Veterans Running for Office: Crafting Your Message
In the latest installment of our series of resources for veterans interested in running for office, we’ll go over some of the foundational concepts of crafting a strong message.
A candidate’s message or platform is perhaps the single most important aspect of running for office. When coupled with strong marketing and public relations, a strong campaign message that resonates can generate massive amounts of support for a candidate, even if they’re a new face to the political scene. This messaging must be well-developed, so expect this step in the process to take a bit of time.
On the flip side, a poorly crafted or poorly executed message can be the kiss of death for candidates before they even get a foot out of the gate. Therefore it’s invaluable to spend a proper amount of time really digging down and finding not only a message that resonates but, more importantly, that is actionable.
What do we mean by an actionable message? Simply put, this means that a candidate should never make claims that they’ll be able to do something that in reality would be impossible, nor should they make false promises for the sake of getting attention and support. Unfortunately, this is often the case among political candidates.
It’s often too easy to fall into the trap of making false claims — in reality, a candidate very well does want to fix the problems they see and they do want to make a difference. So what’s the harm in saying that they will, in fact, make a difference? There is a fine line to walk here — candidates are tasked with giving voters hope but also on following through with the promises or claims that they make. A message must appeal to voters, but it must also be realistic and come with a solid plan to actually make good on the promises the candidate makes.
There are plenty of resources available for those who are seeking help in crafting and delivering the right message. Training programs even exist geared specifically for veterans who seek civic engagement opportunities or political positions.
Connecting with voters is perhaps one of the most impactful ways to gauge the potential success of a campaign. It’s also a way to drum up support and solicit feedback on your platform as the timeline progresses toward election day. How do you effectively connect with voters? Find out here.