Quick Tip #1:  Industry Specific Fundraising Events

Often, the first thing that political campaigns think about when planning a fundraising event is the “theme” – whether the event will be a barbeque, a dinner, a cocktail hour, etc.  One of the best ways to make your event a success, however, is to start by thinking about the “target” – before you decide the theme.

A great way to structure your fundraising events is by targeting a specific industry.  For example, if your candidate is a dentist, you could hold an event targeted at the local dental and orthodontic communities.  If your candidate has strong ties to the local restaurant scene, you could hold an event targeted at restaurant owners, investors, culinary magazine advertisers, etc.  By targeting a specific industry, your campaign can create a buzz around the event and reach into new networks for contributions.

Quick Tip #2:  ACTIVE Visibility Projects

When it comes to raising name ID, campaigns often restrict themselves to putting up signs, sending out mail, and if they are financially able, running TV and radio ads.  These are all great mediums and should be used by every campaign that is able.  For campaigns without lots of financial resources however, as well as for wealthier campaigns that are looking for new ways to raise their candidate’s name ID, active visibility projects are the way to go.

Active visibility projects are those efforts that use volunteers or paid staff to be out on the street, actively spreading the work about the campaign.  Some examples of active visibility include: groups of volunteers waving signs at busy intersections, staff members walking to and from work wearing “John Smith for Sheriff” t-shirts, and t-shirted volunteers handing out buttons and balloons at little league baseball games. 

Active visibility projects make your campaign look alive.  Not only will these efforts spread the word about your candidate, they will ensure that everyone they come in contact with knows that your campaign is working hard, building momentum, and is ready to win.

Quick Tip #3:  Keeping in Touch with Your Media List

Every campaign should have a media list with the name and contact information for every newspaper, magazine, TV, and radio journalist you plan to target with your media efforts.  Too often, though, campaigns limit their contact with the folks on this list to a press release here and there when major events occur.

To keep the media interested in your race, ensure that they know that your campaign is building momentum and staying active, and increase reporters’ favorability towards your candidate, stay in regular contact with your entire media list… send out press releases on a regular basis, e-mail out the candidate’s daily schedule, and call every so often “just to check in.”  Reporters are always looking for a story – so give them one.