Messaging and Communications: The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Messengers

You must asses your message and make sure it is meeting a set of qualitative criteria for success - The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Messengers. Make sure it accomplishes these things before taking it out on the road:

Establish Your Credibility

Voters want to back a candidate they trust, and who has the experience needed to hit the ground running and legislate effectively once in office. Identify the skills and experiences you would bring to the office and why the make you the best choice.

Make it Relevant

There's nothing more ineffective than addressing the wrong issues in the campaign. Identify the issues of concern in your local community and craft your message appropriately. Voters act in their own self-interest, it is vital that you communicate how you will address their concerns.

Establish Contrast

Your message must frame the debate in a way that makes you a better choice than your opponent. Tie your positives to your opponent's negatives.

Tell the Truth

This cannot be stressed enough, voters respect candidates who they trust. Dishonest claims are likely to be discovered and exploited and voters tend to know when a candidate is being less then honest with them.

Keep it Simple

Avoid detailed legislative language or jargon. While you do not want to talk down to the voters, using everyday words in concise statements will help your message stick in the voter's minds. Also, keep your message to two or three salient points to avoid information overload.

Make a Connection

People want to vote for people like them. High-light shared experiences and tell personal stories that convey your humanity and commitment to values. Use these stories to show the voters that you understand their concerns not just as a candidate, but as a person.

Repeat, Repeat, Repeat

Voters need to hear your message at least 12 times before it begins to sink in. The need for this repetition is why your message must permeate every aspect of your campaign, from fundraising, to your stump speech, to advertising.