Republican Campaign Marketing Articles:

Please click on a blue title and go to that article. These articles are much more in depth than the GOP Marketing Tips. Check back often as we'll add more content as the campaign cycle evolves.


Campaign Promotional Items: Target these people and benefit!: Here's who to target with your Republican campaign branded promotional items and how to do it effectively.

Republican Goody Bag Marketing:
When donating to golf outing and other event Goody Bags, make sure you're actually promoting your campaign. Here's how.

Proper Engineering of a Republican Campaign Banner: Proper engineering of a campaign banner can prevent a ton of headaches and wasting a boatload of money. This article gives you the inside scoop that will save you from being penny wise and pound foolish.

• Effective Use of Promotional Products In Republican Campaigns: Learn under which circumstances promotional products can be effective in a campaign and HOW they can be used effectively. Defined Purpose, Issue Oriented Use, Use for Solving a Problem. This article will change the way you think about marketing and promoting your campaign.

Republican Megaphone Marketing: How an item as simple as a megaphone can serve as a Republican campaign marketing multi-tasker.

Personal Republican Communication Is More Effective: "Dear Friend" letters just won't cut it anymore. Read this before crafting your next Republican campaign letter.


 

Proper Engineering of a Republican Campaign Banner.
I couldn't help myself. It just sort of slipped out. "Well, Shelly … you're gonna have to either get a shorter banner or taller kindergartners."

A brief moment of silence was broken by her laughter letting me know I hadn't blown it and that she had a sense of humor — something I really like in a client.

"Oh yeah, right," she said. "If the banner is four feet high the kids will have to hold it above their heads for the whole parade."

Like most things in life, there are few things to consider when ordering a banner for a Republican event. For starters, if the banner will be carried in a parade, how tall the carriers are in relationship to the height of the banner must be considered. Don't order a banner that's 4 feet high if you're going to have children that are only 3 feet tall carry it, ha. ha. ha.

Substrate: Choosing The Right Banner Material
If the banner is for one-time use such as a city-specific parade or special event, it can be made of a lighter, less expensive banner paper. On the other hand, if the banner will be used multiple times and/or hung up for viewing after use, a heavier, more durable substrate such as a 13oz vinyl banner material is recommended to withstand multiple rollings and "trunk abuse". If the banner will be hung in a window or outside for a long period of time, an ultraviolet (UV) laminate should be applied to prevent color fading.

Engineering For A Parade
We generally engineer parade banners with horizontal "pole pockets" across the top and bottom. In the top pole pocket, a pole roughly two feet longer than the banner's width is inserted making a comfortable carrying handle. We recommend PVC pipe as it's lightweight and inexpensive yet strong enough to offer the support you want.

The reason for the bottom horizontal pocket? To prevent the wind from blowing the banner either forward or back rendering it unreadable. We've found that a length of PCV pipe, that measures the width of the banner, with a couple end caps works great. You fill the pipe with sand, cap the ends and insert it into the bottom pole pocket giving it enough weight to remain stationary even if the wind blows.

Sometimes people ask for parade banners with vertical pole pockets at each end with an opening at the bottom and the pocket sewn shut at the top. The problem with this is that the banner carriers must remain a specific distance apart to keep the banner tight between them. It's harder to do than it sounds and makes an enjoyable parade walk, miserable.
 
Multiple Use
If the banner will be hung after a parade or you'll be using it for speeches, meet and greets and venues other than parades, you'll want to have it manufactured with grommets allowing you more hanging options. We usually place grommets every two to three feet depending on the banner size. Anything over three feet high we usually put a grommet in the middle of each side as well.
 
Thinking Ahead
By and large, I recommend most of your campaign banners be engineered for multiple use. That means spending the extra up front for pole pockets (top and bottom) as well as grommets.
 
And despite best intentions, no campaign ever takes good care of their banners. If you want to keep producing cheap banners over and over that's your business. However, if you want to produce banners that will last 8 to 10 months of use and trunk abuse follow these tips:
 
• Invest in 13 oz digitally printed banners instead of cut vinyl.
 
• Invest in horizontal pole pockets top and bottom along with grommets. (Never allow vertical pole pockets for parade banners.)
 
• Insist that staffers ROLL banners instead of fold them with the printing inside.
 
• Consider purchasing a zippered bag for each banner that can hold the banner, poles and a few bungie chords.
 
• For poles to fit a 6 foot wide banner, consider two 4 foot lengths of PVC pipe with a connector to join the 2 sections. Two 4 foot lengths are easier to haul around than one 8 foot length. And they'll fit into bag with the banner.
 
