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Door knocking – Tried and true - The Shawshank Redemption

images-1.jpg I’ll be very simple with this one. It works. It works on every level. Target voters, communicate directly, get your message across, and move on to the next house. Drop some lit at their door as well (writing a personal message on the lit when the person isn’t home can also be helpful if they are already a supporter or are a super voter). If something works on all levels, gets you votes, and helps you target people, some might say it’s a gold standard. Some would call it, the Shawshank Redemption of organizing tactics. A film that works on so many levels that you just keep watching it. A film that, like canvassing, you will also get more out of with repetition.


Mobile canvassing – Great as part of a whole but not as a standalone - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I

images-3.jpgRunning canvassing operations, as mentioned above, is a vital part of so many elections these days, and rightfully so. A strong mobile canvassing application (I personally recommend the apps Organizer or Polis) can allow you to go paperless with your field campaign while also giving volunteers the ability to do remote canvass without coming to your office. With all that in mind, there are things you need to take into consideration.

Imagine watching the film Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I without having seen any of the other films or having read the books. You are probably wondering why there is a snake-like man following this scraggly man with a weird forehead tattoo, why their tents can hold basically an apartment building full of materials, and what this “ministry of magic” thing really is. Long story short, you need to know many things before using one of these apps. Targeting is one, but also training your staff on using them properly is vital. Apps like these very often are helpful but they have a learning curve. Make sure people know where the scripts are located, what each support level is, and how to submit survey responses.

Additionally, many of these apps have the ability to geo-fence the canvassers, which will allow you to know who is actually knocking on the door they say they are and, if they aren’t, the data will come back as suspect. I had friends growing up that would go to the local Dem county office, take a stack of flyers, go to the local Republican county office, take a stack of flyers, then toss them out and go to Starbucks where they would fill out fake information. There are ways to prevent this now.

Yard signs – Good in small doses - Batman vs Superman

Batman-v-Superman-Dawn-of-Justice-Logo.jpgWant to track who views a yard sign? You can’t. Want to add codes on your yard sign so people can learn more about you by pulling out their smart phones? Don’t waste your time or your money. Yard signs are helpful when strategically placed and in the yards of validators in the community. They can also help increase name ID in high turnout elections for down-ballot candidates.

That being said, the reliance is way too high. Candidates order hundreds of yard signs and place them everywhere. They will even get into fights over them (one candidate recently getting his forehead staple-gunned after a yard-sign brawl). Then candidates will get upset over yard signs missing, making them loud and angry. Try doing call-time with a candidate who is angry about yard signs. I wish you luck.

All of this is similar to the recent blockbuster “Batman vs. Superman”. The film is fine in some places, even containing a few good action set pieces, however it is loud and unnecessary for most of it’s runtime, similar to how yard signs are used by candidates from dog-catcher on up to president.

Texting – A new twist that works – Mad Max: Fury Road

images.jpgALWAYS capture mobile numbers when you have the ability to. Less than 25% of people will answer their home phones. Supporter emails are lucky to see a 25% open rate. Posting to your FB page will get you views but won’t be targeted and are unlikely to spur the kind of action (Mad Max pun) that you would like. Texts have a 99% view rate. That’s 99% of people that will read your texts about a rally or texts to join the voter contact efforts for upcoming volunteer opportunities work.

What you are doing is using a new tool (text blasting) to engage in 1 to 1 communications. This is the definition of the film Mad Max Fury Road. Let’s take an old premise and ramp it up with new technology and new action beats to create an amazing film. Now….let’s do that with text.

An interesting take on this is the work being done by Hustle. Hustle is an app that allows you to quickly send out personalized text messages to your supporters. Conversations are tracked and you can easily get out messages to large groups of people quickly, using technology utilized by multiple presidential campaigns right now.

Direct prospecting contact with inactive voters – So bad it’s funny – The Room

images-2.jpgJust don’t. It’s not helpful. They won’t vote. Please save your time and your money.


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