Written by Dave Huguenel, Vice President, Political
Let’s cut to the chase… Last week, Our Managing Director, Alexis Valdez Darnell, made it clear that the phrase “first impressions matter” is no joke in political campaigns. Whether you’re running for the first time or you’re gearing up for re-election, putting together an organized plan of how you will announce to the world that your campaign is officially off to the races is crucial. A successful campaign launch can be the difference between tons of earned media and donations or getting lost in the news cycle.
So with that in mind, I thought I’d expand on her message of long-term kick-off planning and share a few tips (well five to be exact) on how to make sure your launch day goes off without a hitch. Without further ado…
1.) Plan the day by the hour.
First thing to do is create a calendar for the day. When does your press release go out? What time do your social channels go live? When will your campaign post any pre-planned videos, etc? Having this written down and shared with your full team will ensure everyone is singing off the same song sheet and nothing will get forgotten when things get crazy.
2.) Have your content created days in advance.
Most campaigns announce with a launch video, so you probably already have that handy. But what about a social graphic telling people how to sign up for emails, or how to donate? If you expect a positive story to drop about your announcement you could even have a graphic ready that recaps the news coverage.
3.) Make sure your social channels are set up properly.
Did you know that if your Twitter account isn’t “whitelisted” you won’t be able to upload a video over two minutes and twenty seconds in length? So if your launch video is over 2:21 long guess what, it's not going up. If you want to run ads on Facebook? Better double-check you have an approved disclaimer. These are the little things you need to check well before the day of the launch otherwise you’ll be scrambling to get your content up.
4.) Create content that people want to share.
I’m a big proponent of posting fun, animated content on announcement day that shows that you’re in business. Supporters love to share this type of stuff as a way of helping the campaign and it always leads to great organic increases to who’s interacting with your content.
5.) Have a website that allows people to quickly sign up and donate.
Launch day will be one of the busiest times for your website. People will want to learn more about you and that serves as one of your best opportunities to get people to sign up to your email list or make a quick donation. So, make sure the first thing people see when they find you online are those two opportunities!
So, there you have it! Five tips that will ensure you have a great campaign launch day! Now just 482 more days to go before Election Day!