COVID-19 and its effects are going to be with us for years. That’s the reality we face and the proverbial “new normal” referenced alongside “uncertainty” and “unprecedented” in nearly every TV ad or conversation of late.
The normal we knew is gone, and it’s not coming back. It’s time to accept, pivot and adapt – and quickly. Those who rapidly adapt will thrive and succeed.
That forces 2020 campaigns to ask a number of questions, beginning with, “What are we supposed to do now?”
You only know what you know.
While we don’t have a crystal ball to see into the future, we can draw from our team’s decades of firsthand experience to help you prepare for the possible scenarios.
Scenario A: More people vote by mail.
As more states debate a change to all vote-by-mail, either temporarily or permanently, you need to be prepared for more people voting from the convenience of their homes. The first step is making sure your targeted voters are aware of any rule changes. Next, make it as easy and clear as possible for them to request their absentee ballot. Then follow up those requests with direct mail that persuades them to support your campaign and motivates them to return their completed ballot quickly. Sound like a lot? It is, but we can help.
Scenario B: Fewer voters turn out.
Lingering fears of COVID-19 may make some voters think twice about voting in person. They may be confused about vote-by-mail changes or may not want to go to the trouble to vote absentee. What do you do? With better data and targeting, you can find the right people to persuade and motivate. Combine that with emotionally-impactful creative, and you can focus on turning out those unmotivated voters you need.
Scenario A: You are able to get back to campaigning in person.
If stay-at-home orders are lifted in your state and traditional in-person grassroots campaign events carry on this spring, summer, and fall, you have little, if any, time to waste getting ready. From door-to-door to parades and fairs, you’ll need palmcards, yard signs, bumper and lapel stickers, and campaign-branded collateral like hand sanitizer and facemasks that take into account our new reality.
PRO TIP: Were you one of the American households in fear of running out of toilet paper? Paper towels? Meat? Cleaning supplies? Pretty much anything on Amazon? Delays are everywhere, and those delays will impact campaigns, too. Get your palmcards, yard signs, and collateral ordered now to account for potential delays.
Scenario B: You are unable to campaign in person.
If your state does not allow for more direct contact with voters, you need to plan how you can interact while apart. A good digital plan will be key, one that takes into account voters’ time online while at home and the mediums that will reach them, including OTT and video. It’s also the time to throw out the old notions of “how it’s always been done” and focus on what you can do. Our team has developed a digital door-to-door plan that will help you turn your traditional door-to-door plans into virtual door-to-door, using technology to comply with stay-at-home orders while continuing your grassroots communications. Contact our team to learn more about virtual door-to-door.
Scenario A: My fundraising was put on hold, and now contributions are delayed.
COVID-19 has changed the way campaigns raise money. First, it was stay-at-home and social distancing orders that canceled in-person events and fundraising meetings. Even with those lifted or relaxed, many campaigns will be playing catch up on their fundraising. Does that mean you can’t do anything in terms of voter contact right now? No. It means you need to plan your spend carefully and budget accordingly, with spend ramping up as your fundraising dollars come in.
Scenario B: My fundraising was put on hold, and now contributions have stopped.
So now you are running a low-budget campaign when you didn’t think you’d have to. It’s okay. What you need to do now is maximize the dollars you do have and work to ensure your message is delivered with as little waste as possible. Data and targeting will be your keys to identifying the people you need to persuade and turn out, those you simply need to turn out, and where and how to reach them most efficiently and effectively. Need help fundraising? Get in touch with the Majority Money team today.
This is the “new normal” and the reality campaigns face this cycle and for years to come.
Remember, don’t panic. Pivot.
Prepare for what’s ahead and get started today.
We can help. Contact our team of state and national strategists today.