7 Campaign Tips for People with Disabilities Considering a Run for Office
One of the most effective ways to spark change is by participating in local government. Whether you’re looking to run for office on a small scale or want to go beyond local politics, hitting the campaign trail could be the perfect way to ensure your voice is heard. Of course, it’s not easy to win an election, and it’s hard work to lift up a platform without a plan in place. However, with these smart strategic tips from reSource CIC, you can embark with confidence on a campaign you can be proud of.
Ask for Accommodations
If it’s your first time campaigning in an election, you may feel nervous about doing or saying the wrong thing. But it’s essential to ask for any accommodations you might need while on the campaign trail. Though it’s not always up to your local legislature to implement accommodations, it’s important that you speak up about any barriers to your success. After all, a level playing field is only fair.
Of course, when you’re not on the campaign trail you’ll be doing your work from home for the most part. Running for office is a stressful endeavour, so ensure your home is a sanctuary that promotes your well-being. Make sure that your surroundings are free of clutter and disorganisation, and bring in a little Mother Nature to brighten the environment, which can be something as simple as incorporating houseplants and letting in as much natural light as possible.
Represent a Specific Cause
As Smarter Campaigns explains, there are myriad reasons why people run for office. Many people who run for office decide to use their background as inspiration for a cause. Whether they’re a member of a minority, a business owner in a particular niche, or someone with a disability, most folks choose a cause to champion throughout their campaign. It doesn’t have to be related to your disability, of course. Choosing a special cause can garner unique support in your community, no matter which group or goal it promotes.
Use Digital Tools for Outreach
Though door-to-door canvassing can be effective in some neighbourhoods and with certain demographics, it’s not the only campaigning option. Social Media Today notes that you can perform outreach in other ways, including through digital means. Using social media for your campaign could help generate greater support and awareness for your cause. Create catchy hashtags for promotion, share frequent updates about your platform, and show your followers the person behind the campaign motto.
You can also reach out online to friends and old classmates you’ve fallen out of touch with over the years. In addition to searching social media platforms like Facebook, you can use other directories to reconnect and share your news. Try sites that target your hometown, including looking up old yearbooks from the high school or college you graduated from.
Connect with Your Community
Plugging into your community is the best way to gather support for your run for office. Join local organisations like the chamber of commerce or attend events for your target groups, like small businesses and brands. You may already have networking connections, and now is the time to call on those friends and colleagues for an endorsement. While politics can be tricky in work environments, you may also consider soliciting support from coworkers if your message speaks to them, too.
Get Public Relations Support
The public’s perception of you is a crucial part of your campaign. After all, it’s your ideas and image that will carry you to the election. A proactive campaign manager will be your biggest promoter, but it doesn’t hurt to enlist some extra help. You can even hire out public relations services to enhance your campaign.
Do Good, All Around
Election season isn’t the only time you should think about connecting to your community or giving back. If the only time you come around is when you’re looking for votes, colleagues, and constituents will start to become suspicious of your intentions. Make sure to do good all year through volunteer opportunities or peer mentorship programs, among other activities. The bottom line? That visibility will only help your campaign.
Inspire Others By Your Actions
A good way to help inspire your community is to lead by example. In addition to getting involved in your community, show others that you have drive and passion. For example, do you always regret not going back to school to get a degree in business? Consider enrolling in an online program that lets you choose your schedule. Not only will you show people in your community that education is important and something to strive for, but you’ll also gain valuable skills that you can possibly use to help guide your campaign.
A successful campaign for election could land you in the decision-maker’s seat. But even if you don’t win the race, the experience can be one of growth and change for you and your community. And if you win, there’s no telling just where you’ll go next!
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