Question: What are the best ways to announce your candidacy?
Announcing is the first major moment in any campaign. Is there a must-do checklist? And what are some great ideas on how to do it right?
When announcing a candidacy, it’s important to make a personal connection between the candidate and the campaign that’s about to launch. This can be done by having a small launch at the candidate’s house, in the back yard, with close friends, family, and supporters, and then have a few reporters also there.
This humanizes the candidate and skips the sanitized speech at a podium approach, and also starts the campaign on an authentic note.
I have a contrarian view on this one. Have a small, relatively informal announcement. You are going to get a small hit in the newspaper no matter whether you have a big to do or just invite the neighbors over. Just indicate in your communications with the press that the intimate announcement was intentional!
Why spend a lot of time and effort announcing your candidacy when voters just aren’t paying attention.
Ben is right that voters are not going to pay much attention to kick-offs - they don’t even pay attention to presidential kick-offs. But, if you do a kick-off, do not assume that the press will cover it at all. The most valuable part of a kick-off is often to galvanize your troops and get them excited about getting involved. Keep costs to a minimum.
Also, if you do a kick-off event, make sure it is representative of your campaign’s message/theme. I have seen a lot of candidates that are running insurgent-style campaigns against incumbents kick their campaigns off at the steps of City Hall or something similarly incongruous. Keep it simple and consistent.
Just by word of mouth in my community, and I imagine that would be enough.