|In this chapter|
|Campaign Theme and Message Development|
Before you sit down to write a brochure, you must first develop a campaign theme and message. While political strategists use the words "theme" and "message" in different ways, sometimes interchangeably, for our purposes here, a "theme" covers the overarching issues that capture the spirit of the campaign, whereas a "message" is a single idea used to bring that theme to the voters.
By way of example, if you're working on a campaign to fund extracurricular activities for your school district that were eliminated because of budget cuts, your theme will likely include the individual programs to be reinstated, such as debate, sports, residency outdoor school (a camping trip designed to build community within school and faculty), and business clubs. Your message will center around the idea that it is no longer enough for students to have a 4.0 GPA if they want to get into a good college or land a better job; they must also be involved in after-school activities. Briefly, your message is "opportunity."
"Leaders are peo-|
ple who step for-
ward, who influ-
and action. They
emerge to meet
|-- William Gore|
In the presidential campaign of 1994, Bill Clinton's theme included environmental protection, lower crime rates, education, and universal health care, among other things. Each of the issues of the overall campaign the was conveyed to the American people through the message "It's the economy." For example: We need to