Putting Your Best Voice Forward
In four short months, mail ballots for the November general election will become available. This is equivalent to the blink of an eye in terms of campaigning. Within this limited time frame, how can you, individually, most effectively help your candidates get across the line?
Here are three areas where you can impact voter opinion and positively increase candidate recognition. Select the ones that you are most comfortable with and boldly use your voice to influence votes that reform and reshape our communities, state, and nation during this time of electric optimism.
HOLD AN INTIMATE GATHERING
The queen of developing intimate, political gatherings as a tool for grassroots, campaign success was a woman named Pauline Fitzgerald. She is attributed with John F. Kennedy’s victory over Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. in the 1952 U.S. Senate race in Massachusetts. Her “tea parties” created and motivated the base that voted en masse for JFK. You can do the same for your candidates.
Invite 20-30 guests into your home for an opportunity to meet the candidate and make a contribution to their campaign. The event should last no more than two (2) hours. Provide quality foods and beverages appropriate to the time of day the event is being held. Make the time worthwhile and memorable for everyone involved, especially the candidate. Get at least 10% of those in attendance to host a similar event for their circle of influence. It’s easy to see how this method exponentially engages a large number of people and puts the candidate into the reach of an expanded group of supporters.
WRITE A LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Letters to the editor still hold sway. They are a terrific medium for letting folks in your community know who your candidate is and why.
Be pithy, polite, respectful, and FACTUAL. Voting records and quotes are solid evidence when supporting a candidate. Most publications limit letters to 200 words, which isn’t much, so think of the letter to the editor as the written elevator pitch. Make your case objectively and convincingly. By the time the reader has finished your letter, they should be persuaded.
CALL IN TO A CONSERVATIVE TALK RADIO SHOW
Montana has some lively talk radio programs with thousands of listeners. This is an exciting platform to publicly express your views. Like the letter to the editor, the goal is to state your case politely, respectfully, and factually.
DON’T be the cringeworthy caller who stammers, stutters, and repeatedly says: um, uh, you know, and like. Write down what you want to say, practice saying it prior to calling, stay on point, and be conscious of the fact that other callers want their chance to be heard. Maximize the brief amount of time you will be given to make your comments worthwhile and impactful.
GET TO IT!
With these handy tips, now is the time to start advocating. Ballots arriving in mailboxes in October will be here before we know it!