• In cases where you want a banner to travel well and perhaps fit into a suitcase, the answer is digital printing on fabric.
 
• Banners must carry an identification statement.
 
Given proper thought, four (4) well-engineered campaign banners can outwork and outlast 8 or 12 poorly engineered banners that you must keep replacing. Going cheap with campaign banners is penny wise and pound foolish.

Need a banner that is correctly engineered and will make your life easier because it does what it's supposed to do? Please give us a call at 517-589-0008. © 2008 Crooks Advertising Alliance and GopLogo.com
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Effective Use of Promotional Products In Republican Campaigns
Part 1
: Defined Purpose

"No One Will Vote For You Simply Because You Gave Them
A Pen, An Emery Board or a Refrigerator Magnet!"

The idea that someone would vote for you based only on the fact that you gave them something with your Republican campaign logo on it is absolutely retarded. However, promotional products can be used effectively in a Republican Campaign when they:

1) Have a Defined Purpose
2) Are Issue Oriented
3) Solve a Problem

Defined Purpose:
This article will focus on defined purpose. Issue Oriented and Solve A Problem will be covered in parts 2 and 3. It's my hope that this series will help you, "Think it through" so that the promotional product expenditures you do make are well thought out and serve to give you a better Return On Investment (ROI). The best way to define "Defined Purpose" is to give you examples.

Information Dispersal:
Let's say you have a great Republican website with all your white papers, your stand on all the issues, a campaign photo gallery, a support/volunteer sign up form and your contact information. Now, how do you cost effectively get that web address into the hands of voters?

First of all, it's reasonable to want even Democrats, Independents and undecideds to have that information. So parades, festivals and sporting events are a great place to hand out an inexpensive pen, pencil, emery board or a refrigerator magnet.

These items will remain with the recipient LONG after a lapel sticker that so many campaigns seem to be fond of. Yes, lapel stickers are really, really cheap. But cheap doesn't automatically mean EFFECTIVE.  Stickers get tossed rather quickly. On the other hand, a pen, pencil or magnet all have a perceived value that gives them a better chance of making it into the home, be looked at and acted upon, ie; they check out your site.

Thank Proven Supporters & Volunteers:
A Republican volunteer who has donated 40 hours of their time on your Republican campaign and is expecting nothing, will be pleased and excited about a high perceived value, low-cost gift such as a mug, bandanna, water bottle, campaign hat, visor or lapel pin.

Mind you, you are giving these items to volunteers or proven supporters ie: they gave you a check, put a bumper sticker on their car, a lawn sign in their yard or otherwise have proven you're their Republican candidate.

The degree to which this tactic will succeed when directed to proven Republican supporters and volunteers is exactly the same degree to which this tactic will FAIL if you go giving this stuff away to every Tom, Dick and Jane you meet. It's worth saying again, if someone isn't going to vote for you, giving them a mug won't change their mind. So please, don't waste promotional marketing dollars on people that won't yield you a positive (ROI).

Plays a Supportive Role In a Republican Campaign:
A good example of this is when you purchase safety flashers for going door to door at dusk for you and your volunteers. And no, handing them out to kids for Trick or Treat is not a great idea, because NO ONE is going to vote for you because you gave their kid a safety flasher. (They can work as part of an "Issue Oriented" tactic that will be covered in detail in part 2 of this series.) Other products that can play a supportive marketing purpose in your campaign include: imprinted lanyards, pens, pencils, water bottles, highlighters, clipboards.

Remember however, these items are primarily for Republican campaign staff and volunteers. Staff and supporters may give some of these items, such as pens and pencils, to identified/proven supporters as they meet these people. But by and large the other items are for volunteer/staff use. It's part of the branding of the campaign. And while small tokens of your appreciation, items such as lanyards, water bottles, visors or caps help promote your campaign while making life a bit easier for your Republican staff and volunteers.

Other Items And Their Role:
Items such as bumper stickers, lapel stickers are Republican campaign staples. However, only give bumper stickers to those who will put them on their bumper. Lapel stickers are great for rallys and campaign events as they serve to create a cohesiveness among sticker wearers. However, as far as parades go, if there aren't any TV cameras around, save your stickers. You can easily go through a couple hundred dollars or more worth of stickers that will end up on the ground and in the trash can soon after the parade is over or you are out of sight at a festival.

Candy? Save your money. Besides, most campaigns are really doing little more than advertising the brand name of the candy being thrown. Tootsie Roll gets more name exposure at most parades than the candidates do! Again, no one is going to vote for you because you threw candy out at a parade. While some will argue with me on this point, I believe even candy imprinted with your logo is a bad idea ... your name ends up in the trash or all over the street as trash. Nice image. Some will argue that it really gets your name out there.  To which I reply, "Yeah, whatever."

