A quick video post inspired by some current events in Toronto politics.
Keep your campaigns clean and follow the rules. No matter if you win or lose you will have your honour.
I have helped many Municipal Councillors get elected and none of them had to break the rules or compromise their morals. In fact doing the exact opposite has proven successful.
This media story is a good example of a successful campaign launch.
Joe Persechini is running for Town Council in East Gwillimbury this fall. As a long time community activist the media attention is well deserved. Persechini even has a street named after him recognizing all his great charity work. Campaign launches like this remind us that a council election does not start when nominations open. A good Councillor candidate is already working hard for their community without the official title.
Unless Google search is failing me, it looks like Joe needs to get moving on an election website. It would be nice to leverage a good news day into some web traffic and online voter ID.
In East Gwillimbury voters elect 4 Councillors at large so it’s a tough race. Best of luck to Joe Persechini and his campaign team.
A provincial election is not an excuse for municipal election candidates to take a break.
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.
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
A “Kitchen Cabinet” advisory group for political candidates is not ground breaking. The first Kitchen Cabinet was formed by U.S. President Andrew Jackson in 1831. In Australia they’ve created a reality political show about it and in Britain the media use the term as a reference for the Prime Minister’s inner circle. Another fun fact is that Ronald Reagan’s Kitchen Cabinet included Joseph Coors of the Coors Brewing Company. A Kitchen Cabinet is a group of trusted friends and advisors who a politician or candidate can consult with privately on important strategies and issues.
For Municipal Election candidates your Kitchen Cabinet should start in your actual kitchen. This group of confidants should remain small and trustworthy. Your Kitchen Cabinet will most likely not include a national beer baron but will include community volunteers, soccer mums, PTA parents and local seniors.
A good Kitchen Cabinet for a Municipal Councillor Election should include a small, diverse group of people who: Continue reading
Know who you are talking to before you speak.
Many municipal candidates think that to win they must craft and deliver a message for all the voters in their ward. This approach is only going to waste your time and money. A candidate needs to discover their base and target voters before hitting the campaign trail.
Identifying base support or target voting is a bit easier in Provincial and Federal politics as you can group people by demographics, special interests, income levels, etc.. In a municipal election where party politics play little to no role at the Councillor level, you are starting from scratch.
Avoid a campaign that crashes on take-off. Put in the planning time up front to ensure success.
As a municipal candidate you are not going to receive automatic media attention when you file your nomination papers. Contrary to popular belief, there is not a media scrum outside of Vaughan City Hall on a Tuesday afternoon.
If you want buzz you need to create it – and trust me, you want buzz. No candidate likes working their ass off for three months only to run into their neighbour down the street and hear, “Oh, I didn’t know you were running for council.”
Here are 5 easy steps to complete BEFORE a successful campaign launch for City Councillor hopefuls:
1. Plan for an uphill battle
Countless studies show that people are not engaged in the election until the last days before the vote. You don’t have the luxury of waiting until then, so you have to drive your own engagement.
To Run… Or Not To Run…
You’ve thought about it for a while but you’re still on the fence – “Should I run for Municipal Politics?”
Let’s take a look at what you should keep in mind when considering launching a campaign.
Every friend, family member, co-worker and voter are going ask you the same question: “Why do you want to be a Councillor?”. You need to first answer this question for yourself. There are two categories this answer can fall into, you either want to be somebody, or do something. If your answer falls into the latter you’re well on your way. If you are entering into politics to be somebody, you’re in it for the wrong reasons and my style of campaigning can’t help you. Know your “why” before you start and we’ll work on some effective ways to communicate that another day.
You need to make the decision to run with your spouse and considering your entire family. Continue reading
Thanks for visiting the City Campaigner Blog!
I’ll be using this space to update readers on the City Campaigner membership team and to provide a few tips on what municipal campaign candidates must do to win.
City Campaigner is a Municipal Election Campaign Community that benefits members with online election training, templates, expert interviews, election services/products, and group buying discounts. Details on how to become a member of this community will be coming in the next couple of weeks. If you are a candidate in the 2014 Municipal Election and would like to be a member of the City Campaigner Team, email me firstname.lastname@example.org. Since I want everyone on the team to be successful I will only be accepting one candidate per Ward in each municipality.