Image And Presentation
In the modern political world, much has changed. The advent of social media and wider online media coverage brings with it some challenges. While you might argue it's about what I stand for and not how I present myself. If only it were so.
Just think about it as a job interview. You don't go to an interview not looking your best, Unlike an interview panel of a handful of people at most, your interview panel is your electorate.
If you want them to take you seriously, then first impressions are important.
How can we help?
It's time to put your faith in a team who understands both the messaging imperative and how best to present that image for media purposes. As we have discussed before, this is about marginal gain. It's about getting the best out of social media, by understanding how to message and how to use the various algorithms to get more bang for your effort.
What can we do for you?
One of our key strengths is helping you to present your vision in a way that connects with your voters. The current election cycle is probably one of the most challenging in modern US history. If Democrats are to build a foundation to build a better tomorrow, then down ballot races need to be taken as seriously as Senate and Congressional runs. It's about developing a set of resources that allow candidates to present a polished assertive image that says 'I take your concerns seriously, and you are in safe hands if you put your faith in me.
Our aim is to share our knowledge of how to connect emotionally with voters in a way that leaves them in no doubt, you are to be taken seriously. Running for office is always a gamble and even the best of candidates can come up short, but as the late great John Lewis said, "You may get weary, you may fall down, but you must GET UP and continue to fight". Democracy in American is in the fight of its life and it is people like you stepping forward that will help preserve it.
As part of our vetting process, we ask candidates to submit a 30 second piece to camera. This helps us get a better feel for how you present on camera. We will as part of that process provide feedback and pointers to help you moving forward. We ask you to introduce yourself, tell us which race you are in and share a short overview of your platform.
Below we have provided some general advice on producing basic pieces to camera which we hope you will find useful.
Creating your piece to camera
We've provided some framing examples, so you can see an ideal framing of a subject for creating your piece to camera. If you have a smartphone you have all you need to make a decent recording. The more recent your phone the better and higher quality result. Just be sure to use your rear facing camera.
When you are recording your initial evaluation piece to camera, you should record in portrait mode (your phone in a vertical position).
Ideally you should record against a smooth plain background. For perfect results, consider investing $50 on a green screen. Phones do work quite well in normal light, You should try and avoid recording in a dark room if possible and if you really want to get an even better result recording indoors, you could spend $30 or so on a donut light with a holder for your phone. If you are going to use short videos to keep your voters informed, you may well find this a worthwhile investment.
We know using the rear facing camera can be a pain if you have nobody to hold the phone for you, but little tripods to hold your phone are less than $20 and can make a big difference.
WHAT TO SAY
Finally let's look at what you have to say.
Evaluation piece to camera
The content of the evaluation piece is simple,
Any piece to camera needs to be planned and it's often wise to create a script. This serves two purposes. Firstly, it allows you to think about what you would like to say and provides opportunity to create a starting point covering all you want to say,
Recording in portrait
This general advice is aimed at getting you started, so that moving forward we can work with you to improve the way you use visual messaging to better share your vision. Short pieces to camera are an art form and we will help you get the best out of this valuable campaign tool.
You then need to learn how to edit and refine it. It's not unlike a twitter post. The limitations placed on the post by character limitations, forces you to write more concisely and you should apply the same discipline to creating a script. The magic timing is around 30 seconds max. If you can work to this demanding limitation and deliver all the key points of your message, then you will be on the right track.
Another classic mistake, is rushing through the script to meet the time limitation. This often means that the script needs refining further to enable you to deliver the message at a steady conversational pace.
It's important to be concise and to the point. Introduce yourself and the office you are running for. Then a short pause and give an introduction to your campaign platform. As stated above, you should aim for around a 30 second piece.
The key to recording your message is to make it feel conversational. Just imagine you were sitting down over a coffee with a friend and giving them an insight into your plans. This is really effective when you are doing an introductory message. It will appear natural and easy to relate to.
For guys, it's sometimes effective if you feel comfortable, to not wear a suit and a tie. Casual but smart should be the rule of thumb. Another key consideration is not to be too far away from the microphone on your phone and be aware that reflective surfaces can make you sound like you are in the shower, so a plain wall in a room with soft furnishings will provide best results.
Once you have completed your piece to camera, the next step is to upload it to us for evaluation. Just reach out to one of the team and advise them you are ready to upload your video and they will provide you with a link to do that.