The Campaign Manager: Running and Winning Local Elections

By Catherine M. Shaw | Go to book overview

9
Direct Mail
In this chapter
Ethnic and Gender Gaps
Direct Mail to Persuade Voters
Direct Mail to Hit Your Opponent
Direct Mail on a Budget
Mail Preparation.

Whereas canvassing is about activating voters who are inclined to vote for your candidate according to the past voting patterns of their neighborhood, direct mail is about activating voters around a specific issue that transcends voting tendencies. As discussed in the chapter on brochures, the first thing you do with your campaign committee is to develop a theme and message for the campaign. Remember, to develop a theme, you look for external forces outside of the campaign. Find indicators to predict where your community is going or wants to go, as well as the opportunities and constraints. You also look for fears, concerns, worries, hopes, and dreams of your constituency. Your message is how you communicate this theme to the voter in a concise sentence or two. Through the process of identifying why and who will vote for your cause, you identify groups with which your candidate or campaign will develop a relationship. This process and the message are developed early to activate special interest support that can lead to endorsements, money, and, yes, votes.

Direct mail can cultivate a relationship between your campaign and the voters based on issues. These issues should resonate with your base vote and the swing vote. The purpose is to lock in your base vote and move swing voters your way, regardless of party affiliation or prior voting tendencies.

"Public officials
are not a group
apart. They in-
evitably reflect
the moral tone of
the society in
which they live."
-- John F.
Kennedy

For example, you are working for a pro-choice Republican running against an anti-choice Democrat. You have a list of pro-choice voters who tend to vote party. Your job is to point out to swing voters that their Democrat is anti-choice. You're banking on their ide

-159-

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The Campaign Manager: Running and Winning Local Elections
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Tables and Illustrations xi
  • Preface xv
  • How to Use This Handbook 1
  • 1 - The Campaign Team 5
  • 2 - The Campaign Brochure. 17
  • 3 - The Volunteer Organization 35
  • 4 - Fund-Raising 49
  • 5 - Lawn Signs 91
  • 6 - Precinct Analysis 99
  • 7 - Canvassing 125
  • 8 - Getting-Out-The-Vote (Gotv) 137
  • 9 - Direct Mail 159
  • 10 - Media 171
  • 11 - The Candidate 205
  • 12 - The Issue-Based Campaign 235
  • 13 - The Campaign Flowchart 249
  • 14 - After the Ball 255
  • Afterword 257
  • Appendix 1 - Forms for Photocopying 259
  • Appendix 2 - The State Initiative and Referendum Process 271
  • Appendix 3 - Directory of Campaign Web Sites and Other Resources 277
  • Index 281
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