Balloons? By and large balloon are an inexpensive item. However, helium is not. And lugging tanks to a fair or festival site, blowing up and tying balloons is a hassle. Again, unless you're expecting TV cameras … you might want to think twice about balloons and opt instead for waterless tattoos or your campaign pencils. Balloons are a nice effect for meet and greets, rallys and fundraisers … especially if TV will be present.

By and large, promotional products can play a powerful role in your Republican campaign ... if you think it through. Those who maintain that promotional products are a waste of money are usually the ones who can't develop creative ideas for the effective use of the products.  Visit my Blog at blog.goplogo.com.

Part two of this series will address ways promotional products can effectively play an issue-oriented role in your campaign
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Effective Use of Promotional Products In Republican Campaigns
Part 2
: Issue Oriented Use
Linda was a 33 year-old business-owner running as a Republican for City Council. She was an underdog and was bound to be outspent. She had to work smarter, not harder.  She found an issue.

The community had suffered a number of child/car accidents that year. Through personal visits to baseball and soccer fields and playgrounds she learned that parents were concerned for their children's safety. She researched national and local statistics for child car accidents, noting a common thread … in many cases the children simply weren’t seen.

Linda purchased a quantity of imprinted orange safety flashers and carefully prepared a press release highlighting the statistics and her resolve to work closely with law enforcement, code compliance and neighborhood associations to find ways to reduce child/vehicle accidents. She came up with a theme, "Children Should Be Seen, Not Hurt."  She then enlisted the help of several area pro-Republican businesses who agreed to help distribute the safety flashers.

Linda launched her plan with a press conference (attended by 50 supporters) two weeks prior to Halloween. Press coverage leading up to Halloween was supported by some well-worded letters to the editor. She garnered earned media, her name ID was boosted but more importantly, she tapped into the emotion of parents in a way that gave her credibility. Timed right, this is a powerful tactic to blind-side an opponent at the last minute.

These types of tactics— while powerful — take planning.

Visit www.Brownielocks.com for an extensive list of National Observances to leverage  such as Single Working Women's Week (July-29) and Bio Terrorism & Disaster Education Month (July). A well-timed, issue-oriented push can can totally screw an opponent. So what are you waiting for?

While smaller government, less taxes and personal responsibility may be campaign issues, campaigns need to seek out, plan out and leverage what I call "Ingrain" issues ranging from domestic violence and conservation to public safety and senior issues. These are the topical issues that can help you become ingrained within a community. (Ingraining vs Campaigning will be the topic of a future article.)

In summary, promotional products can be used effectively in a Republican campaign when they are issue oriented. Planning is key and for now, time is on your side. If done properly the campaign will "own" an issue, gain earned media and have the campaign name floating around town on a relevant item.

Part 3 of this series will focus on using promotional products to solve a problem. We’ll address such problems as legally getting around lawn sign ordinances and solving problems associated with leaving literature door to door when no one is home.

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Effective Use of Promotional Products In Republican Campaigns Part 3: Solve A Problem

In part one we covered effective use of promotional products in Republican campaigns when the purpose of them is defined. Part 2 explored issue-oriented use of promotional products and their role in gaining earned media for a Republican campaign. In part three, You'll  learn how promotional products can play an effective role in solving certain Republican campaign problems.

 
How To Legally Get Around Lawn Sign Ordinances

By providing sunscreens to proven Republican supporters, you can effectively place a sign anywhere it's legal to park a car, truck or van … including in front of your opponent's campaign HQ or house. You don't have to ask permission from anyone and you don't have to worry about violating any ordinances.

The roller type as pictured, are preferable over the fold-up kind because of ease of deployment.

The sunscreens are INSIDE the vehicle, safe from vandalism. Once installed with suction cups, they're easy to deploy just prior to exiting the vehicle. When the vehicle is stationary, sunscreens are preferable to car magnets on the doors because 1) The magnets can get stolen, 2) The sunscreens, in the windshield,  are more visible.

As I stated in my blog (http://blog.goplogo.com) this tactic makes it easy for you to have a Republican campaign presence where  the people are:  at sporting events, the beach, shopping centers and movie theaters. As smart Republican campaign marketers, we need to figure out better ways to take our message to the people.
 
Solving the Lit-Drop/Door –to-Door Dilemma

Problem: You're going door to door. The prospect isn't home and you want to leave your Republican campaign brochure. A magnet will only stick to metal and their door is wood. It's illegal to put it in the mailbox.  What you need is an all-purpose, method by which to affix your brochure or card to the door.

