Running a campaign on a regional level presents a new set of challenges for Liberal Democrat campaigners.
The primary challenge is that the size of the electorate means it is too big to run a traditional targeted Liberal Democrat campaign, but the flip side is that votes matter equally across the whole region.
Working with the existing campaign teams across the region is essential. Mayoral campaign teams could not possibly run all of the elements of persuasion and then a Get Out The Vote operation across the whole region without their support. Local campaigns can benefit from practical support from the Mayoral team on organisation, content and media profile. This is particularly powerful when the messaging has strong overlap between the campaigns, and the voter communications are integrated.
By working together, the local and regional campaigns have an opportunity to re-energise Liberal Democrat members and helpers. It is a chance to involve people from areas with no history of Liberal Democrat campaigning, and to build team spirit across a wide area.
Each of the regions (Liverpool, Greater Manchester and West Midlands City Regions) have real opportunities to gain many seats in the local elections in 2018. To achieve this we need to build up the skills and experience of our members and helpers so that we have more capacity to win in 2018.
Media and social media
We should always engage with the media and social media in our integrated campaigns. This is even more important in regional campaigns where the benefit for producing high quality and compelling content is magnified tens, hundreds or even thousands of times over. This content needs to pull in voters so that they engage with our local and regional campaigns so we can learn about individual voters (e.g. the issues they care about and their contact details) which can be used for many more elections to come.
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I think that some of this advice is also appropriate in large Shire Counties and perhaps after the Sleaford North Hykeham by-election some updated thoughts can be collated from the experience to help county structures prepare for future campaigns and by-elections.
That sounds like an excellent idea. We could benefit from your experience.
Could you put something together after that election and send it to me?