Tuesday, September 13, 2016

How to get free publicity for your campaign without committing a scandal

There are a number of ways to get free publicity for your campaign. Make a public blunder, have some "private" embarrassing moments go public, but if you want good publicity, it's not so easy. The press isn't going to take notice of your campaign beyond the usual short blurb they give every candidate. They might cover a debate or two if the issues are juicy, but short of punching your opponent in the nose, it's hard to get reporters to cover you.
So you need to do it yourself. There are a few ways of do it yourself press. One is the oped. If there is a newsworthy issue in your campaign, and the press hasn't picked up on it, write an oped piece that focuses on the issue and real solutions. This needs to be something other than a puff piece bout your own campaign.  Another person might write about the issue and why you'd be the right person to solve it. They would likely invite your opponent to have someone send in an article on his/her behalf as well.

Another way is to start your own blog, but that's a lot of work, and online publication just don't reach voters that well, despite the proliferation of social media sites dedicated to politics. In fact, that's one of the problems, there are so many, people tend to ignore them in favor of cute cat videos.

The simplest is to have people send in short letters to the editor. These can be written by one person and signed by others. Issues can be split up, so that one person writes about how you are the best candidate to fill potholes, while another writes about your talent at bringing people together. Still others can discuss the differences between you and your opponent and what makes you the most ft for the job.
Letters are a good way to convey your message to a number of people (at least the newspaper reading people, and remember, many read the paper online, so you are reaching them as well), and it is one section of the paper people do read. Your letter may well get some responses from your opponent's camp or people who may be passionate about whatever issues are on the line.

These can come in at various intervals, so that they don't bunch up on an editor's desk. Here are a few guidelines for a successful Letters to the Editor campaign.

1. Keep them short. 200 words are so is the optimal length. Much longer and you risk editing and possibly losing your main point to a pair of scissors.

2. Proofread carefully. Spelling is important, good grammar and punctuation also count. If you are speaking on a candidate's behalf, you want to come across as articulate and well informed.

3. Make sure they are truthful. do not make things up, or exaggerate your abilities. Don't make your opponent sound like an ogre unless he/she truly is one, and still, pick your words wisely.

4. Be prepared to write follow up or response letters if you get attacked by others, or if others write letters that cast you in a negative light.

Follow those easy rules and you'll get your name in the paper and maybe find some new volunteers to help with the campaign too, when they see how many enthusiastic supporters you already have.
Here is some "Brain food" to snack on while composing your letters:


(Avocado is said to help with blood flow to the brain for clarity of thought.)
Time: less than 20 minutes
Servings: 2
8-oz package kamut udon noodles
2 tablespoons avocado oil (or grape seed oil)
1 tomato, chopped
3/4 bunch of lacinato kale, cut into long thin strips
3 carrots – peeled and sliced/grated
a handful of mushrooms, white or brown – finely sliced
generous drizzle of organic soy sauce/tamari, to taste
a few sprinkles of crushed red pepper flakes
dash of salt
squirt of honey
1 avocado, peeled and sliced – garnish
squeeze of fresh lime juice
In a pot of boiling water, cook kamut udon noodles as per package instructions until al dente, usually 8 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water.
Pour noodles back into pot with heat on low to medium. Then add kale, carrots, tomatoes, mushrooms, tamari, honey, red pepper flakes and avocado oil. Heat gently, stir until steaming and kale has softened, 2-3 minutes.
Garnish with thick slices of avocado and squeeze of lime juice. Dig in!