• Graduate School of Political Management: Is It Worth It?

    Posted on Jan 09, 2014 by The Campaign Workshop

    Graduate School of Political Management or School of Life? Do you need grad school to run a political campaign? 

    Is Graduate School of Political Management worth it? In a word: Maybe. It depends on what your goals are, like just about everything else in life. There are ever increasing opportunities to get master’s degrees in non-traditional ways and, depending on what you want to do with this degree, it may make sense to devote the time and resources to school. Campaign management is a real profession, don’t let the ripped jeans and hoodies…
  • USPS and Political Direct Mail: Changes for 2014

    Posted on Jan 06, 2014 by The Campaign Workshop

    TCW Guide to Postal Changes by USPS for Political Direct Mail, 2014

    If you make use of USPS for political direct mail, there are some important changes happening with the United States Postal Service (USPS) beginning in January 2014. The biggest change is that Full-Service Intelligent Mail is now required for automation pricing (automation pricing gives you discounted postage rates) for First-Class and Standard letters and flat mail as well as Periodicals and…
  • Qualifying a Ballot Measure

    Posted on Jan 02, 2014 by The Campaign Workshop

    Qualifying a Ballot Measure Is Not Easy

    Sometimes the most difficult part of a ballot measure campaign is qualifying a ballot measure for the the ballot. Advocacy and political organizations alike have long used the ballot measure (or referendum, question, initiative, etc., depending on where you’re from) as a tool to advance their mission. It’s a way to get the public involved with your issue, and to show widespread support if successful. We’ve seen plenty of them here, from raising the tobacco tax to marriage equality and while the content…
  • Online Communications Strategy Is Different in an Off-Year

    Posted on Dec 30, 2013 by
    The recent off-year elections may not have gotten a ton of national press, but for people living in states where major offices were decided, they were extremely important. In some ways, a campaign is a campaign, and your online communications program should be reflective of that.  In others though, off-year elections are pretty different, and planning your digital strategy with those differences in mind can yield some great things. The biggest issue? Less people are paying attention. This means you have to work even harder than before to get people to…
  • Making Political Direct Mail More Democratic

    Posted on Dec 16, 2013 by Joe Fuld (he/him)

    Tips to Make Political Direct Mail More Democratic

    We find it sad that as Democratic political direct mail consultants, the mail we see is often very un-democratic. It’s hard to get real engagement from voters or constituents if you don't even try. Here are some tips on how to increase engagement in your campaigns and make real democratic direct mail. Map it Out: Maps are a very simple way to get engagement in a campaign. For instance, we deigned Democratic direct mail for a primary in Philly that used a simple map of the city to showcase the…
  • Democratic Direct Mail Targeting

    Posted on Dec 12, 2013 by The Campaign Workshop

    Democratic Direct Mail Targeting - Using Advanced Data & Models

    Democratic direct mail targeting used to be seen as a mysterious realm where political consultants pulled voter targets out from behind a magic curtain. With the advent of modern voter file software by folks like Catalist, NGP VAN, Targetsmart,…
  • Big Ballot Initiative Win for Cincinnati Retirees and Labor!

    Posted on Nov 15, 2013 by The Campaign Workshop

    Tea Party Loses Big on Cincinnati Ballot Initiative

    I’m sure it’s no surprise to any of you that last Tuesday Terry McAuliffe won the Gubernatorial election in Virginia – though the Attorney General race is still too close to officially call – and Chris Christie easily won re-election in New Jersey. It also likely doesn’t come as a surprise that Bill de Blasio wrapped up a big victory in his election as Mayor of New York City and that Marty Walsh, a former Labor organizer, and current State Representative, won in the first open race for Mayor…
  • Advanced Micro Targeting: Campaign Data Targeting Is Key to Winning

