Running a Campaign
Feachtas a rith
To be successful in an election you will need to convince the electorate that you are the best person for the job, and that you understand students and will represent them on issues that matter to them. The election campaign begins at 6:00pm on the Sunday before the election. That gives you Sunday evening and three full days before Election Day. Here are a few things to consider for your campaign:
Campaign Team To run a good campaign it is advisable that you get a team together to support you. Your team will provide valuable support to you during the election week. Ask your friends to give you a few hours support and arrange times that suit them. Some people might not want to help with canvassing, but they might be able to help with postering. Get whatever help you can! The more people you can communicate with, the better chance you will have. Ask one of your friends to be your Campaign Manager. It will be their job to handle logistics and manage your campaign team.
Manifesto Your manifesto outlines your policies, plans and ideas for what you would do if elected. Talk to your friends and classmates about what they would like to see the Students’ Union do. Think about what your plans and how you would go about implementing them. You don’t need to think of all the details, but you should avoid making broad sweeping promises without having some though behind them. Above all, make sure your manifesto is relevant to students.
Your manifesto should also include something about yourself and why you are the best person for the position you are seeking. Include a photo so people know who you are. For consistency, it is a good idea to use the same photo that will appear on the ballot paper.
Speak to Students Talking to students is the number one method for convincing them to vote for you. Posters, flyers and T-Shirts will only do so much. You need to get out and canvass voters. Most election candidates will tell you it’s the hardest part of an election, but it’s also the most important part. Take some time to think about what you want to say to voters. The most obvious question you’ll be asked is anybody should vote for you, so make sure you have an answer ready. Talking to students does not mean shoving a flyer in their face: it means dialogue, asking questions and communicating your policies and ideas. Don›t forget to balance the need to engage with the need to be efficient – you will need to reach a lot of people in a short space of time. This is where slogans can come in handy, especially if it jogs someone›s memory when they are looking down a long list of names on a ballot paper. Lecture shout outs are also a good idea for speaking to a lot of students, but you will need the lecturer’s permission first. Students want to know what you plan to do and how it will affect them. Simply saying “vote for me” is not enough. You need to say why. Referring to something you are already doing (before you›ve even been elected) or something you have already done is a great way to show that you mean what you say.
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NUI Galway Students' Union election information #nuigsu16