The Campaign Workshop Blog, is hosted by The Campaign Workshop - an advocacy and political consulting firm. We write about tactics for advocacy, membership, civic engagement, and progressive politics.  We post weekly, and also publish ebooks, host webinars, and The How to Win a Campaign Podcast. Sign up to learn more.   

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Nine Days Paul Kendrick Q&A

Nine Days: 7 Questions with Paul Kendrick

by The Campaign Workshop

As a former Obama White House Staffer, seasoned campaign organizer, former Harlem Children’s Zone team member, and now the Executive Director of Rust Belt Rising, co-author Paul Kendrick brings a fresh take to the idea that what’s past is prologue.

A person's outline and question marks drawn on blackboard with chalk

Political Pollsters: Making the Most of Your Polling

by Elena Veatch

Pollsters shouldn’t be the only members of your team who understand how to build an effective survey for your advocacy or political campaign. Becoming a smart consumer of campaign polling data is a must.  this post will help you ask pollsters thoughtful questions. Good polling will help you utilize your budget efficiently, think strategically about your goals, and assess risks and opportunities in your electoral landscape.

Young woman recording user-generated content with a camera.

User-Generated Content for Everyone -Storytelling for Advocacy

by Joe Fuld (He/Him)

During the time of COVID-19, getting together and sharing stories is an impossibility. So, when my mom turned 80, my sister came upon an easy user-generated content tool to organize friends to send a message to my mom for her friends and family. Five days and a few tutorials later, using Video Hug, we had organized a couple dozen 80-year-olds to send a message to my mom you can see the finished product here.  

Young folks using social media on a cell phone

TikTok: Engage Young Voters & Deliver The Youth Vote on Social Media

by The Campaign Workshop

If you don’t think TikTok is valuable, think again. Young voters made up a good portion of 2020 voters on a national and regional scale, increasing by 10 percentage points from the 2016 to 2020 elections. This upward trend is promising since only 30% of young people report being contacted by a campaign or party. Engaging young voters, especially on TikTok and other social media platforms, could make young voting rates go even higher.

Group of diverse, young voters

Young Voters Matter: TCW Young Voter Turnout Guide

by The Campaign Workshop

If conventional wisdom holds that young people are uninterested in politics, then the past two election cycles have been anything but conventional. According to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) at Tufts University, young people are more interested in politics than ever before.

Two women looking at a laptop on a table advocacy website RFP

Advocacy Website RFP: What Questions Should I Ask?

by Joe Fuld (He/Him)

This is often the time of year when folks think about updating or building a new advocacy website. You may have a had the same website for years now, the look is stale, the platform is old, integrations are bad, and your site is not achieving the goals you would like it to. If your team is thinking it is time to update or redo your website but is unsure where to start, this is the resource for you.

Man with a mask in a tan coat speaking - Field Strategies

Field Strategies for Campaign Success During COVID-19 And Beyond

by Joe Fuld (He/Him)

Field strategies are an important part of campaigns, especially for voter contact, data collection, GOTV, and persuasion. Whether you are running a public affairs campaign or a political campaign, field strategies won’t get the yield you were hoping for if you don’t have the right planning, preparation, and field strategies behind them.

Stack of mail - Red Tag Political Mail

Red Tag Political Mail - What Is It?

by Joe Fuld (He/Him)

Red tag political mail is a mystery to some. You may wonder how the United States Postal Service (USPS) treats the massive amount of campaign mail that moves through the postal system each election. The "secret" is red tag political mail US postal service tag 57 – a container tag that is designed to give more visibility to political mail, so it is given expedited status but sent as bulk mail. We write about this in our direct mail e-book.

Political Communications: podium with 2 microphones, background of american flag

Political Communication Strategy - Don't Skimp on Speechwriting

by Elena Veatch

Every good political communication strategy should include a plan for speechwriting. Even if your campaign doesn’t anticipate churning out a ton of speeches, make sure you have a process ready to go for writing and finalizing speeches. If you’re running for office even at the local level, chances are you’ll want to have a speech prepared at least for Election night. If you’re intimidated by the speechwriting process, don’t panic—you can follow a simple formula to write a good speech.

