Author Archives: KEITH

Election Door Knocking Heat Map

I tirelessly tell candidates they need to knock on doors. It is the most effective way to ID voters and to distribute your message. Canvassing is free and gives a personal touch to your election.

In the case of a City Councillor election I say you need to knock on every door at least once – the question is where to start.  The traditional way of starting on your own street and making your way outwards results in a number of missed opportunities.

When canvassing in the municipal election you need to start at doors where:

  1. People who actually vote
  2. Residents who have a current issue
  3. The lawns are prime location for signs
  4. You do not already have a lot of support

The last one always trips people up. They feel they should reach out to those who love them first. Sure, canvassing your existing fans is a great confidence booster; however you are just wasting precious campaign time. I believe the expression is “preaching to the choir”.

Numbers two and three are a bit easier to determine.  It’s number one that you really want to be the prime focus of your heat map. These streets are coloured red because they are hot and are ready to be knocked.  How you determine who votes can in a number of ways be based on demographics and history. Sorry I can’t give you the exact details on this one, it would be like Pepsi publishing their trade secrets online.

Below is an example of an election door knocking heat map. The streets are grouped by colours. You need to get to red streets ASAP (like yesterday), the orange are next on your hit list, followed by yellow and then blue. These maps in a political party HQ obviously use different colours based on the party flag.

Where to Canvass In Your Ward

Where to Canvass In Your Ward

Map Notes:

  • Sorry I’m a campaign manager not an artist. I usually draw these with a marker on paper.
  • This is just a visual the map comes with a MS Excel list of streets ranked one by one. The list also details why a street has been prioritized.
  • This is not an actual door knocking heat map. It’s my neighbourhood and I just made up the results.

If you are a member of the City Campaigner team you can log into the portal later this week for instructions on how to create your own election heat map. You also have discounted pricing on the service if you do not have the time or confidence to do it yourself.

For those who are not yet members but want to hit pavement with a plan in hand, we are now offering customized Election Heat Maps for a one-time cost of $250.00 (click Buy Now Button below) We will not create one for your competitor so that trade secret in your ward belongs to you.

Now if I only had a product that would light a fire under a candidate’s ass to get out there and door knock.

Good luck in your election.

Keep Knocking,

KEITH

ELECTION DOOR KNOCKING HEAT MAP – KNOW BEFORE YOU GO 

$250.00 + HST

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Back From Vacation

Hey Guys,

Spent the last week in the sunny south building a base tan for the summer  –  No one likes a sunburn after a round of golf.

While away I got an opportunity to read some read some awesome books with innovative customer engagement ideas. There were a number of tactics that could be customized to a municipal election and I plan on making some videos and posts about them this week.

Keep Knocking,

KEITH

 

Web Strategy For Municipal Elections

To Blog or Not To Blog? …That is the municipal candidate question.

This video is a quick introduction to creating a simple web strategy for Municipal Councillor Candidates.  The most common issue is that candidates spend too much time on the internet and not enough time at the door.

 

 

City Campaigner Members watch for my web strategy bonus material in our Members Portal. Beyond the web strategy embedded in your customized week to week campaign plan I have a video that covers:

  • Where to do opposition research on the web
  • How to find people of  influence on-line in your ward
  • How keep track of your competitor and flag their internet missteps
  • Political black-ops on-line

Hope this information helps. Good luck in your election.

Keep Knocking,

KEITH STRACHAN

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Municipal Election Well Underway

There are fewer than 6 Months left in the Ontario Municipal Elections – only  179 days!

If you think that is plenty of time, think again.   Each councillor candidate running in a ward election has about 5,000 voter homes. If you do not have to luxury of  incumbency and are serious about winning you should get to every house twice, meaning you have 10,000 doors to knock.  If you started today that is 56 houses per day, which is manageable. However,  throw in a kid’s birthday, a friend’s wedding, a couple of community events and a bunch late nights at work and that 56 door target starts growing.   All of sudden you need to hit a few hundred houses a day.

