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Election Advertising – Top Mistakes for 1st Time Candidates

Tips On Avoiding Election Advertising Mistakes

political public relations 150x150 Election Advertising   Top Mistakes for 1st Time CandidatesPolitics and election advertising are nothing short of a beast that is nearly impossible to tame.  It has chewed up and digested countless political candidates that threw their hats into the arena assuming they could run a flawless election advertising campaign that would make them stars.  This isn’t the case with everyone of course because there are plenty of candidates that started out as a 1st candidate and found success with their election advertising.  Even they made mistakes however, and those mistakes can cost you a great deal when running for office.

Off We Go, Election Advertising Pitfalls To Avoid…

Here are the top mistakes that 1st time candidates make that can cripple election advertising and potential success.

Election Advertising Mistake #1 – No campaign Manager

There are far too many candidates who make the mistake of also trying to be their campaign manager.  This is a good way to shut your campaign down fast.  It’s just not really possible to due and even if you can pull it off it’s not smart.

As a candidate, your job during election advertising is to kiss babies, shake hands and keep the support money coming in with fundraisers.  Everyone else is responsible for the overall strategy around getting you elected and making sure things run smoothly each day.  You can certainly help with formulating strategies, brainstorming and more but micromanaging or trying to wear too many hats is why a number of businesses don’t survive more than 5 years and its also why candidates lose constantly.

Election Advertising Mistake #2 – Starting Late

This should read more as “not starting early enough”.  It’s never too early to get started with election advertising and political campaigning.  Far too many candidates wait to put the gas to the floor until the end of the election.  While it’s true that there are some trump cards you’ll have in reserve for when the time is right, you ultimately want to push through and make sure your presence is known – early and often.

Election Advertising Mistake #3 – Relying on the Party

You have to realize early on that the success of your campaign is on you and your staff, not on your party.  You can’t rely on your nation, state, local or county party to help you win your seat and you certainly can’t rely on them for monetary help or other kinds of help.  From ‘go’ you should be responsible for the success of your election advertising and political marketing campaign.

Election Advertising Mistake #4 – Running On Fumes

You wouldn’t take a care with a half tank of gas and $100 in your pocket on a coast to coast road trip.  Likewise, you would come to a political campaign with only $500 worth of support behind you.  Don’t underestimate how much money you need to win the campaign, that happens all too often with candidates.  If you need to know what to expect then speak with some veteran political figures from your level to see what you’ll need to make a difference and win over voters.

Election Advertising Mistake #5 – My Opponent is a Sucker

Never, ever underestimate your opponent when it comes to election advertising and political marketing.  Far too many 1st time candidates get reeled in by a smart opponent that lures them into a negative campaign strategy that has a massive backlash.  Likewise, keep in mind that if you’re challenging an incumbent he or she will already have an established name in the region and are more than likely going to try and outspend you in order to boost that brand they have built.  No matter what you do, never assume that your opponent is a sucker, or just another token political candidate.  Always run your election advertising and marketing campaigns like you’re behind in the polls.  The last thing you want to is to wake up after election day eating a cake that says “shoulda tried harder”.

Election Advertising Mistake #6 – Who Needs Professional Help?

1st time candidates pushing on the local level often bypass any professional help or consultation to rely on friends and family for political and election advertising advice.  The problem here is that those people have even less political experience in most cases.  One of the biggest mistakes you can make is underestimating the power of guidance and experience, and you can get both if you take the time to invest in speaking with a qualified political marketing agency, mentor, veteran politician, etc.  Even the most local, down home campaign can benefit from working with professionals who know what to say and how to say it to get voters to listen.

Election Advertising Mistake #7 – Easing Off the Gas at the Finish

When you run a race, you run it until you win or the engine blows.  It’s a strange reference but Ricky Bobby said “If you aint first, you’re last”.  That applies here.  There’s no prize for second place in the political work.  Too many candidates will find themselves in a position to win by a landslide, to which they ease up on marketing and other election advertising to save money since “they can’t lose”.  Unfortunately elections are often won and lost in the final hours and minutes.  Candidates in the lead by a landslide have experience a loss as a drastic shift in support occurred in the final hours.  You haven’t won until you’ve won, so push until you finish the race or the engine blows.

Election Advertising Mistake #8 – Giving Up

It’s amazing how many candidates will enter a political race, throwing everything into their election advertising only to state early on that they know they’re not going to win.  If you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re absolutely right.  If you go into a political race thinking you’re going to lose then you’ll do just that.  Don’t waste your time running for office unless you actually join the race to win.  Otherwise, when it comes to election advertising, you’ll be just one more body mucking up the process.


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