OK, the general election is about to kick off. Here are some things you can do immediately to kick off your campaign online.
- Update your website to welcome the election and set out that it’s a chance to stop Brexit. There’s no shame in cut & pasting from national literature!
- On your website make sure candidate details are right, and that your messages are aligned with our national messages. Fairly obviously our point of view on Brexit will be a big part of it. Make sure you ask for help and give people a phone number and email to contact you quickly. Ideally, get your campaigning sessions on there too.
- Post a link to your website article welcoming the election onto all of your social channels.
- Email everyone you have an email address for with the same message. Also, ask them to say if they are voting for you – this will canvass a good chunk of people in one go.
- Email all your supporters asking them to come out and help you / give money / tell their friends to sign up / ask for a poster.
Things that are nice to do if you have time
- Arrange some campaigning for tonight or tomorrow so you can invite people along to it and show that you are enthusiastic and ready for the fight. Don’t worry if you don’t have canvass cards etc. prepared: MiniVan means that you can get canvassing straight away with any list.
- Paid Facebook advertising to people who live locally promoting your key message so that you are quickly established as the main challenger.
- Message (e.g. via WhatsApp) all your volunteers to tell them about tonight’s campaigning (subject to appropriate permissions).
If you have more time then my London colleague Ann has produced this excellent checklist:
- Are you regularly emailing a) supporters (including members), b) the public in your area?
- Are the candidate and local party Facebook pages set up to run adverts?
- Are multiple people verified to run Facebook advertising?
- Is a Facebook advertising account set up and connected?
- Do the Facebook pages have the correct imprint?
- Has a budget and plan been set for Facebook advertising during the campaign?
- Do the candidate and party profiles link to the right website?
- Do they have appropriate profile and banner pictures?
- Does the local party biography include @handles of your candidates?
- Does the candidate use their full name? (not the @handle but in the name of the account – the bit in bold)
- Does the candidate biography say they are the @libdems candidate for [constituency]?
Tip: Buffer is a handy tool to space out your tweets.
- Is the candidate’s non-Lib Dem CV up to date?
- Can they add Lib Dem candidacy?
- Is your local party / candidate website regularly updated?’ For instance, if you don’t have a post on day one of the election welcoming it and telling people how they can help, that’s a potentially quite a few volunteers lost.
- Do you have a Donate page set up for each of the candidates?
- Do you have a general election volunteer page set up?
You may also find my collection of digital tools and services for Liberal Democrat campaigners usfeul.