Do not let this discourage you there is still a lot of paths to victory (good determined candidates are hardly discouraged anyway).   If are starting on your election now here is what you should do right away:

  • Door knocking, start today!
  • Seek volunteers and a support network (Election Kitchen Cabinet)
  • Write a campaign plan with specific week to week goals
  • Draft a budget
  • Write your platform and create your professional  literature
  • Raise some money – elections are not cheap
  • Order lawn-signs (the lead time in the late summer could burn you)
  • Knock on more doors

All that being said, pace yourself by holding back a number of events and ideas for the fall when everyone is watching. Hopefully by the fall all your voters recognize you from their doorway.

Keep an eye on this site for some municipal election strategy and tips.   Good luck in your campaign.

Keep Knocking,

KEITH

 

 

Email Marketing For Municipal Elections

It does not matter if your election is downtown Toronto or in rural Essa Township, all Candidates need to use an email marketing service.

Election Email Marketing

There are a few common service providers such as AWeber, Constant Contact and Mail Chimp.  I have worked with all three and found that AWeber is the most cost effective and has one of the best delivery rates – meaning less of your emails end up in your voters’ spam mail.

Collecting email addresses is not always easy, however it is slowly becoming vital to your campaign for many reasons. Let’s take a quick look at a few:

  • The decline of the home phone. In the “good old days” matching your voters list to a landline was a simple task, but in 2014 everyone is cutting the cord on home phone services. Collecting personal email addresses gets you straight to a voter’s mobile phone.
  • The introduction of online voting. This will be widespread in municipal elections in the near future with many small townships already offering online voting in 2014. In Leamington, Ontario this fall it’s the only choice. How nice would it be if your email asking for support entered a voter’s inbox shortly after their online voting instructions?  GOTV is going to get much easier (and cheaper).
  • Email marketing is fast and cheap. If you have a robust email list of voters you can get information out quickly when responding to a current issue or promoting a last minute event. This is much more efficient than trying to get the word out by phone or on your feet.  A subscription to an email marketing service comes at a low cost. The monthly cost of AWeber is less than $20 per month.  Compare that to over a thousand dollars for a mail out or hundreds of dollars for a voice-broadcast and it’s a great deal!

If you are thinking you can manage your email list with a spreadsheet and your current email provider, think again.  An email marketing service comes with many perks including email marketing education, sign-up confirmation pages, delivery and viewing statistics, and professional looking templates.   To learn more about all the features of an email marketing service I encourage you to visit a few of their websites.

For more info on email marketing subscription costs and features visit AWeber’s website.

City Campaigner Members can log onto the members-only portal for my latest video on email marketing. This includes easy tactics to collect voters’ email addresses and how to use automated email drip campaigns to keep voters engaged.

Keep Knocking,

KEITH

Google
 

Election Press Releases

Publicity is often referred to as “earned media” because you do in fact need to earn it.

press release

I am far from a communications expert, however this brief post is for municipal campaign candidates who are looking for a bit of media coverage from their local paper and radio station.   This week I posted a more in-depth instructional video on election press releases and a downloadable template to the City Campaigner Members Portal. These resources are for City Councillor Candidates who are serious about investing in a win.  For aspiring candidates and future campaign volunteers, here are some quick points on election press releases: Continue reading

Build a Municipal Campaign Volunteer Team

 

help_wanted1

You need help! You can try to run your municipal election alone but chances are it will be exhausting, boring and lonely. Worst of all, running a solo campaign almost always results in a loss.

The life of any campaign is the volunteers. To add this crucial part to your campaign you need attract, engage and retain an awesome team of volunteers.

Attracting volunteers is hard and attracting municipal election volunteers is even harder. Charities can recruit help from people who share a passion in the same cause. Provincial and Federal Campaigns can find volunteers from like-minded people and political party stalwarts.  For your municipal campaign you are starting from scratch. Tap into friends and family first – they’ll be the least likely to say “no”, but may not be the most productive. Look for community activists in your neighbourhood who have championed local projects, fought city hall or hosted a wicked street party. These community leaders have volunteer personalities and will give you their best if asked.  Asking (a reoccurring theme in campaigning) is the key to volunteer recruitment. If you find yourself at the door of a new supporter and you think they connect with your message, ASK them to volunteer. As soon as you walk away that door is closed. Continue reading