Lisa Cochrane is the Sales and Marketing Director at Seaside Political Printing & Direct Mail in Long Beach, CA, a full service political direct mail vendor. A marketing expert with over 30 years experience, Lisa and Seaside Political provide a one-stop-shop for all the essential printed and/or mailed products that campaigns of all sizes need. Seaside Political can be reached through their website, www.PoliticalCampaigns.com.
Second to direct mail, walking door-to-door is your next most effective way of getting votes. You need to make sure that your walk piece (the brochure you carry with you on your walk) is as strong as your direct mail pieces. Here are some tips on how you can make your precinct walks more effective:
1. Make a commitment to how often and when you are going to walk. Time it when you think most people will be home; the two hours before it gets dark every evening, Saturdays from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm and Sundays from 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm.
2. Only go to homes that vote. Create a list of the high propensity voters that will become your walking and mailing lists, your ‘universe’, as it is often called.
3. If possible, walk in a man and woman team as it is less threatening to many homeowners. However, if you can’t find someone to walk with you, walk alone.
4. Move back from the door after you’ve knocked on the door to be less threatening.
5. Never say the voter’s name, for example: , “is this the Jones residence?” Instead, say something like, “Good afternoon, I’m Joe Smith, Candidate for City Council.”
6. Watch out for spending too much time at one house in order to increase the number of households you reach in each walk.
7. Ask for volunteers when you’re out walking – many times, they turn out to be the best of the campaign!
8. If no one is home, write a short personal note on your brochure and leave by the door. “Sorry I missed you Mrs. Jones . . .”
9. And remember to have fun and build a “friendly” perception. You are meeting voters one-on-one and there will never be a better time to impress them!
Walking can be very rewarding. You’ll find things out about the district that you didn’t know. You’ll meet people that know other people that can spread the word about you. You’ll even get a few donations you didn’t expect. Things just start to happen when you walk.
Image via Robert Scoble
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