Well politics is in the air almost everywhere. Whether voting for mayor, city councillor, Congressman, Senator, Governor or Premier, there are some key communications concepts that every politician asking for your vote should keep firmly in mind.
Eight Tips that Every Politician Should Keep in Mind
1. Know what your message is. People have 'been there and done that' with blather. In one sentence, where do you stand on each of your key issues?
2. What do you stand for? In other words what is your positioning on the political landscape? For example, do you represent 'change vs. more of the same?' This should be wrapped into your 'doorstep pitch' or your positioning statement. If you can't say it in 30 seconds then you can't grab and hold the attention of the voter.
3. Always ask for their vote. Don't assume anything. Whether door-knocking, tweeting, at an all-candidates debate or at a speech, ask for their support, help, funds and VOTE.
4. Politics is about people. So don't hide behind technology. Get out and meet people. Be visible - even if you can't be there, make sure your surrogates are. I was in Palo Alto a few weeks ago, and Jerry Brown's team had a table at a street fair - signing up voters, selling campaign paraphernalia. Jerry wasn't around but that was okay. Meg Whitman didn't have a table there. Why not?
5. Make all your enemies deliberate. The above named Jerry Brown put his foot in it the other day - accusing Meg Whitman supporter Bill Clinton of lying about his record of cutting taxes. [Accusing Clinton of lying not only alienates Clinton supporters needlessly, but it's redundant!] Take a look at the video and read the critique by Time Magazine's blogger below it: Jerry Brown's gaffe
6. Everything you say and do will be captured and multiplied in the media. Just ask Ottawa's Mayor Larry O'Brien who right in the middle of his election campaign had to deal with this story: Mayor O'Brien caught on cellphone while driving
7. It isn't about you: it's about the voter. Speak from the voters' perspective - not your own. It's a lot better to find out where your voters are going, and jump out in front of the line than trying to create your own line. [Just ask former B.C. Premier Bill Vander Zalm who has re-emerged from oblivion to lead the anti-HST tax campaign in British Columbia]
8. Try not to come across as a pure partisan. Most people don't wrap themselves tightly in a party banner. They get that you may represent a political party, but in the end you have to resonate with them.
So watch carefully to see if the politicians asking for your vote are paying attention to any of the above. And remember, ask them questions, demand answers and get out to vote. It's a privilege that we should all hold dear.
Until next time!