Indirect Contact Tactics
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Indirect Contact Tactics

📬 Mailers

Direct mailers are used by most campaigns. Mailers can be used for fundraising, persuasion and turnout. Mailers are great for all campaigns, but can be especially helpful for rural campaigns where houses are spread out and knocking doors is difficult. They can be fairly cost effective depending on the size and type of the mailer itself and the size of the universe.

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*To get to this treatment effect we have reviewed resources from a variety of groups to create this assumption. It might be higher or lower in your district but this should be a good starting point for your campaign.

What Goes Into a Mailer?

  • A union print shop
    • Most progressive groups are going to want to use a union print shop. Both the CWA and Allied Printing have a union print shop look up feature on their websites. Your state party and union reps will be able to assist you as well.
  • A graphic designer
    • Your state party might have contracts or recommendations as to who would be a good designer to work with at a fair cost.
  • A USPS Permit Imprint
    • A USPS Permit Imprint is a way to pay for high volume mailings without having to affix individual stamps on each piece.
  • A universe
    • You'll obviously need a list of people to send your mailers too. A major consideration is how you want your mailer universe formatted.
      • Do you want it to be individually addressed to each voter in the universe?
      • Do you want it to be householded? Eg. Each last name at an address gets grouped together for one mailer per last name at an address
    • If you want more information about creating the universe itself, check out our documentation!

SpeakEasy is a vendor that can help you run effective mail programs! Your state party might also have vendors they recommend.

📺 TV Ads

TV ads are cost prohibitive for many, many campaigns, especially lower ticket campaigns like state legislative races.

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*To get to this treatment effect we have reviewed resources from a variety of groups to create this assumption. It might be higher or lower in your district but this should be a good starting point for your campaign.

What Goes Into a TV Ad?

  • The content
    • You'll likely need to have a professional team help you create the ad itself. If you are working with an organization like EMILY's List or the DSCC or the DCCC, they might have recommendations for people that can help. Your state party might also have contacts.
  • Media markets
    • Ads are purchased for specific media markets. Media markets do not typically line up with electoral districts. You'll want to be aware of that and make strategic buys into areas of your district while knowing that there will also be ads going into neighboring districts.
  • Ad buys and placements
    • You'll need to buy the ad time and get it placed. You will likely want to work with a professional ad buyer to help with this process because it can be complicated.

🚧 Yard Signs

A common campaign saying is "yard signs don't vote." But at the end of the day, candidates and their supporters love yard signs. The general consensus of the political environment is that yard signs don't impact an election by margins that would change the outcome of an election. Its usually better to spend volunteer time and money on asking voters to vote for you, as opposed to putting up signs.

However, there has not been a lot of research in recent years about the impact of yard sign and the folks at RuralOrganizing.Org think that there is room to explore the impact of yard signs in rural districts!

In general, you should not spend a ton of time or money on signs, but you'll still probably want them!

What Do You Need for Yard Signs?

  • A logo
    • You might want a graphic designer for this or you can create it yourself. You'll want to make sure that it looks good in a rectangular format.
  • A union print shop
    • Again, most progressive groups and campaigns are going to want to use a union print shop. Both the CWA and Allied Printing (CWA & Teamsters) have a union print shop look up feature on their websites. Your state party and state and local union reps will be able to assist you as well.
  • Wickets
    • Wickets are the metal stakes that hold up the sign. You typically order the wickets with the sign itself at the union print shop but you'll want to ask!

👋Standouts

A standout is when people get together and hold signs in a public place in support of a candidate. Standouts are most common in local or state elections to increase name recognition for a specific candidate.

Standouts, like yard signs, are seen in the campaign world as ineffective. Like with yard signs, volunteers are spending their time holding a sign instead of identifying supporters. It is generally better to spend volunteer time asking people to vote for you, people are a lot more likely to vote if you ask them to!

That being said, like with yard signs, there are some benefits to standouts. If you have volunteers who can't knock doors or make calls but still want to talk to voters, asking them to hold a sign could be a good way to keep them engaged.

Want to get started with Deck? Schedule a time to talk with us here or email us at info@deck.tools!