TALK TO SOMEONE YOU DON’T KNOW
June 4, 2012
One of the most common campaign mistakes is the amount of time spent talking to those people you know. They already know what you think. They either agree or disagree. You have had plenty of time to sway them. Talking to them is liking talking to yourself. They already know you want their money, and give what they can. Asking them for donations is like taking candy from a baby. Of course we need to talk to our supporters. they need to be informed, enticed and rewarded for whatever they can do to help the campaign. Contacting them on a regular basis lets them know they are needed and appreciated.
There is so much more to a campaign, some of it scary. Let’s do the scary stuff for a change and reach out to those we do not know, in places we have never gone, doing things we have never tried. This is how we expand our base, our voting block, and our volunteer list. This is how we spread the effort so wide each person’s burden is lessened, making the campaign fun rather than a chore.
It would be thrilling to see such outreach occurring; but,I would be happy this election cycle to see more of what we learned from the past. Where are the Obama supporters on the corner at the farmers’ market passing out bumper stickers, buttons and signing up voters or making address changes? How many canvasses are going on every week-end? how many phone bank events are being held? Where? When? Who is giving this information to those who would help if only they knew about the events. Who is coordinating fairs and festivals? Where are the flyers? Bulletin boards around town show no indication of campaign activity. Where are the newsletters encouraging participation?
I see plenty of fundraiser invitations for local candidates. We need those. When President Obama came to town and we needed to fill up the Schott a concerted effort to recruit attendees occurred. Then, it stopped. The real effort right now seems to be to get signatures on a non-partisan petition to place a referendum on the ballot to improve redistricting in Ohio. Ohio desperately needs to correct the abuses in our current redistricting plan. I get that. What I don’t get is that we are diverting so many resources to this effort while ignoring, delaying, overlooking the imminent need to build a strong Ohio campaign to re-elect Barack Obama and Senator Sherrod Brown.
Promoting the $250-10,000 fundraisers for these candidates is only the beginning of a campaign. Money will help, but money won’t win this election. We need to put more effort into the grassroots campaign. We can only do this with more volunteers. We can only get more volunteers by reaching out beyond our comfort zone, day-after-day.week-after-week. We need a presence at every local event, no matter how small, even if simply someone wearing a t-shirt, carrying buttons, holding a clipboard with sign-up sheets. We need to put flyers on every public bulletin board at every business in town. If they get taken down, put a new one back up.
When recruiting volunteers we need to already have a variety of events coming up quickly which we can plug them into. They lose interest and ability to help as their daily schedules get filled. Keep a list on you of every upcoming campaign activity. Always be ready to recruit.
I know, so why don’t I do this like I did the last time? I can hear your sighs through the key board. I am not physically well enough to participate yet. But, we cannot wait for me to get well, for the petition drive to wind down, for the summer fun to end. Is there someone out there willing to take on these tasks? Willing to help Worthington’s Glenda and Lucie find more volunteers? Willing to form smaller neighborhood units to expand the work of the neighborhood teams? Willing to have a registration effort at the library every Saturday morning, Sunday afternoon? Willing to stand on the corner of the Farmers’ Market every Saturday? Able to roam Comfest, Red-White-And Boom, 4th of July parade etc.? We need not wait for anyone to give the go ahead. Simply go ahead! Wear your Obama garb. Carry a clear plastic envelop containing buttons and bumper stickers so the crowd can see what you have. Carry a clipboard with volunteer sign-up sheet and voter registration forms. Never split up your group. One person walking around like that looks pathetic, and people clear a path to avoid you; but, a group looks like a “happening” and attracts others to you.You’ll draw a crowd. Just don’t block the sidewalk and give anyone cause to complain.
If this sounds like the ranting of an anxious supporter, it does because it is. There is no time to lose. Having only a blog as a means of contributing makes me feel like a horse with the bit between its teeth, pulled out of the race. It makes me anxious. Please, talk to one person you do not know today and ask them, “Do you support President Obama? Can you come to -name some activity- and help us out for about an hour?” Then, ask another person tomorrow, and the next day, and the one after that. Let’s get the ball rolling. This is not going to be easy, but it is doable and it can be a lot of fun enough of us get involved. JUST DO IT!
Franklin County OFA Ohio HQ Office (Columbus, OH)
1973 Dublin-Granville Rd
Columbus, OH 43229
Located in the Beechcroft Center.
CREATE AN EVENT AT: https://my.barackobama.com/page/event/create?source=primary-nav