independent expenditure campaign

Independent Expenditure Campaign Tips for Digital Targeting & Messaging

by Julie Watson (She/Her)

Independent expenditure campaigns play a unique and vital role in many elections. They can support candidate campaigns by filling the gaps that they may have in their strategies, resources, or messages. These independent campaigns can use digital advertising to target different audiences, convey different messages, and use different tactics than candidate campaigns. This can help the candidate campaigns reach, persuade, and mobilize more voters.

independent expenditure campaign

6 Tips for Your Independent Expenditure Campaign

Many people think about creating an independent expenditure campaign (IE campaign), but very few will actually take the time to do it. If you don't know a lot about IE’s, check out our IE FAQ here. IE campaigns should work to accomplish two goals:

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Independent Expenditure Campaigns: What They Can and Can't Use

by Tobias Cebulash (He/Him)

What information independent expenditure (IE) campaigns can use depends on who you ask, and what set of laws you’re covered by. In recent years, you may have seen candidate campaigns that appear to bend over backward to make photos and b-roll videos publicly available on their website (a classic example of this being “McConnelling,” which went viral in 2014). Why? What are voters going to do with all this stuff? Well, it turns out that in most cases, the audience isn’t the run-of-the-mill voter at all. These campaigns may instead be trying to make information publicly available for independent expenditure campaigns to use.

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Independent Expenditure Campaign Planning

Here at The Campaign Workshop, we have written a lot about independent expenditure strategy in the past, but the key takeaways never change:

  1. Know your goals.
  2. Do no harm.
  3. Don’t duplicate efforts.
5 children standing against a white board with books on their heads.

Independent Expenditure Planning Quick Tips for IEs

by Martín Diego Garcia (He/Him)

An independent expenditure is an effort that expressly advocates for or against a candidate which is not made in coordination with any candidate campaign by a third party entity. When planning an independent expenditure campaign for or against a particular candidate it’s important not to make these three common mistakes.

IE Creative Mediums
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Video Buying Options for Independent Expenditure Campaigns

by The Campaign Workshop

It’s 2019, so by now you’re probably well aware that television extends beyond traditional broadcast and that your independent expenditure campaign’s paid media plan probably should as well. But what is the difference between all these different video buying terms and which tactic is the best for your campaign? We’re here to break it down for you.

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Independent Expenditure FAQs

by The Campaign Workshop

While we’ve given tips on how to run independent expenditure campaigns in the past, we wanted to answer some basic independent expenditure frequently asked questions (FAQs). From simply defining what an independent expenditure is to discussing contribution limits, this article aims to provide background and clarity on IEs and how they work.

Independent expenditure mail on a wooden table

Independent Expenditure Mail Vs. Campaign Mail.

by Ben Holse (He/Him)

While they share a number of similarities, independent expenditure mail and candidate campaign mail also have quite a few differences. Both independent expenditure mail and candidate campaign mail may have the same primary goal (i.e., getting a candidate elected), but the means that they use to get there can vary.

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What Is an IE Spending on Digital? Independent Expenditure Research

by Sophie Thurber (She/Her)

Unlike TV or radio, digital IE spending doesn’t come with an easy competitive report to help you track who is spending what and where. It’s a bummer, I know. That said, in their efforts to stave off regulation, oversight, and additional congressional inquiries (or maybe I’m too cynical and it’s actually out of the kindness of their democracy-loving hearts), many of the large platforms have started to provide real-time databases for political advertising. To find out what an IE is spending, it will certainly help to know the name of the committee (especially if you’re working in a cluttered independent expenditure field), but there’s a fair amount of flexibility in the search terms, so you should be able to find what you’re looking for using related keywords (think: the candidate’s name).

Albuquerque mail piece that reads, "Don't let crime break alburquerque"