The 3 Word Campaign Slogan

5 years ago

The 3-Word Campaign Slogan is like the campaign manager’s Staples ‘Easy Button.’  It’s short.  It’s to the point. It gets the job done.    If you’re running a political campaign, it’s just the silver bullet you need.  So how do you pick the right three words?

Well, if you’re following the GOP Campaigner Planbook, you know that you need three main themes, or ‘points,’  to focus your campaign in a manner that aligns well with both your candidate’s values and the communities wants/needs.  You can also check out my post on campaign messaging.  This is accomplished by:

  1. Determining and prioritizing what’s important to the voters in your district.
  2. Prioritizing what’s important to your candidate/campaign.
  3. Finding the overlap on the above two lists.

Now you want to find the top three items on the list that match.  Keep in mind, your campaign doesn’t have to be about your candidate’s number 1 pet issue.  Likewise, choosing a second or third priority issue as your campaign’s focus doesn’t mean you value your first priority any less.  All this process does is line up your candidate’s priorities with those of the district voters.

Why do we have to go through this rigamaroo?  Well, you’re not going to win with an unpopular, boring or irrelevant issue, no matter how much the candidate pounds his drum.  Likewise, trying to get a candidate to champion an idea that he doesn’t truly believe in will come off fake and forced, not to mention he won’t be as capable at thinking on his feet about the issue – and that turns voters off.

So back to the 3-word campaign slogan.  Let’s use an example.  Say you’ve chosen these top three issues:

  1. Small businesses have been closing left and right. You want to incentivize entrepreneurship (we’ll call in a ‘incentive program,’ because voters like that sort of thing.  But we’re Republicans, so those ‘incentives’ will probably be a series of tax cuts and credits that roll back previous administrations’ tax hikes).
  2. The city parks aren’t well cared for, are run down, and thus attract a ‘bad element.’
  3. The public schools are filled over capacity.  Teachers are overburdened and under-equipped.

There are a couple of ways you can go – literal or conceptual.

The literal method works really well for executive offices like mayors and town managers, while the conceptual method works well for offices like councils and state representatives.  I think voters are more impressed with the literal method because it’s very honest and straightforward (which is the opposite of what they expect from a politician), but it doesn’t really matter which way you go, so long as you are reflecting those 3 key points you’ve chosen.  Rather than explain what each is, here’s an example that illustrates it:

  • Literal – Small business, Parks, Schools
  • Conceptual – Prosperity, Recreation, Education

Get it?  With the first, you’re putting a stake in the ground and saying ‘this is exactly what I plan to do.’  With the second, you elude to those things (which will be repeatedly expounded upon in your PR, advertising and public speaking) and you gain an added versatility with conceptual words that allows you to draw on others’ ideas and helps the voter accept the message with their own spin on those values.

The 3-Word Slogan is optional.  There are many other things you can do.  However, if you’re stuck for ideas, you’re trying to cram too much into one sentence, or you need to get the job done fast, the 3-Word Campaign Slogan Strategy is guaranteed to solve the problem.

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