by Claire Gilmore, Account Executive
With COVID-19 restrictions disappearing and in-person advocacy reappearing, the Boston mayoral race will soon heat up and grassroots efforts will return in full force. As a key component of campaigns, grassroots efforts can make or break a candidate’s run for office or a ballot question’s success.
Public relations helps to ensure that all of the blood, sweat, and tears that go into a grassroots campaign don’t ultimately go to waste. Below you will learn three ways that PR can help increase the number of supports your campaign has while ensuring that they can easily access and relate to your platform and goals.
Public relations develops the baseline messaging for your campaign
- Without a clear messaging plan in place, candidates’ platforms can become scattered and hard for voters to wrap their heads around. Use PR to clearly lay out key goals and initiatives you want to put in place, if given the chance, and make sure you’re able to easily differentiate your platform from those of your opponents.
- Test your messaging on various audiences to see what is most digestible and what resonates with them. If they are not able to understand what you are advocating for, they won’t be able to get behind you or your platform.
- Create an FAQ and tough questions document for when you and your campaign team call potential voters. Having messaging ready and on hand to share information about you and your platform is critical for communicating clearly and accurately.
Public relations establishes credibility for your platform
- Public relations can help to put a face to your name and will help voters associate certain messaging with you. If you want to brand yourself as the sustainability wizard or the education aficionado, voters will associate those choice items with you when they see your name and face in the community.
- If your campaign is being featured in local papers via letters to the editor and op-eds, additional people will see your platform and decide whether or not to agree with and actively support you.
- Once you do have supporters, share their posts online or highlight their sentiments on your campaign site to show the backing you’ve built for yourself.
Public relations helps you meet voters where they are
- Plan local events in places voters can easily attend to get your messaging out in the community. Shaking hands with voters and learning about their experiences and opinions is invaluable to a campaign.
- Some voters are still not comfortable coming to campaign events or in-person rallies due to COVID-19, but that doesn’t mean you can’t engage with them. Developing social media channels for voters to interact with is one way to reach people who are active online. You can also reach new audiences depending on the social platform.
- Understand where your key audience reads their news online and place advertisements to attract additional eyes to your campaign website.
Whether you’re in the running for the Mayor of Boston or President of the United States, public relations will help you reach your target audiences, better cater your messaging to voters and create a community of allies.