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Campaigning Ideas

By Jim Faris
Opinion | October 3, 2009

OSKALOOSA, Kan. - I want to run through some of the stuff that I have refreshed my mind about when it comes to campaigning for a local office. When it comes to city elections, I have found that one of the biggest things you can do is advertise your campaign in the local newspaper outlet.

Running for City Council in Oskaloosa, Kansas, I found that the folks that will more then likely vote in an off year election will be the ones that read the local paper. I don't know how many people that saw the ads that I ran, and stopped me on the street to ask questions about my campaign. They seem to be quite the conversation starter.

Knocking on doors is a must if you are not known in the town or area that you are campaigning for office. It's makes the campaign more personable.

I went to school in Oskaloosa from the 2nd Grade on through my Junior Year, I ran for State Representative in 2006, and my family band The Faris Family as played many times over the years in the area. Between those three things I have a little bit of name recognition. However, if you do have that on your side it really helps to solidify you in people's minds if you are seen working hard campaigning.

Having a phrase that people can grab a hold of and say that is you.

Not many people who grew up knowing me were able to associate my identity with the name of Jim Faris, even with my picture in ads and walking cards. I thought to myself, how can people identify me in 10 words or less? The conclusion that I came up with was something that I could put on a t-shirt, "Vote for JimBob". Everyone that remembered me from school, the folks I saw on the street everyday, and the fans of the family, all knew me by that nickname, JimBob. The response that I got from putting that in my ads was what I needed to get more people to pay attention to the campaign. I've had so many people stop me and ask how the campaign was going, and what were some things that I wanted to do once I got into office.

A clear cut walking card and giving a 10-20 second introduction of yourself.

When I've walked in the past and here in this campaign, I noticed that people are interested more in what they were doing before you walked up to the door. One of the things that the Jehovah's Witnesses have a problem with getting more of a positive reception is the fact that they want to tell you everything at one time. Some individuals that run for public office are also a bit wordy and don't stop to realize that if you say this next phrase, you can get what you need done and it allows the person that answers the door to feel better about answering it.

"Hello, my name is _______ and I am running for ____. I'm going around today passing out my information on this walking card letting folks know more about me and my campaign."

At that point, the person that answers the door will either ask you where you stand on some issues or will give you a look and say "I'll give it a look, have a nice day."

When you are putting your walking card together think in the same terms as your approach to the individual that is answering the door. List no more the 3-4 things that you want to do once in office, and no more then one or two paragraphs about yourself. These things have helped ease many door to door situations.

All you can do is try your best and always have the mindset of the fact that your running for this office to help your fellow man and not your own selfish ambitions.


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