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Campaign Messaging

What is a Message?


The campaign’s message should stem from the values and beliefs that connect the candidate to the community. Elections are won on the successful communication of shared values.


The candidate and/or campaign surrogates should be able to express the message in about 30 words and adapt it to any issue. It should be targeted to the voters who will decide the election: persuadable voters.


Developing Your Message


Know your candidate and research your opponent. Create a list of the candidate’s public and private accomplishments, memberships in community organizations, and any civic awards or achievements.


Determining what it takes to persuade voters is also important. Successful campaigns are built on a comprehensive understanding of which voters you need to reach, where and how you reach them, and what will convince them to vote for you.


Writing Your Message


Here are some of the basic requirements for a solid message:

•    Clear - It must be written in plainly understood words that can be internalized and easily repeated by the campaign.

•    Concise - No more than a few sentences, the message is a shorthand introduction for every public remark, the foundation of what the campaign has to say on nearly every subject.

•    Contrastive - Every time your campaign talks about itself, it is talking about the opposition as well. You are defining the difference between yourself and others. The campaign will sharpen these distinctions as the campaign progresses.

•    Convincing - The message is aimed at persuading persuadable, not converting those with a different world view. For most of your campaign, you are working directly on an appeal to voters who have shown in the past that they have a reasonable chance of being persuaded and motivated to vote for you. Speak as directly as possible to their concerns.


Framing the Message Outline


Frame the issue:

Describe the issue in a way that resonates with the values and needs of your audience.

•    What is the issue really about?

•    Who is affected?

•    Who are the players?

•    What pictures and images communicate this frame?


Craft and Discipline Your Message:


A Message is made up of the following three-part framework. Each part should be no longer than 35 words.

•    Problem - Introduce your frame. Describe how your issue affects your audience and its broader impacts.

•    Solution - Speak broadly about the change you wish toes. Speak to people’s hearts with value-rich language and images.

•    Action - Call on your audience to do something specific.




For more information on running for office as a Democrat visit our website at or call Richard Pille at (417) 827-2770.

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