Digital Strategy for Political campaigns during the coronavirus
Political campaigns are always high engagement marathons. For years digital has been helping great campaigns increase engagement beyond in person. Coronavirus is the first epidemic/pandemic to limit in-person campaigning. I’m writing from the Bay Area and events are being canceled left and right. Here is a list of always good digital strategies. But during an outbreak, they’re even more critical.
Live Video in place of your events.
Live video should always be part of your engagement strategy. Especially centered around social media.
Quick Tip: Facebook and YouTube are great for live video. Twitter responds better to clips.
We talk a lot about live video but as it gets more important here are a few essentials to think about.
- Have a plan before you start.
- Do a dry run if you can.
- Create a backdrop
- If you are in an office use signs, placards, and for sure American and state flags.
- Google basic 3 point lighting and you’ll make your videos look way better.
- I use a simple lighting kit like this one: Photography and Video kit
- If you are doing a close to the camera recording add a small light to brighten up the candidate or subject’s face. Here is a simple option.
- There are some lav mics (attached little mics) that work well. But they can be tricky on setup.
- I love the Blue Yeti and it comes in a nice Democrat Blue. It even works well even a few feet away from the camera or for interviews and group conversations.
Video conferencing, meetings, and live-streamed conversation.
I love Zoom because it is pretty easy to use utility player. Zoom allows for basic meetings you can use to meet online with staff and engage volunteers.
The Zoom webinar tools allow you to have engaging big events. Webinars can be password required, allow for polls, breakouts, and more great functions.
But zoom also allows for streaming of meetings and webinars to Facebook and YouTube. Other elected officials or influential people are great in person endorses. You don’t have to cancel them, instead turn it into a conversation instead. Use Zoom to create an engaging conversation with the two of you or have a staffer moderate.
A few other quick tips we’ll expand on in the coming weeks.
- Your social media presence just got more important. Invest in.
- Consider moving budget into video production.
- Expand your digital advertising budget.
- Look at Facebook groups.
- Websites are actual places to connect with potentials voters and supporters. Treat it like it is.
- If you do have an in-person event use text messaging sign in instead of paper sheets.
- Consider Slack for both staff and deeper volunteer engagement and management.
- Explore deeper engagement tools like OutreachCircle.
We’ll keep expanding practical tips to scale and transition digital to keep your campaign engaging supporters and new voters during these hard times.
Brad (Schenck) Caldana
Author and Senior Digital Strategist & Trainer at The Digital Plan
Brad is the author of The Digital Plan, founder of the website and training community. Currently, Brad helps nonprofits, campaigns, and organizations of all sizes with their digital strategy, coaching, and training.