“Precinct Captains 2.0 – Building the Bench in Illinois Digitally”
By: Abin Kuriakose
“Shut it down”
A common phrase I come across from both elected officials and candidates when it comes to anything digital media: from a website, to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat (don’t worry – looks like only presidential candidates are using the last one).
However, in the rapidly changing world of how we communicate – digital media can no longer be ignored or sidelined. It’s becoming a key asset to any political campaign just as messaging and field organization.
In the incredible revolution we’ve seen around digital media we’ve seen another incredible re-imagination around campaigns can operate in the digital world. While many of us have become families with VAN – social media, interactive websites and data analytics are no longer just options but valuable assets in any campaign.
With ILDCCA emerging as the new political powerhouse in state politics, the association and its many members are in the prime position and building a digital edge that can serve supplement our winning strategies in messaging, recruiting the best candidates and field.
Here’s some core principles behind building valuable digital assets
- Social Media Builds Relationships: it requires an investment of time and strategy – you’re in this for the long haul. Too often do we have social media accounts (Facebook pages, Twitter, etc) that had a great start and then loses consistency. You’re in this for the long haul – consistent social media activity builds relationships with your followers.
- People are on Facebook Everyday: not on your website. Only few a categories of websites (news, businesses, etc) will achieve strong daily visitors but most political websites will have a few every visitors per day unless it’s a high profile, competitive race. Social media habits include users on their accounts almost every day – take advantage of that audience with your own accounts for your township or county organization.
- A Natural Extension to Field and Message: big volunteer day coming up? Create a Facebook event one week in advance and share it every other day. On the day of action, post photos of electeds speaking or volunteers knocking on doors. On the day after – remind your followers of the great turnout of volunteers and reminding folks of other volunteer opportunities. Even for folks who won’t be able to come to your fourth or fifth event, active social media activity can target followers who show up at your sixth event.
Abin Kuriakose (firstname.lastname@example.org) serves as Special Projects Coordinator for Raja Krishnamoorthi congressional campaign in Illinois’ 8th District. Since 2012, Abin has been advising candidates and elected officials on digital media strategy from website development to social media utilization.