Everybody candidate uses political yard signs and they're a necessary campaign staple in local and state elections. If you want to get elected, you need your yard signs to broadcast your message day and night and to demonstrate that you have an army of supporters.
Yard signs can:
1) Very quickly raise name identification
2) Create a sense of momentum
3) Put fear in the opponent's camp
If you are running for an office, you already know what other candidates have done in the past. If you want your campaign to exceed expectations, what will your yard sign strategy be?
A good rule of thumb is to try and raise about one sign for every 30 registered voters. This is an aggressive goal and for some campaigns that may be too high or too low, but it's a good place to start as you determine your yard sign strategy. But just determining your target goal for yard signs isn't enough, you also have to determine your ratio of large signs to small signs. Large signs are typically 2'x4', 4'x4' or 4'x8'. Small signs should generally be no smaller than 18" x 24" if you want them to be noticed.
For rural districts you might need a much larger proportion of large signs to small signs – perhaps even a 50/50 ratio if you have the locations available. City districts need fewer large signs, but should probably try to have at least 25% of the larger size for the higher traffic areas.
Small signs should be reserved for neighborhoods. A standard rule of thumb would be to place large signs on streets where the speed is 35 MPH or faster and small signs in neighborhoods with speeds of 30 MPH or slower.
To make a big impact on voters and donors in a small amount of time, a campaign should overwhelm the district with yard signs all at once. Most campaigns dribble their signs up slowly over a period of weeks. This works and may be sufficient for most campaigns, but it lacks the real punch that yard signs can bring to a campaign with a coordinated strategy.
To make a real impression, a candidate should be first and biggest with yard signs. That means choosing a weekend and raising the yard signs all at once. This will have a more dramatic impact and create a sense of momentum for your campaign (not to mention scaring the daylights out of your opponent).
Candidates should use yard signs as an opportunity to show voters that their campaign has viability. While incumbents frequently have advantages in money and name identification, there is no reason that a challenger can't have the most yard signs - it's simply a matter of determination and aggressive yard sign recruiting.
Candidates always struggle with the type of sign to purchase. There are three materials predominantly used for political signs: corrugated plastic, plastic bags and weather proofed cardboard. Here are some points to remember about them as you pick and choose. Generally, you get what you pay for. The corrugated plastic cost more, but is of the highest quality and will hold up the longest and under the harshest conditions. The plastic bags and cardboard are the cheapest and enable a candidate to purchase many more signs. However, the weather and wind might require replacing the signs depending on how harsh the weather and how long the campaign.
Yard signs bring votes to a campaign. For those candidates wanting to even the playing field with an opponent who has an advantage, making yard signs a central focus in your next local or state level campaign can play a part toward that goal.
David A Moore is a cross-media marketing junkie fueled by Mountain Dew. His habit is supported at Advantage Printing, a commercial print and marketing service provider serving churches, nonprofits and small businesses. He has provided marketing support on local and state level political campaigns since 2000.
Follow me on Twitter: www.twitter.com/davidamoore