    Posted on Oct 31, 2013 by The Campaign Workshop

    Advanced Micro Targeting Tips for Your Campaign

    Advanced micro targeting can be the advantage you need to win your campaign. Before we get deep into micro targeting voter modeling other advanced targeting,  let’s start off by defining targeting so that we are all on the same page. This is a basic rule for all campaigns: candidates, ballot, independent expenditure, etc. Political data…
  • Tips to Mitigate Volunteer Flake Rate in Your Grassroots Campaign

    Posted on Oct 17, 2013 by Ben Holse (he/him)

    Stop Grassroots Volunteers From Bailing

     Running a grassroots campaign is hard. There are always going to be grassroots volunteers who sign up for shifts and do not show up. That’s why when organizing an event, you can generally assume a 50% flake rate (percentage of grassroots volunteers who do not show up for their shift).  More often than not, however, with the right coaxing, you can get a volunteer, who would have otherwise failed, to turn out for their shift. Below are a few suggestions to help you to mitigate your flake rate. Confirm,…
  • Tips for Your Election Day Stress Test

    Posted on Oct 10, 2013 by Ben Holse (he/him)

    Election Day: Don't Stress, Just Test!

    Before Election Day it’s important that you have a chance to test your campaign’s ground operation. After all, even the best-laid plans can go awry. Testing ensures that your organization can maintain its composure under pressure and gives you an opportunity to iron out any snags before the big day. The best way to test your operation is by creating an Election Day stress test that simulates your operation on the big day. In order for a stress test to be effective, you will need to treat it as if it were…
  • The Importance of Self-Research for Political Candidates

    Posted on Sep 19, 2013 by The Campaign Workshop

    Know Thyself and Self-Research

    We teach a lot about research on campaigns, and most candidates see the benefits and try to make room in the budget for polling. But although many candidates will do research on their opponents, what many first time (and second and third time) candidates don’t do is get a self-research book done on themselves. Why one may ask, would I need research done on me? I know my background. Here are 3 reasons why…
  • Canvassing Rural Areas

    Posted on Sep 16, 2013 by Ben Holse (he/him)

    Canvassing Rural Areas: Door to Door Is Not the Same Everywhere

    Canvassing rural areas present a unique set of challenges. While you want to canvass as many homes in these areas as you can, as grassroots canvassing is the most effective method of volunteer voter contact, you also want to do so in a way that makes sense for both you and your canvassers. Below are a couple of suggestions for overcoming the challenges of rural canvassing: 1) Open up your specs as wide as you can when pulling a list for sparsely populated areas in order to create…
  • Campaign Photography: Rights Managed vs. Royalty Free Photos

    Posted on Sep 09, 2013 by Sophie Thurber (she/her)

    Campaign Photography: Those Photos Aren't Free You Know!

    Photos are a great way to enhance your communications. We work to use custom political photography and custom photo shoots for nonprofits and organizations whenever we can but based on budget and timing it is not always possible to do a shoot. So many time rights managed and royalty free photos are your only options.  Knowing that you pulled an image from a blog that included an attribution line or…
  • 5 Things Every Nonprofit Should Be Doing Online

    Posted on Aug 14, 2013 by

    Building a Nonprofit's Online Presence

    These days, everyone is online. And if your nonprofit isn’t online, it should be! It’s easy, cheap and one of the best ways to stay engaged with your supporters. Here are five things we think every nonprofit should be doing online. 1. Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr. All of these are free for you to use, so why not? They are a fun, interactive way to communicate with your supporter base (who—spoiler alert—are already spending all their time on these platforms anyway). People love to…
  • The Language of Typography

    Posted on Aug 07, 2013 by The Campaign Workshop

    Political Typography: What Does Your Logo Really Say?

    The advertising world is well-versed in using and exploiting the visual language of typography to convey messages that go beyond the overt, verbal language on the page Cal Swan, author of Language and Typography, says, “These two distinct areas often come together in practice as there is clearly a very strong relationship between the conception of the words as a message and their transmission in visible form.” Nowhere…