In person campaigning
Get out and talk to students! This might seem obvious, but the most effective way to win votes is to simply approach a student and ask them to vote for you! This is sometimes called 'canvassing' and although it might sound a bit scary at first, it's a lot of fun and we promise that students are used to it in election week! Why don't you try approaching some students having a coffee break in the Hive? Or strike up a conversation with someone new next time you're queuing for a lecture?
Leafleting! Print your campaign poster or manifesto and hand them out to students. You can do this anywhere, but its helpful to think about where students might be congregating - for example, waiting for the bus or coming out of lectures.
Lecture shout outs! Lecture shout outs are a great way of reaching a lot of students in a short space of time. Get in touch with lecturers and ask for permission to spend a minute or two at the end of a lecture to talk to the students. Use your time wisely - a helpful way to frame your pitch is: 1. explain what the elections are 2. explain why students should vote for you and 3. encourage them to get online vote there and then!
Posters & Banners! Make your campaign as visible on campus as possible. Grab a bedsheet and some fabric pens and make your name known! Speak to the student voice team about where you can put up posters and banners around campus. Remember that any physical materials will need to be expensed and you'll need to stick to the election rules.
Be where students are! It might feel like you should focus your campaining around the square or the Hive, but remember its only a small section of students who spend their time here. Try getting out to other places - go and speak to student nurses at the Medical School, or pay a visit to some science students at the Atrium Cafe!
Create a brand and campaign design. Free resources such as Canva.com are great for this!
Design online leaflets and posters to share to students. This is free and can be done online through social media.
Quick announcements during your online lecture just before lectures start (be sure to ask the lecturers' permission beforehand).
TikTok is growing in popularity, so why not make a video to share?
Make a campaign video and share it on social media. Remember to share it in groups and pages with students in, not just your own page.
Set up a Facebook event and invite your friends to it. Set the event time as the deadline for voting - this way, they'll be automatically reminded to vote before the deadline!
Just message students! Draft a short message that can be sent to students on social media and just copy and paste it to as many people as you can. This is the perfect job to give to a member of your campaign team to do too!
Remember though, the more innovative and unique you are, the better. If you have a creative idea that's not listed here, do use it - as long as you stick to the election rules! Remember that campaigining is about standing out, not blending in, so get thinking outside the box.
Designing a poster
You want your poster to be eye catching and to stand out amongst the rest. Remember to include some of your manifesto points on it, as well as a picture of yourself.
Create branding, including a logo, signature colours and design. Keep it consistent throughout all your content. Using Canva.com is a super easy way to do this - just search 'campaign' or 'election' in the templates folder!
Include a campaign slogan and info on where to vote.
Have a look at previous years campaign posters on the SU website or google 'student union election poster' for inspiration.
Free poster making software includes Canva, PosterMyWall, Adobe Spark, Visme, Stencil, Crello, DesignCap, MyCreativeShop, Piktochart, Microsoft Office. Be aware free software might include watermark.
Watch these videos for tips on designing a good poster:
Making a video
Videos are one of the best ways to get engagement online. Why don't you have a go at making one yourself? There is plenty of software about that makes video editing easy:
Free video editing softwareincludes Lightworks, VideoPad, HitFilm Express, DaVinci Resolve, VSDC Free Video Editor, OpenShot, Shotcut, Blender, Movie Maker 10, iMovie, Magisto and WeVideo.
Free video editing apps include Magisto, Hyperlapse, Wondershare FilmoraGo, InShot, WeVideo, Splice, Adobe Premiere Clip and PicPlayPost.
Upload and post videos natively as opposed to sharing a link.
Make use of YouTube tutorials, there’s everything from basic editing to special effects.
Watch these videos for tips on video editing:
You don’t need to use all social media platforms, the main ones would be Facebook and Instagram - but it helps to reach as many people as possible!
Make use of social media scheduling tools to plan out posts ahead of time. Free social media scheduling tools include Buffer, Hootsuite, TweetDeck, SocialOomph, Friends+Me, Followerwonk and Zoho Social.
- Facebook - Create a page, share in major open groups (check guidelines of each group), share on personal profile.
- Instagram - Create a profile, utilise stories as well as feed, interact with other accounts to increase visibility. Use stickers to do Q&A's and other interactive features.
- Twitter - Create a profile, create a hashtag for your campaign which should match your campaign slogan, interact with other accounts.
- TikTok - Easy to go viral, hop on a trend but make it relevant to your campaign. Quick and easy to make your own videos.
Here’s a checklist of ideas, based on what people have done in the past, on how to win without being on campus or having the time to do lots of campaigning, together with how long it should take to do each one:
- Have you spoken to friends and asked them to be on your campaign team/to endorse you on social media? (30 minutes)
- Get friends to share your posts & event on Facebook. (5 minutes)
- Have you set up a Facebook event for your campaign and invite lots of folks? (10 minutes)
- Schedule posts on the Facebook event so you do not have to constantly keep updating on the go. (45 minutes)
- Have you filmed a campaign video? (around 1 hour)
- Have you posted a link to your manifesto/video in a UEA Facebook group? (2 minutes)
- Have you written a crowd rousing manifestothat gets your message across, clearly and concisely? (30 minutes)
- Create FAQs so you can quickly refer to this when any questions, online or in person are asked. (2 minutes)
- Create a professional and eye-catching banner. (2 hours)
- Utilise your immediate student group. You do not have to contact everyone possible. Word of mouth works well!
Remember though, the more innovative and unique you are, the better. If you have a creative idea that's not listed here, do use it - as long as you stick to the election rules!