One aspect of campaigning for elected office is visibility. There are a number of times throughout the campaign that a visibility event will help a campaign connect with voters. It’s important to note that the denser the population of the district the more effective visibility will be. There should be a lot of local foot or vehicle traffic to support a visibility event.
Political Visibility Throughout the Campaign
Visibility events are fun! Essentially, volunteers hold, wave, and proclaim their support for a candidate at a busy intersection or along a busy road while holding campaign lawn signs and homemade signs. It’s best to use a mix between campaign signs and more homespun looking signs so that the event looks both organized and inspired by the grassroots.
You’ll find that there are some people who won’t go door to door or make phone calls but they are willing to volunteer with other campaign activities like mailings and visibility. Don’t forget about these voters! Schedule regular visibility events and empower those volunteers to organize their own without using campaign staff time so long as they are meeting strategize objectives.
Visibility for Events
Visibility can drum up awareness about an event. If you have an exciting speaker coming to an event, increase the excitement surrounding it with a visibility event. It’s also a great show of force before a debate or other public forum that includes all candidates.
Visibility for Get Out the Vote
The most common time that campaigns execute visibility events is in the run up to election day. While the best GOTV efforts are extremely targeted, visibility towards the end of a campaign reaches a lot of voters reminding them to vote for your candidate and that the election itself is coming up. Likewise, as the election nears, it’s important to activate all possible volunteers. If you have volunteers that will only do visibility send them out!
Putting Visibility Into Context
Visibility is just one element of a political campaign. Campaigns can win without conducting any visibility whatsoever but it can help in competitive races and for certain purposes such as increasing candidate name recognition and bringing awareness about the election itself.
Strategically, it’s important to understand whether your campaign is a more of a stealth campaign, strongly pushing forward, or somewhere in between. While it’s much harder to run a stealth campaign, where you quietly build a coalition of supporters so as not to activate your opponent’s volunteer base, than it used to be, you still can in many districts and these types of campaigns shouldn’t include visibility. Most other campaigns can get some value from visibility events.