Political Campaign Messages
Stop, Look and Listen. I am not talking about the pedestrian safety jingle that most of us learned off when we were 5 years old. When I say Stop, Look and Listen, I mean do you do this when you are communicating your political campaign messages. It is likely that most of us take the ability to communicate for granted, after all, on average, we learn to say our first word at 9 months and by 8, we can understand 10,000 words. Although I can’t guarantee success, if you use the Stop, Look and Listen method, you are at least consciously communicating, which can only be a good thing when voters take the time out to listen!
Stop: Take the time to think about what you are going to say and why you want to say it. Think carefully about what you hope to achieve from the conversation, what are your main goals? If you believe that your message has value try not to ad-lib. To avoid the pitfalls of over-thinking (a dangerous trap that will confuse all forms of communication and may result in a personal existential crisis) pick three key points that you want the recipient to take away from the conversation. If you are a campaign manager make sure your field team is briefed and understand not only the key campaign messages but also their role in the campaign before they make it to the doorstep.
Look: The “look” aspect of communication is imperative. To look here means to “look ahead”. Much in the same way as a sports team trying to preempt the opposition's tactics (Fly, Eagles, Fly*) before you deliver your important message, try and analyze it from the recipient's point of view. If you believe they will agree with what you are saying, think about where you would like to lead the conversation. Indeed, if you believe that they will disagree, try and anticipate in what way and how then you would appropriately respond.
Listen: Ah, this old nugget. As someone who loves talking, I understand how easy it is to get carried away because you are so passionate about the message you want to get across but this can leave the recipient feeling frustrated and fed-up. As the old adage goes, there is a reason why you have two ears and one mouth. Say your piece and listen to what your client or voter has to say, you will not only successfully master the art of communication but you could possibly also sway perception of you or, even, swing that vote. With Ecanvasser you can listen and most importantly follow up and respond to our Issues tab.
The last piece of sage advice that has stuck with me was given by a former senior colleague of mine (hi, Brett!) No matter who the person is, treat them with respect because you never really know when you will meet them again and in what circumstance. When communicating you need to Stop, Look and Listen but most of all, a little respect goes a long way!
If you are interested in learning more about communication, Brendan and I are going to collaborate on a Campaign Blueprint on how to successfully approach a political debate so watch this space!
*I did not watch the SuperBowl, I just wanted to sound cool and relevant, so I googled.