‘Unprecedented circumstances’ is everyone’s favourite phrase at the minute (we’re sure you can sense the sarcasm there) – but what’s really unprecedented is campaigning in a local election during the Coronavirus pandemic.
A lot of our customers are local political parties who generally rely on print, like leaflets and posters, as an affordable way to spread their message and encourage voters to pick up a pen in the polling station.
To help give us a better idea of what our political customers have got planned for campaigning during the pandemic and to give them an extra platform to get their message across to voters, we spoke to the Ashford Green Party. Let’s see what they’ve been up to!
Tell us about your political party! Where are you from and what are your biggest goals for this election?
We’re the Ashford Green Party. We’re standing a full slate of candidates in the KCC Elections in May, and our biggest goal is to win one seat and come a close second in at least one or two more during the local elections in May.
What are some of the obstacles you’re facing campaigning during the Coronavirus pandemic and how are you getting around them?
We have two main challenges every year, which have become exaggerated because of the effects of the pandemic. The first challenge is financial. Unlike some of the bigger parties, we rely on fundraising to support our campaigns – we don’t get huge donations, and so paying for election material, and in some cases having to pay for them to be delivered, puts a huge dent in our very small bank account.
Secondly, due in part to our smaller budget, we rely on volunteers delivering our leaflets and many don’t have so much time because of homeschooling, caring, or if they’re isolating themselves. So, rallying the troops is definitely harder at the moment!
What are the key ways you’ll be targeting voters this year and how do they differ from usual?
We’ll still be doing what we usually do, which is a mix of leaflets of various kinds through doors when lockdown easing means we’re able to, social media targeted ads and some direct mailings, which we’re able to get a start with now.
Which main print products will you be using and why?
Leaflets are our print tool of choice and we order them in various sizes depending on the kind of messages we’re sending out. Our main election leaflet tends to be an A4 tri-fold, which gives us plenty of room to introduce ourselves and our policies, then we’ll also send out a couple of A5 leaflets and an A6 postcard to follow up with voters and remind them of our election messaging.
What are your key priorities when buying print for campaigning?
For us, it’s really important that print is affordable, but doesn’t skimp on quality because we need to make a good first impression. As well as this, we choose instantprint because of their fast turnaround and real flexibility with the quantities of print we can order.
How does using the instantprint account management service alleviate any of the issues you might be facing this time around?
Throughout the rest of the year, we mainly use the web order option and buy our print directly online as it’s quick and simple. When it comes to local elections, we use the account management service because it’s useful for when an order is a bit more complicated and you can’t choose specific features of your print online. It helps to be able to talk it through and to also get exact quantities at a better price.
Are there any ways in which your account manager went above and beyond to help you with your print order?
Paul is always friendly and helpful and responds quickly – which is exactly what we need at the moment! We know that our print is always in good hands.