Beat an incumbent

Beat an Incumbent - Lessons From Winning Campaigns

by Joe Fuld (He/Him)

Incumbents are hard to beat. Campaigns start out with great intentions, but if you want to beat an incumbent, 94 percent of the time, challengers- (non -incumbents) will fall short. Many folks try, but on average, only 6 percent succeed in their quest to beat incumbents.

Several tub animals hanging out. Lame duck session

Advocacy Strategies for Lame Duck Sessions

by Joe Fuld (He/Him)

Lame duck session should not come as a surprise. After election season is over, it’s easy to just want to hole up, make sour dough bread, chicken soup and shut off your political brain for a while. But across the country, as well as in Congress, we are about to go into the legislative season and lame duck sessions.

planning on computer

Lobby Visits For Advocacy: Planning a Virtual Lobby Day

by Joe Fuld (He/Him) and Martín Diego Garcia (He/Him)

Every year groups go to Washington, D.C. or their state Capitol to try and impact legislation. At the same time, they are there with a dozen other groups doing lobby visits and it’s even hard to get nonprofit lobby days on the calendar. Lobby days can be a complicated business, but we’re here to help.

birds eye view of a table with people using their technology

Political Advertising Mediums - Pros and Cons

Choosing the right political advertising for your political campaign can make the difference between winning and losing. Which political advertising medium a campaign chooses depends largely on their strategic objectives, targets, and, of course, budget.

Donkey and elephant face off Learning from loss

7 Qs Seth Masket Learning From Loss The Democrats

by Joe Fuld (He/Him)

Seth Masket is a professor of political science and the director of the Center on American Politics at the University of Denver. His academic and research interests include political polarization, state and local politics, and campaigns and elections.

Volunteer at a door with a clipboard and a campaign walk card

Campaign Walk Cards - How to create Great Campaign Lit

by Ben Holse (He/Him)

Campaign walk cards are an important element to any field strategy. They give your canvassers something tangible to discuss at the doors and are a great way to introduce your candidate to voters. Unfortunately, a lot of campaigns create walk cards the wrong way.

row of old books

Political Campaign Strategy: Read these books to get a strategic edge

by Elena Veatch

To build an effective political campaign strategy, you need to understand the landscape your campaign is operating in. While talking to voters is always going to be the best way to get to know the issues that drive your community (and the larger American electorate), books are another great resource to inform your approach to politics.

one woman advising another at a business setting - digital advocacy consultant

Digital Advocacy Consultant: Do You Need One?

by Joe Fuld (He/Him)

Digital advocacy seems to be the term of the moment, but achieving real online advocacy results can be tough in both execution and budget. If you are at a nonprofit where money is tight, (when is it not?), spending money on hiring a digital advocacy consultant to manage your digital and online presence can seem like an easy line item to cut.

Woman reading laptop political blogs

Political Blogs We Like! Get your State Political Blogs Here!

by Joe Fuld (He/Him)

Political blogs as a news source seems very and 2004 but finding local and state specific perspectives on politics and communications matters. As quaint as it seems Try reading national and state political blogs. Here at The Campaign Workshop, we enjoy reading national and state-based political blogs to learn about local politics in states across the country and stay up to date on cutting edge campaign innovation.

filled out checklist

Post-Election Campaign Shutdown Checklist

by Ben Holse (He/Him) and Martín Diego Garcia (He/Him)

Your campaign is finally over and you might be feeling a bit of that post-campaign emptiness inside. We understand that feeling and have a lot of insight on what to do after a win or a loss. Like for most things in your campaign you’ll want to be thinking about a plan for your campaign shutdown at the beginning of the campaign as part of your overall campaign plan.

election day on a calendar:  - After the election

After the Election Checklist

by Elena Veatch

It’s the day after the election — you finally made it. Whether you won or lost your political campaign, your operation won’t end as soon as the results are in. You ran an organization for months that hopefully bore semblance to a well-oiled machine. You likely had people on your payroll, whether it was one campaign manager or a whole team of dedicated staff.