With the UK 2022 local elections taking place on the 6th of May, candidates will have already started planning out their local election campaign strategy. To help you build awareness for your message and encourage voters in your area to pick up the pen and vote for you, we’ve created this guide on how to run an election campaign in 2022 including top local election ideas.
The Importance of Election Campaigns
An election campaign achieves a number of objectives for political parties:
1. Increases election participation
When local candidates are actively campaigning, this inspires their constituency to get involved and vote. For local elections especially, the public are given a voice via their local MP to make changes that will directly affect the area where they live. Your campaign reminds customers of what they can do to make a positive change for the local area.
2. Increases awareness of your party & its values
When you’re participating in door-to-door campaigning and leafleting, you’re putting your party and its key messages out there. A lot of local MPs prefer to go out and meet voters face-to-face because it’s easier to make a positive impression, answer any concerns voters may have and take onboard feedback on the campaign.
3. Influences public decisions
Ultimately, election campaigns are important because they provide an opportunity for political parties to prepare and present their ideas, and influence the public’s decision. Campaigners often use a multi-pronged approach to ensure their promises are heard loud and clear.
How to Run an Election Campaign
1. Run a Digital Election Campaign
As effective as in-person campaigning is, many parties are modernising their approach by going digital. Online election campaigns have become increasingly popular in recent years, both amongst voters and campaigners.
More and more of the population that are of voting age spend time online, making it an ideal channel for raising awareness for your election campaign. Social media marketing isn’t just for businesses; political parties are creating their own Facebook pages and even TikTok accounts to post content ahead of the elections.
Using paid advertisements online is also an option for getting your messages out in front of an even wider audience. You can set the location on your social media adverts, making it even more beneficial for targeting local voters.
Digital imprints regime
In 2021, the UK government introduced a new policy whereby digital political materials must include an imprint, just like printed materials must. An imprint informs the audience of who is trying to influence them with campaign materials.
2. Get the Right Election Campaign Materials
The traditional way of sharing your election campaign messages is print, which continues to be highly popular and effective. This is largely due to print being a more trustworthy form of advertisement than digital – a quality of great importance to political figures. We’d recommend bringing your campaign to new audiences with a digital approach, and then backing it up with a trusty print strategy.
Here’s a checklist of all the essential election campaign materials we recommend sending out to local voters:
- Election flyers – flyers are an affordable and quick way to inform voters that you’re running in the election, which makes them ideal for local MPs who might be restricted by budget
- Campaign posters – getting posters up in high-traffic areas where your ideal audience visit can reinforce your campaign message
- PVC banners – need to be seen from a distance? PVC banners are weatherproof, making them a great option for outdoor campaign materials
- Roller banners – a transportable, pop-up banner that can be taken to events or used to direct voters at the polling station
- Correx signage – an outdoor signage option that’s 100% recyclable
- Booklets – set out your entire manifesto in a stapled booklet, with the option to print between 8 and 56 pages
- Stickers – create name labels to make your name more memorable when going door to door, or supply voters with ‘I’m voting for [PARTY NAME]’ as part of a direct mail campaign
- Postcards – make your mailer stand out by printing it on a postcard instead of a standard flyer
- Business cards – if you’re asking to hear voter’s views, leave a business card for them with your contact details on
Printed election materials for all weather
UK election campaigning wouldn’t be complete without unpredictable weather and having to accommodate for it. With the majority of local election campaigning taking place in March and April, campaigners have to be prepared for rain or shine.
Luckily, there are lots of waterproof printed election materials available, including PVC options for campaign posters and outdoor PVC banners. For parties with greener values, you could instead opt for a recyclable option, such as a correx sign.
Adding a memorable touch
One of the key goals of your print strategy should be to stand out from the competition and stick in voters’ minds. That means it’s worth putting some of your budget aside to enhance your election materials. Opt for thicker stocks, such as a 250gsm flyer instead of a 150gsm, to make the materials seem higher quality. Election campaign flyer templates are available!
You can also add a range of effects to make your print stand out, including spot UV – a glossy coating applied to specific areas of a design, like a logo, to make them stand out.
Want to try before you buy? Our free sample pack contains a variety of election campaign materials samples including flyers, folded leaflets and stickers. You can order your free print sample pack here.
3. Combine Print and Digital Election Strategies
2020 saw the rise of the QR code, with many establishments requiring customers to scan the NHS’s Test and Trace codes before entering. Restaurants and bars also made full use of QR codes to eliminate the risks of contamination when sharing menus, allowing visitors to browse the menu on their phones. As a large proportion of the general public is now familiar with QR codes, this gives you a great opportunity to combine your print and digital campaigning efforts by adding QR codes to your election flyers.
Flyers don’t offer a lot of space to go into detail on why the public should vote for you – but a landing page on your party’s website certainly does. Use the flyer to inform the public briefly of who you are and what you stand for, and include a QR code linking to a page containing further information for those who want to know more.
4. Create a Memorable Election Campaign Slogan
Elections are won on the power of words, and slogans are often formed using the most powerful words of all. Some of the best election campaign slogans are so powerful they become part of history.
Take “Yes we can” – Barack Obama’s 2008 slogan, or “Not flash. Just Gordon” which saw Gordan Brown into leadership in 2007. “Take back control.” encouraged a majority vote for leaving the EU in 2016, and Donald Trump’s campaign is synonymous with his “Make America Great Again” slogan.
One thing many impactful political slogans have in common is that they’re short and snappy – and therefore, memorable. Three to five words is an ideal length. In terms of subject, you need your slogan to communicate the main benefit of voting for your party. It should also focus on the promise that you’re going to make a difference for the future of voters.
5. Tell a Story
Most voters vote with their hearts, which means it’s important to encourage them to build an emotional connection to your cause. The best way to do this is to acknowledge the issues people in your local area are currently facing and communicate how you’re going to listen to their voices to help resolve them.
It’s best to create a story around the causes you’re supporting that voters will be able to relate to. When formulating a campaign narrative, it’s important to highlight how the local MP can relate to their constituents. Maybe they’ve lived in the local area all their lives, or they’ve started their own small business which has made them aware of the issues facing other business owners in the area.
Storytelling can really help a political candidate to stand out because it makes voters feel like they really know who the MP is. It can build a sense of trust, which is something people will vote for over a list of policies.
We hope these election campaign techniques give you plenty of food for thought on the run-up to the 2022 UK local elections. Need bespoke print materials or run lengths that aren’t available as standard? Get in touch with an instantprint account manager for a competitive quote. As well as arranging your print, our team can also organise multi-address delivery and direct mailers.