We’ve all seen them. Every election year, drive down any street in the country and one will find fields upon fields of political signs stuck out of front yards, hanging off of fences, and pinned to trees. They’ve been used for decades by political candidates from all walks of life. They’ve been used consistently for one single reason – because they work.
The ultimate goal of a political yard sign is to take a passer-by and convert them into a vote for your party. It’s as simple as that. How to use your political sign effectively however is a little more complicated. Here we examine how to use them correctly and why they remain a valuable component to any campaign.
You’re building a brand
The same reason that we see politicians joining up for Twitter, pushing campaign video messages through YouTube, visiting local businesses, and making the rounds to anywhere that will take them, it’s all attempting to build name recognition in the minds of voters. Voters must know your name and must know what it is they’re voting for. An effective yard sign gets either your picture and name or just a name out there to voters and it lets them know who to vote for in their neighborhood.
This is your friendly reminder to vote
Let’s face it. You’re not going to win over a person who has already decided that they want no part of you. That’s just the reality. What an effective sign will work towards is reminding the casual voters that are into your platform but perhaps wouldn’t consider themselves to be a part of your base, to turn out on Election Day. Voter turnout is crucial to any politician’s campaign. With your political sign, you’re informing the public of the date on which they can cast their ballot. The easier it is for them to do so, the more likely that they will.
Create a conversation amongst neighbours
By having an everyday supporter display your sign in their front yard, they are putting their name next to yours. This approval may lead others to side with their trusted neighbours’ judgement. Perhaps a discussion between neighbours, co-workers, or family may even take place. A person who believes in their candidate enough to put their name in their front yard may be able to persuade voters in that politician’s favour.
Give voters an opportunity to express their support and voice an opinion
Effective political yard sign strategies mean giving your supporters a chance to show their support. In a world where participation rules all, you’re giving them the opportunity to feel like they are not only heard by their candidate but that they are participating in the process. This level of connection with voters is integral to pulling off a successful campaign. Voters aren’t voting for a candidate. They are voting for a part of themselves that they see in that candidate and in a person who they feel a certain level of connection with.
Gets your name out there in a difficult market
It can be challenging to get your name out there in a market where a municipal election is being overshadowed by voting on a nationwide and/or state/provincial level. Political signs are a great way to introduce a candidate to the public just as a human being and not necessarily with a platform. Just a name, a face, and a colour, for some, will be enough to persuade them to cast their vote in that candidate’s favour. There’s great benefit to letting people see the human being behind the mechanical nature of political campaigning.
These are five important ways in which a political sign campaign can be used effectively and efficiently. They work for these reasons. It’s imperative that a political sign campaign is launched legally and doesn’t cross any ethical lines. Each state and/or province has their own set of laws and regulations that set the standard for how these campaigns are to be run. It’s important to know what can be done and what can’t be done.
After getting informed on the laws that apply to your area, have fun with it. This is just like any other aspect of a political campaign. Create interest, generate buzz, and increase recognition for yourself with a successful political sign campaign.