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The Playbook to Campaign Kick-Offs

Written by Alexis Valdez Darnell, Managing Director

There are a myriad of ways you can kick off your political campaign, but for candidates who want to have a strong announcement and make a splash right out of the gate, below are a few important considerations to discuss when planning your official entry into the race.

So you’ve decided you’re running for office.

Once you’ve decided you’re taking the leap, the conversation will quickly turn to “when do we announce” and “what does that entail.”

The campaign announcement will likely be one of the few most important points in your campaign. It is your best opportunity to gain earned media and your first opportunity to introduce yourself and tell voters who you are and why you’re running. First impressions matter! Your announcement will not only set the tone and expectations of your campaign, but until you’re able to pay for TV, digital, mail, and other direct voter contact, it’ll be the primary source of information for your candidacy.

First - There is no “off-year.” Waiting for the election year to roll around to make an announcement decision is almost unheard of. Once you’ve determined your personal, family, work, and financial situations are in place, the advantages of announcing early certainly outweigh any concerns. Consider selecting a date toward the beginning of a financial reporting period to allow as much time as possible to build a strong first fundraising report – this is one of the strongest signs of a credible candidate and serious campaign.

Second - Nail your narrative. If you have the ability to conduct a pre-announcement survey, do so. What do voters identify within your background and biography? Help that guide how you talk about what you’ve done in your life. What’s the mood of voters? Channel it. And what topics are on the top of their mind? Tie your entry into the race to those issues. Be sure to have a clear sense of who you are and why you’re the best person to address the needs and concerns of the people you’re hoping to represent.

Third – Have a plan. There are a lot of moving parts to a professional announcement, and you want it to run like a well-oiled machine. Gather your team for regular countdown calls leading up to the announcement. A candidate shouldn’t worry about all of the minute details, but your team must run through each component, outstanding needs, and progress as the date approaches to ensure nothing falls through the cracks.

Finally - Have your infrastructure in place. Along with your General Consultant and/or Campaign Manager, your compliance person and digital vendor should be heavily involved in your announcement planning and execution. It’s important to work with a team that knows what is required for each, the timelines for setting them up, and how to seamlessly turn everything live once your press announcement is released. The first few weeks of your campaign will be extremely busy, and your attention should be primarily devoted to political and fundraising efforts, so rely on your digital vendor to prepare an announcement package to cover at least the necessary assets for the first 10 days of the campaign.

At Go Big Media, we’re experts in developing creative, compelling, and impactful announcements. We work with each campaign to come up with a plan that will ensure your announcement catches the attention of voters, donors, and the media alike. Once you’ve decided you’re running for office, there’s no time to wait, reach out to a team of experts who will ensure your campaign announcement has the impact you’re hoping for, and execution goes off without a hitch!

Keep an eye out for our follow-up post in which Vice President, Dave Huguenel gives five plays that will help you win your launch day.

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