When it comes to political campaign supplies, local candidates often find themselves in a real bind: things like yard signs, bumper stickers, palm cards and campaign buttons can be extremely expensive. Some campaigns try to save money by self-designing supplies… others decide to print far less signs and brochures than they need, in the hope that it won’t affect the outcome of the election.
No matter how popular your candidate, the vast majority of state and local campaigns face a budget pinch every cycle. Every candidate has to make tough decisions on the best way to spend their limited campaign dollars. How can your campaign find the political campaign supplies it needs at a price it can afford?
First, know that design matters. Oftentimes, having poorly designed, amateurish political campaign supplies is worse than having no supplies at all. Be sure that part of your budget is set aside for designing professional looking, quality campaign pieces that match the look, feel, and message of your campaign. (For more information, check out The Top 3 Principles of Political Design).
Gone are the days when political candidates had to choose one of the handful of print shops in their hometown for printing their yard signs and palm cards. The advent of the Internet has lowered the price knowledge barrier, and allowed campaigns to shop for deals on campaign supplies worldwide. This means that not only can your campaign use online-only suppliers and suppliers in other cities, but also has forced many local print shops to lower their prices and offer more services to stay competitive.
Before you decide on a supplier, shop around. Make a detailed list of the political campaign supplies you are going to need, with specs and quantities, and shop around for price, speed, and service. Price is a big concern, but not your only one: some suppliers will offer package deals that include design work; others will offer quick turn around and personal service. Choose carefully, and with full information.
Be Wary of the Usual Suspects
A word of caution for first time candidates: when you throw your hat in the ring, you will likely receive lots of advice from old-hands, consultants, party leaders, and other politicians on who you should use for printing your political campaign supplies. Gratefully acknowledge their advice, but be careful before using the printers they recommend. They may be giving you good information on a cheap and reliable source, or they may be pointing you towards an expensive but politically-connected supplier. Do what is best for your campaign, no matter what you are advised.
Online Campaign Suppliers
As mentioned above, the spread of e-commerce has brought with it new opportunities for local political campaigns. There are a number of high-quality, good service, low price political campaign suppliers online, and many of these suppliers offer design work, quick turn around, and good package deals. For an idea on what you can find online, check out Local Victory’s sponsors, who are listed on the sidebar of our site. Many of these sponsors are online political campaign suppliers that offer great deals to campaigns.
When doing your research on suppliers, be sure to also check out your local political print shops and quick print / copy shops. You may find that your local suppliers offer competitive prices with the added benefit of face to face communication. Keep them in the mix, and make a decision based on who can provide your political campaign supplies with the best combination of quality, service, and price.