Get Some Yard Signs by Cristina Sinclaire

By at August 31, 2012 | 1:04 pm | Print

Get Some Yard Signs by Cristina Sinclaire

Cristina Sinclaire Get some yard signs

The number one question people have when walking into a campaign office is often: “How can I get a yard sign?” Organizers have a love-hate relationship with yard signs, but they are a reality in our work. Remember, just like stickers and buttons, yard signs are a way to broadcast a message, but they don’t lead to votes. Got that? Yard signs don’t vote. It takes real people having face-to-face conversations, sharing stories, and motivating others to take action for a real victory. But, if you’re a candidate running on a smaller budget, or working for a campaign that has the budget to produce yard signs, there are some things you can do to get the most use out of this resource:

  • Don’t just give them away for free. Keep a list of who you are giving signs out to (their address, phone, name, and email), and use this list for fundraising and volunteer recruitment.


  • Place them strategically. If you only have a few signs, pay attention to where you’re putting them. It’s important to place signs in high traffic areas and main thoroughfares, but also in areas with a higher concentration of swing voters. If you don’t have supporters offering to put up signs, pick houses that would be ideal locations for signage and reach out to the homeowners to ask if they would be willing to display a sign. It’s a good way to bring in new people and get good placement all at once.


  • Keep it simple. Choose a strong, simple font. Match your logo with the colors on the sign for branding. Put your name in large letters and the office you’re running for in smaller letters (include your website). Make sure there is white space and it can be read at 25 mph.


  • Figure out how much this will cost. Plan ahead and order enough for the whole campaign at once to get a better rate. You could invest in double-sided signs so they can be read from both directions, and might look into waterproofing options if you live in a place with inclement weather.

Just remember – yard signs won’t bring volunteers to your office or drive folks to the polls. Go out in the community, meet people and share your ideas and reasons for supporting your campaign. Think of the yard sign as a conversation starter. Remember – yard signs don’t vote!

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Cristina Sinclaire, Program Assistant for the Voting Information Project at New Organizing Institute (NOI).  NOI trains organizers to build and manage effective movements by integrating tried-and-true community organizing, cutting-edge digital
strategy, and data-driven decision making. NOI provide free access to revolutionary tools, technologies, and research to help campaigns reach the next level.

New Organizing Institute Education Fund          1850 M St. NW, Suite 1100            Washington, D.C. 20036
Twitter  @ninasin


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