Solution:  Sticknetics. A Sticknetic is a hybrid cross between a sticker and a magnet. It sticks like a sticker, but it's thick and durable like a magnet. They are repositionable and remove without leaving any residue. They stick to glass, wood or metal. That means pretty much whatever the prospect's front door is made of, you can affix your brochure. And they come in  a variety of sizes so that you'll have the holding power commensurate with the size of your lit piece.

These are just two of the many problems you can encounter and overcome with promotional products in a Republican campaign.

This series was created to effectively denounce those who believe promotional products are a waste of money in a Republican campaign. I agree. Promotional products are a TOTAL waste of money — unless— their use is backed by sound, effective and creative thinking. And that's the kind of thinking Crooks Advertising Alliance & GopLogo deliver.

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Republican Megaphone Marketing
With a little creative thought, you can take a product that is intended for one Republican campaign purpose and turn it into a Republican campaign marketing multi-tasker. Take megaphones for example. Consider how you can make effective use of a couple hundred megaphones imprinted with your Republican Campaign logo and website.

First, and most obvious, they are great for volunteer use in parades. For maximum effect you should develop a few cheers such as, "When we say, "Vote For" You say (Republican Candidate Name). “

Then, your cheerleaders immediately say, “Vote For” and the crowd responds.

You can have a lot of fun doing this. The crowd gets to hear your Republican candidate’s name and you're not wasting your money handing out "stuff" to Democrats who won't vote for you anyway.

Another thing you can do to create excitement among volunteers and supporters is to hold a contest where people submit cheers. Your campaign chooses however many winners and awards prizes of some sort. Winner’s photos and names (with permission) are posted on your website. This can increase website traffic.

Once you've made your investment in the megaphones you can use them in a number of other venues:

1) Let's say you want to host a bicycle safety rally in conjunction with the local police department. Use the megaphones as traffic cones laying out the course for the kids to ride their bikes.

2) At your Republican campaign fund raisers, Lincoln Day dinners and meet & greets, you place the megaphone over a vase, insert flowers and you have instant table centerpieces.

3) If you purchase the megaphone with the optional end cap, you can fill them with popcorn, making them a great item to give supporters at fundraisers.

And when you think about it, the whole cheering thing is a great way to add fun and excitement to a Republican rally or fundraiser. If you give it some real thought, you can develop interesting and catchy cheers that can have a lasting effect throughout your Republican campaign.

How cool would it be for about 50 of your supporters to be in the stands at a high school basketball game and your Republican megaphones get 12 seconds on the 11:00 o'clock news sports highlights. Hey! It could happen. Go Team!

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Personal Republican Communication Is More Effective
I recently told a Republican County Commissioner that I'd never been asked to join the local county Republican party. He said he'd take care of it.

Soon, I received an envelope from said county party. Inside was a "Dear Friend" letter. At that point I realized, 3 months earlier, I’d received the same “Dear Friend” letter and threw it away.  I did the same to this “Dear Friend” letter.

My point is, the impact and the effectiveness of the most recent mailing would have much greater had the person who sent it jotted a short note such as;

"Michael, Jerry told me you were interested in joining. Glad to have you among our ranks. Look forward to your membership. Sincerely, Frank."

First of all, friends don't send friends "Dear Friend" letters. A “Dear Friend” letter is only slightly better than, "Dear (Your Name Here)". Do you get all warm and fuzzy about a Dear Friend letter?

Second of all, A "Dear Friend" letter isn't being personally asked. There's nothing personal about it and many people like me, aren't thrilled to spend their money to be treated like a number.

Each Republican county party needs to assess if their "outreach programs" are truly impersonal and uncaring ... then change them.

Your Republican county party needs to write down all the reasons (manpower, money, office space etc...) why you can't do a better job of marketing and building your local party. Why you can't send out effective mailings that include personalized membership pleas.

At that point, you will have a nice list of what you must overcome, fix or change in order to be more effective marketers of your Republican party.

Sure, personalized Republican marketing outreach efforts cost a little more in time and money. But personalized efforts are also more effective.
 

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 Republican Goody Bag Campaign Marketing
One of the most under utilized Republican campaign marketing opportunities is the "Goody Bag". This is the bag full of "goodys" handed out to participants at golf outings, conferences, seminars and events to add value to their participation. Campaigns usually donate a "cheap" item such as a pen, pencil or refrigerator magnet imprinted with their campaign info.

The practice is long on "feel good" for the campaign and the organization that solicited the donation. But, because little thought usually goes into the donation, the practice has little or no real campaign promotional value.

