted. Asking if a campaign uses email is now nearly as absurd as asking if they use the telephone. The question is not if they’re using the Internet, but what elements are they using, how much do they use it, and what’s working for them?
When every fledgling campaign comes into existence, it soon realizes two important things. First, the opposing campaign is not the only competition it faces, and second, that having the best qualified candidate doesn’t guarantee success. The primary reasons for both phenomena are essentially the same: it is getting more difficult to reach people. As a result, sometimes the campaign that wins isn’t always the one with the best candidate, but is the one with the best message and strategy for communicating it!
Registration is the best get-out-the-vote tactic around: in 2004, 82% of registered 18-29 year olds voted. If you’re in a tight race and need a way to create more votes, register young adults. It’s cost-effective and it works.
Running a political campaign is one of the most challenging and exhausting activities possible. Running a typical campaign will mean 12+ hour long work days for several months. On Election Day, either you win, or you and your entire campaign team are fired. As you approach the final days of the campaign, this creates a huge amount of stress and pressure for success.
Studies show that contact from campaigns significantly increases a young person’s likelihood of turning out to vote on Election Day. Plus, it’s cost-efficient and easy to integrate with your overall campaign strategy.
Going negative is not a step to be taken lightly, although today more campaigns go negative more quickly than ever before.
Janice M. King, president of Janice King Communications, when discussing negative advertising in general, said that negative messages about competitors create FUD: fear, uncertainty, and doubt. You must consider seriously the implications of your candidate causing FUD and its resulting stresses on the political system.
You’ve already done the heavy lifting of deciding to manage a campaign. Good for you! Now comes the hard part – hiring. This is not meant to serve as a “Campaign How-To”, this is more of an “Campaign FAQ”. We figure you’ve come this far and found us, you must know enough, but maybe need some guidance.
There have been political consultants since the advent of democracies but the modern era evolved in a rush after Richard Nixon lost a debate to John Kennedy because of his perceived bad appearance on television. Television sets had become a looming presence in the corner and people began to get their political information from a collection of scan lines.
Rendering your name in reverse—white against a contrasting bright or dark colored background—makes your name look larger and improves visibility, especially at night. In fact, according to a study by the Outdoor Advertising Institute, reverse messages are up to 40% more visible. That is the reason that Departments of Transportation use white type against dark green or dark brown backgrounds on their highway signs.