What to consider when delivering a campaign?
You'll need to consider:
- Your manifesto: what you plan on doing if you are elected
- Your method of communicating your ideas to the student body
- How to demonstrate your willingness and ability to get things done for students in the role you’re targeting
Over the years, a wide variety of candidates have each used their own mix of campaigning tactics.
There’s no 100% successful formula, and no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to campaign. There’s also no ’type’ of personality that typically wins elections: as long as you’ve got something to say that resonates with people, you stand as good a chance as anyone!
This article outlines:
Play to your strengths
Campaigning can require a little thought outside the box. If you can make use of your hobbies or existing skills as part of your campaign then go for it!
For example, if you have a knack for drawing - set aside time to draw some illustrations to fit your campaign theme. If you’re a musician, you could write a campaign song. A blogger? Write a campaign diary and chronicle your campaign trail for people to read. Everyone has a knack for something: campaigning is a real opportunity to make the most of the skills both you and your friends have!
Look after yourself
Campaigning can be a draining thing to do, particularly when you're in the midst of studying. It’s important to take some time out from time to time to have a break. Not only will this prevent you from becoming exhausted - it gives you the chance to walk away from your campaign plan and then re-evaluate certain aspects with fresh eyes at a later date.
Please note that due to the current Covid-19 restrictions, campaigning is purely digital in these Elections.
You could host a live Q&A on Facebook or Instagram, or record a short video of you talking about what you’d change if elected on YouTube. If people are seeing you talk, they’re more likely to remember what you stood for when they come to vote.
You are not alone!
One of the most important elements of any campaign’s success is to have a good group of campaigners who will help you spread the word about your campaign. If you can, try and hold a virtual training session where you familiarise them with your policies, tell them how you would like them to campaign, and go through the rules that all candidates and campaigners must abide by. This is also a great opportunity to talk about some of the benefits they’ll get from participating, particularly related to employability after graduation. The best way of ensuring students vote for you is to talk to them, not just send them an email, so really stress this as much as possible.
Remember: As the candidate it is your responsiblity to ensure your campaign team abides by the election rules
Good people to ask to campaign for you are friends from your halls or accommodation, friends from your course or society or even friends from other universities or back home. Take some time in putting together some kind of rota if possible, so you know how much to expect from friends in terms of time commitment. Remember though, these people are doing you a huge favour and will have other time commitments, so don’t take it personally if they can’t give as much time as you’d like.
It’s also worth setting aside some of your campaign budget for food and drink – a little gesture like this goes a long way. Make sure you keep them motivated and recognise them for the efforts and time they give.
Everyone gets a bit stressed out during elections, so if you feel that this is happening to you, take half an hour to reenergise and refocus. Never let yourself get to the stage where you are grumpy with voters or your campaign team, it’s completely normal, just have a cup of tea and calm down. Make sure you use your team effectively.
Have regular meetings keeping people updated on what’s happened.
More than anything, a campaign team can prevent any burnout and exhaustion when campaigning. And, having a diverse team of campaigners will make sure your campaign reaches out to a big variety of people!