How to run a successful election campaign?

Created by Eleanor Addison, Modified on Mon, 04 Dec 2023 at 01:42 PM by Eleanor Addison

Running a successful campaign can be a very rewarding but also challenging time. Here are some tips to help you run a successful campaign: 

  • Understand the role: Before you start your campaign, make sure you have a clear understanding of the responsibilities, duties and expectations associated with the role. You can do this by talking to the person already in the role to learn firsthand about how they’ve found it. Or you can chat to SU staff anytime who would be happy to provide more details for the role and how you can make the most of your campaign. An understanding will help you communicate more effectively to the voters.  
  • Manifesto: Take time to create a great manifesto! It should identify key issues and show how you will address them with actionable solutions. As well as highlighting relevant experience that you have for the role. The main points in your manifesto should form the advertising pillars of your campaign. You can find more guidance about how to write a manifesto here.
  • Build a Team: Assemble a team of passionate and dedicated individuals who can support your campaign efforts. Delegate responsibilities, such as social media management, organisation, and outreach to ensure a well-rounded campaign strategy.  
  • Create campaign advertisements: Develop a clear and compelling message that defines the main points of your manifesto, as well as a memorable slogan. You should highlight these in your advertisements which may be in the form of posters, flyers, banners or anything else you can think of.  
  • Outreach: Utilize a variety of communication channels to reach different segments of the student body. This includes social media, advertisements and in-person campaigning. Carefully, plan your in-person engagement to target different parts of the student body, you may want to spread your time over both campuses and the different evening venues.  
  • Engage in Personal Conversations: Don’t underestimate the power of one-on-one interactions. Engage in personal conversations with students, listen to their concerns, and explain how your manifesto addresses those concerns.  
  • Social Media: Social media platforms are powerful tools for reaching a large audience. Create engaging content, including videos, graphics, and posts that highlight your manifesto, personality, and commitment to the student community. Regularly update your supporters about your campaign’s progress and upcoming activities.  
  • Bilingual: All official prints, physical promotion like banners and t-shirts should be bilingual. Then elements of your social media pieces should be bilingual. You can find more information in the elections code of conduct. It can be handy to have a Welsh Speaking individual as part of your campaign team. At SUSU we’re very proud of making our elections inclusive and who knows you may even get a few extra votes from your Welsh speaking supporters.  
  • Student Groups: Visit and speak to various student societies and sports clubs to expand the reach of your campaign. You may wish to highlight the most relevant parts of your manifesto for each different student group to best engage them and encourage them to vote for you. Visting different groups highlights your willingness to work with different groups and represent diverse interests.  
  • Promote yourself: Highlight your relevant experiences, skills, and achievements that make you a great candidate for the position. Build trust with the student body by being transparent and authentic.  
  • Manage your time: Balance your campaign with your social life, downtime and academic responsibilities. Develop a schedule that allows you to effectively manage your campaign. Share out your tasks with your team to give yourself more free time.  
  • Stay Positive and Resilient: Campaigning can be challenging, but maintaining a positive attitude and resilience will help you overcome obstacles and setbacks. Stay focused on your campaign- you got this! 
  • Elections code of conduct: Make sure you refer to this year's elections code of conduct to ensure your campaign stays on track.  

Most importantly, have fun and run a campaign you can be proud of! Campaigning can be a challenging time but the more you have fun with it the better it will be. If you get to the end proud of what you have achieved, then regardless of the results- you've smashed it! 

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