Political Yard Signs Don't Vote
It's True! Political Yard Signs ≠ Votes
Now I like a political yard sign as much as the next political junkie, but very early on I was taught that POLITICAL YARD SIGNS DON’T VOTE. I have heard all of the excuses of why your city is different and unique, and that if you don’t have more campaign yard signs than your opponent then you will lose. Reality check: it has been my experience that this is absolutely not true. Now your city may very well be different and unique in a number of ways, but when it comes to political yard signs, it’s not.
There is no such thing as a cheap yard sign. I know this might be hard to hear and sometimes even understand, but it will help you spend your limited resources (money and time) much more effectively. Political yard signs can average about $2 - $2.50 apiece depending on how fancy you are trying to get. Now multiply that by a couple hundred and it begins to add up very quickly.
Not only does the cost out weigh the benefit, but it tends to become a distraction that some campaigns begin to obsess over and waste valuable voter contact or fundraising time focusing on. Where should we put them? Who has them? Did one get stolen? Do we have more on that main corner than our opponent.
Guess what? No matter what I say you will buy campaign signs. Now I am not saying you shouldn’t buy any political yard signs at all, but be smart about it. Understanding that you don’t need more political yard signs than your vote goal is a good place to start. But I know there will always be those people who demand a political yard sign because they want everyone to know how much they support you. However, in all honesty this person is going to vote for you anyway so using your limited resources on them is not the most effective way to spend your time and money. Then you will also need some for Election Day to have up at the polling locations, which is fine, but don’t get crazy.
The money that you use on over-ordering political yard signs could be used on another direct mail piece, or another paid canvassing session, or online ads or even a robo call – all things that are direct voter contact and more worth your donors’ investment. That’s not to mention the time you’ll save not obsessing over them that can be used fundraising and talking to more voters. Understand your budget and allot some (read: very little) money accordingly.
Please reread and substitute billboards, car magnets, stickers, and any other chum, tchotchkes, or knick-knack you are thinking of buying.
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