Working on campaigns is hard work and every minute and every day is precious. Wasted time is time you won’t get back to win your election. In order to make the most of your day you’ve got to be meticulous in your time management and planning. Your campaign needs to be intentional in how it spends its time. You want to have everything in order for that day and know what to expect. That way, you can maximize the day because you are in control of the situation at hand. In this post, I’ll take a hypothetical situation and show you how to make your website and social media work for you.
Here’s the situation. You’re running for state senate and on a particular week you want to make a theme out of one plank of your platform, that you will fight to end the wasteful spending in your state government.
1. Meet With Your Campaign Staff Daily
Your campaign should meet daily to go over the next days’ events. Schedule the stops, events, and meetings that you’ll be attending and that day’s specific message. Deciding early will give you and your team confidence for the next day, knowing that you’ve made that day’s schedule. In that schedule, do everything you can to stick to it. If you simply must put something else in the schedule, do so with caution as this may cause unexpected surprises. Also, be sure to be on time for the events you have scheduled.
2. Coordinate With Campaign, Communications, and Finance Staff to Develop Each Days’ Message.
In your End Wasteful Spending Tour you might want to highlight different areas that need to be cut from the state’s government, ways to pay off the debt that the state has accumulated, and/or flesh out for your supporters and undecideds specifics of your plan. Each day, decide what the message will be and what you’ll need to communicate that both in print and on the web. Coordinate with your communications staff (Press Secretary, New Media Director, etc.) to make sure that they have the necessary copy (assets like photos, videos, infographics, etc) for each day’s message. Make sure the copy has had plenty of revisions for accuracy and your photos and videos can be used without violating any copyright or intellectual property rights, Keep in mind that when you are communicating to your voters, supporters, and undecideds, you have a captive audience. These opportunities should not be wasted and dollars should be raised from this tour. Make sure that finance is aware and can help you craft a message so that you can convert clicks to donations to your campaign.
3. Write and Develop Your Posts and Social Media Updates For Each Day and Schedule
Creativity is key here. Your speeches and your media need to reinforce that day’s message and should be coordinated as such. In other words, your tweets should enforce specific points of your speeches, talking points, etc. Write your website post and use Twitter and Facebook updates to spread facts and stories about cutting wasteful spending and lace the day with those messages. Be creative. For this post though, assign your new media and press secretary to write each day’s post at once, say on Saturday before your week long tour.
4. Use Auto Scheduling on Website and Social Media To Tweet and Post Content
After all the work has been done deciding on what to say and how to say it, now comes the fun part. Services like WordPress for websites and Hootsuite for Social Media, allow you to schedule website updates and social media status updates. Here’s what they look like:
Using the WordPress Panel on your website, create a post, and set the time for the post to be published on your website. For your tweets on facts and stories of why cutting spending is crucial, use Hootsuite’s (or any other social media dashboard) to schedule your tweets and Facebook stories. If you suspect a lot of facts or figures throughout the day break those up in to tweetable segments and also don’t just use facts and figures. Use stories and more personable approaches to appeal to more people. One thing I like about Hootsuite is the ability to use a “bulk update” tool to schedule more than one tweet or update at a time. Basically, it’s an excel-like spreadsheet that you configure and upload the sheet to Hootsuite. Using this tool, you can even receive an email to let you know that the post has successfully been sent. In most situations the time for posting a website update is around 7AM to 10AM in the morning. Tweets are usually most read at 10AM, 12:00PM, 4:00PM, 7:00PM, and 9:00PM. Your mileage may vary, but these are the times I’ve seen to be the most effective for me. Experiment and see what works better for your supporters and audience.
In this post I’ve gone step by step in creating a communications plan for a week long campaign tour. Meet with your campaign staff daily, coordinate with the different departments of your campaign (Finance, Press, and Digital), decide on your messages, and schedule your website update and social media posts. While some candidates are apprehensive using the tools you have at your disposal you can make technology work for you in a positive way.
Now it’s your turn, how would you create a plan and what tools would you use to maximize your reach on the web and even in traditional media? Let us know in the comments below!