By Tyler Hobbs, Missouri GOP Grassroots Director
A campaign in quarantine is a campaign with time to plan their GOTV efforts. As we look towards a busy primary season, it is important that you’re prepared to reach out to voters. I will share with you three ways we’re encouraging candidates to stay ahead of the curve during an unusual election cycle.
Develop a Plan
Don’t sit by the sidelines during this season. The biggest mistake you could make is to wait until the stay-at-home orders are lifted to formulate a plan. You should know your goals, develop a timeline, and commit to a strategy for your GOTV efforts. Remember, plans can be adapted as circumstances change but they cannot be created last minute. Establish 90, 60, and 30-day plans that give you actionable goals every week, whether that’s phone calls made, dollars raised, or events planned, online or offline, and adjust as needed.
When you’re planning, think about the help you’ll need to bring your strategy to life. Now is the time to gather commitments from people to volunteer for your campaign. As soon as the shut down is lifted, they’ll be ready to go knock doors, but they can do lots of jobs in the meantime.
Lastly, there is no reason you can’t collect voter lists now. Use those lists to create your door strategy so your team can be ready to put boots on the ground as soon as this is over. Ask for call lists so you can start making phone calls to the voters in your community.
And don’t forget to continue fundraising. Even a campaign in quarantine needs money. Be tactful and polite, but don’t let this fall to the wayside. The campaigns that emerge from this shut down with money in the bank will be the campaigns that take the lead.
Stay Connected on Social Media
Screen time is up across the country as people look for information on the crisis, entertain themselves, and scroll through Facebook. Use this to your advantage. Now is the time to work on an aggressive digital media campaign.
Whether you host tele-town halls, throw facebook live parties, or invite supporters to a Zoom call, you have the ability to continue hosting online events for your potential voters. A strong social media presence will cut through the noise and remind people that an election is still just around the corner.
Come up with a strategic communications plan that spans across multiple platforms to reach as many voters as you can. Although social media continues to be an essential tool for any campaign, this year it will make or break a campaign’s effectiveness. Using technology to your advantage while most Americans are home could be the catalyst for your campaign’s success.
Get Creative with Voter Contact
The COVID-19 pandemic may have shut down your door-to-door operation, but it doesn’t have to stop you from reaching the voters where they are. Turn your plan into action by reaching out through whatever means necessary.
Make phone calls to voters. Hold Facebook live sessions or Q & A’s. Send postcards and letters and put up signs. The main point here is to not let this pandemic be an excuse to not be seen. Whatever you planned for in a regular campaign, double it. You’re competing with everyone for attention right now so be prepared to fight for it.
This is a great time to use your volunteers and give them the tools they need to reach out. Share phone lists and goals with your supporters and encourage them to share your posts on social media and make calls on your behalf.
There is a lot of uncertainty in our communities today, but one thing stays the same: winning campaigns have a plan. If you remain organized and execute the plan you’ve created, your campaign will come out of quarantine stronger. Life will go on after the COVID-19 pandemic, and voters will remember what they saw during this time. Make sure you give them something to remember.