Why an election campaign should employ copywriters
I’m sure I’m preaching to the choir when I say we all have election fatigue. There seems to be one every day. And the results, of late, have been shocking. But here we go again, with a general election on 8 June. So what could a party do to get more votes? Well, step one: hire a copywriter.
Being an MP isn’t easy. Between reading up on legislation, schmoozing with lobbyists, running clinics in their constituency, talking to media and spending hours (sometimes days) in chambers. And, as if all of this isn’t exhausting enough, you get a barrage of abuse from everyone. Their main issue is they due to being so busy, they rely on briefings from the comms team and advisers, so they end up talking like politicians. Even in their leaflets, press releases, emails and website – they sound like an out of touch RE teacher or a vicar in trainers. If they employed a copywriter, all that could change.
Know your objectives
For a political party, the objective is getting elected, right? Well yes, but it’s also every other political party’s objective and it’s vague. When a copywriter is given a brief, you need clear objectives, like increase sales, membership, awareness, engagement, etc. All these incremental increases should have a halo effect and help sharpen your thinking. Objectives should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time based). If I was starting the RCM Party, my objectives would be:
Increase awareness by 70% using social media, press, broadcast and OOH.
Get 520,000 members through experiential marketing, forums, meetings, talks, activism and incentives.
Okay, so these are ambitious. I’m not going to go from a no-one to Donald Trump proportions in four weeks. Nor will I gain a membership base that will trounce Labour’s. But immediately, I know which channels I need to use, the messages and who I need to target.
Know your audience
So, if I have policies loosely related to anarchy. I need to think of who this will appeal to and how I talk to them. As I’m a brand new party, their level of awareness is non-existent and they are at the wide end of the funnel.
What I need is customer profile and insight to tell me what their biggest concerns are. My prospects are disillusioned with traditional politics, as they’re a bunch of rich, white, old men (mostly) who exploit their position for profit, have no money for health, education, public services or housing, but have plenty of nuclear bombs, wars, the Royal family and tax breaks for their friends. They’re politically engaged but cynical about the non-statements and lies politicians make.
Knowing this means I know what to put in my headline copy and what concerns I need to address. Also, I need to offer tangible solutions, proving that I don’t make promises I can’t keep.
Know your key messages
There are so many MPs and they all have their own opinions. They often don’t know the manifesto word-for-word and have to tow the party line, so no wonder they’re inconsistent. In an ever changing world, it’s best to have a mission statement that everything is built around.
Today Labour announced its tagline of #ForTheMany, which is pretty solid and self-explanatory. Whatever their Brexit strategy is, it needs to cater for the many (that includes remainers and the EU). Whatever their healthcare policy, it needs to cater for the many (no privatisation). Now everyone knows, whatever they write in their marketing collateral or say to the press, it needs to be about 99% of the population and not just for the 1%.