Written by: Angie Dennis, Client Service Representative, Fineline Printing Group
With the upcoming political season marketers are finding it more important than ever to work with an agile print communications partner that has expertise and flexibility to quickly adapt to ever-changing political messaging, at high volume ratios.
Throughout my career, I’ve managed loads of political campaigns ranging from several hundred-dollar, to several million-dollar initiatives. In fact last political season alone, Fineline produced nearly 3 Million print pieces; most of which were orders fulfilled within a 12-hour turn.
As Fineline’s Client Service Representative, I’ve seen time-and-time again what the essentials are to having a successful political print communications campaign. Below are the most crucial things to consider when selecting a print partner and how it will effect your election.
Mail is still HUGELY important in political marketing
Even with all the advancements in technology and the multitude of ways to reach people, direct mail is still the BIGGEST way for candidates to reach constituents. Mail sent to a residence can be shared with multiple (family) voters at one time and can’t be ignored; whereas email is always spammed and limited to one recipient at a time. Visit our USPS page to see how we partner with the US postal service.
Combined Services Lowers Costs, Increases Success
A Print and Mail strategy can mean the difference of thousands of dollars (or in other words thousands of constituent touch points). Print communications companies that can print and mail together, have the upper hand to companies that don’t – which translates to candidates having a leg up on their running mates. Because of Fineline’s ability to both print and distribute from our location, we can receive files by 3pm that afternoon, print that night and mail the next day.
Effective, Efficient Program Management is a MUST
As a Client Service Rep, we always meet with clients before the campaign even starts. This is essential to evaluate strategy, needs and provide recommendations for the best print program by campaign. As a result of this consulting process, we advise political campaign marketers and managers on best print options and avenues to connect with constituents. For example, a Fineline Client Service Rep evaluates each initiative and provides multiple size & design options, so clients automatically know their print partner is optimizing press sheet sizes and ultimately maximizing cost savings per piece.
Despite all the planning, campaigns won’t be successful without ongoing management and execution. Large political campaigns can equate to a full-time job for up to 8 weeks or longer. That makes it a necessity to have the resources and experience with managing these types of projects. Ideal print partners have effective project management processes in which they are always consulting, discussing, and checking-in to make sure all bases are covered. For example, Fineline Client Service Reps manage project statuses via reports and milestones to completion – notating each step of the process for every campaign.
Speed and Volume Fully Contribute to Marketing Effectiveness at the Polls
Beyond effective project management and resources, print communications partners need to be able to produce high volume in a short amount of time. When all is said and done, the foundation to getting the word out to tons of constituents is a numbers game.
Also, speed keeps candidates ahead of their opponents, and ahead of an ever-changing marketing strategy.
It is also important to have a print communications partner that can commit to getting all of this done, and within an impressive timeline. Internal technology and processes should be evaluated to ensure your printer even has the equipment to keep up. For example, Fineline technology can produce 15,000 pieces per hour and our automated mailing services have a turn time of 24 hours or less.
When it is all said and done, print communications services and project management are the keys to being able to accomplishing campaign goals on time, and in budget. Basically you can have the best team to run the project, but if you don’t have the equipment to execute, you lose out (and vice versa). Pre-campaign planning and strategic partnerships with print communications and campaign managers may often be overlooked, but continue to prove their value in getting a candidate’s message out, and ultimately getting them elected.