Senator Soholt just posted this video on her facebook page about her support for Roads and Bridges.
It’s very nice, and professionally done. She spent some money on having this produced for Social Media.
If you’re a candidate, should you do this? My answer is “Depends on how much you have in your campaign account.” I suspect Senator Soholt, running against an independent, with no Democrat in the race, has enough of a budget to do so. If you’re a beginning or challenger candidate, you probably don’t. If you want to do a video, by all means, do so. But shoot it on your phone, and use free editing software.
Thinking in a “campaigny” mode, The money you would spend on a professionally shot and produced video would also get you pretty far on a postcard that’s directly targeted to people you know will vote, versus a professionally produced video that I’m seeing up in Brookings, and don’t have that person on the ballot.
It’s the sniper approach versus the scattergun approach. Both have value, but it depends on what you’ve got to spend.
Social media videos, newspaper ads, tv, they all encompass the scattergun approach where you blast messages out there and hope you hit a voter (much like goose hunting). They’re tried and true techniques, and have been used for years.
But so have Postcards, robocalls, e-mail campaigns, etc. They’re of a directly targeted nature – a laser or sniper approach – where you go exactly to the person you know who has a history of voting in, say 3 of the last 4 general elections. They’ve been around almost as long as political newspaper ads have been.
Why target? Odds are, if you have a targeted voter who has pulled the lever in several elections, you can count on them voting again. So you need to get your name in front of them, even if it’s for a moment when the card passes from their mailbox to the trash.
(Yes, I do quite a few postcards through my business Dakota Campaign Store. They work and they aren’t going away anytime soon.)
To me, targeting your message is of foundational importance in a political campaign. Think of it as a cake. A targeted message would be a layer in the cake. There is also a layer for traditional newspaper and broadcast advertising.
And if you can afford it, there’s a place for social media videos. They’re like icing to make it pretty, polished and professional looking. Possibly sprinkles.
How does it fit into your campaign? I’ll close by saying that there’s no rights or wrongs, it all depends on what you can afford, and what you want to emphasize.