If you're going to spend money on stuff to donate to a goody bag, you might as well make it effective. Think in terms of what you can do to drive that target to your campaign website or campaign HQ.

Main Benefits of Goody Bag Marketing
It's Free! Most organizations view the Goody Bag as a benefit to the event participants.  They will gladly accept just about any item you want to donate. That makes the Goody Bag an affordable way to impact a target audience.

Extremely Targeted
The ability to target a specific audience is another huge benefit of Goody Bag marketing. Whether your target is senior citizens, stock brokers, chamber of commerce members, Farm Bureau members, business-owners or employees of a specific corporation, there is a golf outing, seminar, conference or other event that will give you access to your target.

Here are a few things to consider when planning a Goody Bag marketing strategy.


1) Determine Your Target: Make a physical list of targets either on a legal pad or in your computer. When creating your list, think in terms of issues, campaign topics, occupations, special interest groups and lobbyists. For example, if your target is a Right To Life golf outing, you'd imprint your item with, "I'm Right To Life. Find Out Why at www.VoteForMe.com."

2) Research The Possibilities: Once you have a list of possible targets, research how to reach the target. Google "associations list" or "list of associations" and you'll find resources for locating an association that represents exactly who you want to target. You can also do the same for "clubs", "service clubs" or whatever other type of group, club, association, individual or business group you are interested in targeting.

3) Contact:
Contact them and find out what upcoming golf outings, seminars, conferences or other events they have planned. Once you learn of an event that interests you, find out if they plan to offer Goody Bags and if they are accepting donations.

4) Get Details:
Get the details regarding event date, when items need to be delivered, if they have any rules regarding donations and if they have anything in particular they're looking for. Note: be sure and find out specifically what's NOT welcome for the goody bag. No sense investing in a promotional item you can't use. For instance, while imprinted condoms have their place, they're not welcome everywhere.

5) Ask About The Bag Itself
Being the one who supplies the bag itself is like the Holy Grail of Goody Bag marketing. So be sure and ask if that's available. Imagine what you can do with a huge 8" x 8" area to imprint your campaign message.

6) Call me. (517-589-0008). We'll develop an effective idea that will best suit the needs of your campaign. We'll also check to make sure you're in compliance with Campaign Finance law regarding the identification statement.

Remember, while you can buy what you need from anyone … Crooks Advertising Alliance/GopLogo,com  has 18 years experience in Republican campaign promotional marketing AND … we serve Republicans only. Those guys on the internet will sell to your Dem opponent in a heartbeat.  Together, We Can Beat 'Dem!

For More Republican Campaign Marketing Articles Click Here

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 Republican Campaign Promotional Items:  Target These People And Benefit!
You can waste a lot of money giving away stuff in a campaign. That's why you should endeavor to target your promotional marketing mediums. The best people to whom your promotional items should be give is your campaign staff, volunteers and supporters. 

Staff should be using your branded products and promoting your campaign not advertising for whatever company's name is on the pen or coffee mug they are using.

A Republican volunteer who has donated 40 hours of their time to your Republican campaign and is expecting nothing, will be pleased and excited about a high perceived value, low-cost gift such as a mug, bandanna, water bottle, campaign hat, visor or lapel pin. AND THEY"LL USE IT.

Face it, your campaign items will do you little promotional good if they are tucked away in a drawer, cabinet or worse … in the waste can. Some of the best items to give to Republican campaign staff and volunteers is stuff they'll use when they perform their everyday staff or volunteer duties such as door to door and lit drops. These include, pens, hats, t-shirts, rain ponchos, clip boards, bandannas, water bottles, lanyards and highlighters.

By and large, Staff and volunteers can effectively identify proven supporters, which is the second group of people whom you can "benny" and effectively promote your campaign through.

Remember, if someone isn't going to vote for you, giving them a mug won't change their mind. So please, don't waste promotional marketing dollars on people that won't yield you a positive (ROI). 

Key Points:

 To keep your "Stuff" out of Dem hands, out of the wastebasket and working for you:

• Offer your branded campaign items to staff and volunteers.

• Staff and volunteers offer branded items to proven supporters ie: those who gave you a check, put a bumper sticker on their car, a lawn sign in their yard or otherwise have proven you're their Republican candidate.

The degree to which this tactic will succeed when directed to staff, volunteers and proven Republican supporters is exactly the same degree to which you will waste money if you go giving your branded promotional items to every Tom, Dick and Jane you meet.

If you need help implementing a proper strategy for your branded promotional items, give us a call, 517-589-0008. Remember, at GopLogo.com we serve Republicans only. Together, we can beat Dem!
 

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