The Christmas period isn’t an obvious time to be sending Lib Dem emails but it’s certainly when you should be. Even if you have an email list that you haven’t used much, you should be doing emails now. However, the style is important and the emails you send should be what I call ‘a trusted source of information’ communication.
Community campaigning isn’t just about the campaigns you run and the issues you take up. It’s about building your community and about your leadership in that community. Making sure that people are informed is vital and information that people find useful is central to that. When you build your reputation as a source of useful knowledge you help your community and increase your readership.
Emails are vital for this but Facebook also works well, as do more traditional items such as calendars (templates are available in the file library). What should you put in them?
Informative emails that get read
Early advent emails should pick up on information like late night shopping, car parking, extra park and ride facilities, carol services and community events, as well as any transport issues in the area. I think you should also include ways to donate to food banks or other charities, charity Christmas card ‘pop-up’ shops and other ways for people to help each other.
Later in December I like to include changes to rubbish collection arrangements, council office and library closing details, emergency numbers and a reminder about how to donate. Depending on your area and your local contacts, you could include church service times and links to organisations providing support to the elderly, homeless and lonely over Christmas. Free and cheap events for children in the area are a good thing to include (check your local library’s plans for instance). Don’t forget to offer people your season’s greetings!
Sometimes you can cover stories such as this local coffee shop opening its doors on Christmas day.
Don’t forget other religious festivals which take place at this time of year and may be important in your community, such as Hanukkah.
After Christmas, schedule in an email letting people know where to dispose of Christmas trees, links to donate unwanted items, community events and New Year arrangements and tips.
Set them up in advance
A bit of research and careful scheduling can get this all set up, allowing you time to relax over Christmas yourself. However, if you are out and about doing things in the community, don’t forget to take pictures.
While Christmas time is great for this type of communication, you should include ‘trusted information’ emails and posts year round as part of your digital communication plan.