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Menu of tactics

Menu of tactics

Strong campaigns are nimble in their approach based on what will secure the results they’re seeking. With that in mind, here is a brief overview of campaign tactics to keep in your toolbox.

  • Paid ads. Paid advertising is a great way to convey a specific message to a particular audience on your timeline. You can leverage paid ads across a variety of mediums: online, print, and radio. You can also pinpoint the geography you seek to target with ads, such as your capitol building or a relevant government agency.
  • Digital billboards. While it’s effective to place a billboard on a highway or interstate to capture lawmakers’ attention (perhaps when driving to the airport while traveling between the state capital and their home district), there are ways to get more creative about billboard placement. Trucks and cars can drive throughout strategically selected parts of town, carrying a mobile billboard that shares your message, images, and data.
  • Press conferences and in-person stunts. In-person stunts, activations, rallies, marches, sit-ins, or other events are great moments to reach out to your partners, activate your coalition members, and encourage any grassroots partners to connect with their support base. Having in-person events that are eye-catching, memorable, and talked about in the press after the fact is a great way to demonstrate your movement’s power to lawmakers.
  • Lobby days. Lawmakers are likeliest to respond when they hear directly from their own constituents about how issues impact their everyday lives. Ahead of big moments, make sure lawmakers hear from your movement by bringing storytellers, experts, and spokespeople to the Capitol building to connect one-on-one.
  • Social media. Social media helps make the world smaller by connecting people and creating platforms for movements that might not otherwise be possible given geography. If you have an in-house social media expert, that is a skill you can share with your coalition by creating social media toolkits or offering guidance on how to engage with key stakeholders online. If you don’t have that expertise, perhaps one of your partners does!
  • Earned media. Don’t forget to keep journalists up-to-date on key campaign moments within your movement. That may mean inviting journalists to press conferences, sharing pictures of your mobile billboard, or even connecting with your members of the editorial board to ensure they understand the appropriations timeline and the stakes for this issue so they can urge lawmakers to lend their support at a time strategic for your campaign.

TIP: Get creative! Consider how leave-behind materials can continue to amplify your campaign after an event concludes. Get a local company to sponsor the cost of a baby bottle, bib, or other prop you might use as a leave-behind. Look at the state house cafeteria and create a weekly menu of what SNAP recipients would be able to purchase using their benefits.

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