8 tips for a more successful political campaign

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  1. Have a clear message

People have short attention spans, so you need to be able to deliver your message in just one or two sentences. Whether or not you voted for the President, his campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again,” was great itself. The slogan was short and to the point, while conveying a message.

  1. Work really hard

In the 2012 Republican primary, former Senator Rick Santorum was not believed to be a significant factor in the race. Early Iowa polls put him in the low single digits. Senator Santorum was deemed too socially conservative and too poorly funded as compared to the race’s Republican frontrunners, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Perry. Senator Santorum won the Iowa caucus. How did he do it? He simply outworked the others. He visited every one of the 99 counties in Iowa holding meetings in diners and talking to the voters.

  1. Appreciate your volunteers

When I was in grad school, my favorite topic to study was the behavioral science behind human motivation. A lot of people mistakenly believe money is the primary factor that motivates people, but multiple studies say money ranks behind feeling appreciated, the opportunity for meaningful relationships, and feeling one’s work has value.

In fact, some of the world’s most dedicated organizations are comprised of volunteers or people who work for very low pay. Military and religious organizations both offer a host of examples.

  1. Recognize voting decisions are emotional

Political types on both sides scratch their heads when people vote for candidates that might not align with their interests or even their opinions. You may remember when George W. Bush defeated Al Gore in 2000, many pundits noted a study that had found a higher percentage of people agreeing with Al Gore’s platform than who actually voted for him. Why’s that? People just didn’t like him. George W. Bush trounced him in another survey of who people would want to have a beer with.

  1. Be excited about what you have to say

In the words of my college speech teacher, “nobody’s ever going to be more excited about what you’re talking about than you are.”

  1. Don’t believe “conventional wisdom”

However you feel about same sex marriage, California’s Yes on Prop. 8 campaign won by shattering previously defined political paradigms. Although Republicans and minority communities often cast opposing votes, Prop. 8 proponents united these constituencies to win on a contentious issue in a left-leaning state.

  1. Treat your opponents with respect

In the long-running 1980’s drama “Dallas,” the show’s leading character JR Ewing was constantly haunted by a rival, Cliff Barnes. One of Cliff’s main missions in life was to put JR’s Ewing Oil out of business. Cliff devised numerous clever schemes over the years to do this, from getting himself elected as an oil regulator to staging a hostile takeover.

Why? It was tied to a generational grudge between JR’s father and Cliff’s. As Cliff’s father saw it, JR’s had cheated him out of his oil. Deal fairly with your fellow man and you’re less likely to have a Cliff Barnes in your life making you miserable.

  1. Hire Dauntless Communications

Dauntless has served political clients across the country and our team includes individuals who are highly capable and fun to work with. Community leaders and businesspeople say they have been impressed with our work ethic, responsiveness, creativity and follow through.

Ready to work with us? Let’s talk! Contact me at [email protected]

Eric Eisenhammer is CEO of Dauntless Communications a political strategy and technology company headquartered in the Sacramento area. Dauntless has worked on numerous successful campaigns across California and Nevada.

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