Why print matters for political campaigns

Think of political campaigns. What images spring to mind? Crowds of people waving placards? Local councillors knocking on your door? Huge posters emblazoned with manifesto messages – such as Barack Obama’s famous ‘Hope’ poster…

Why do we remember such things? These iconic images fill our newspapers and TV screens, our billboards and buses. They become the very fabric of our social and cultural history. From Brexit today, to Barack Obama yesterday.

The one constant of all this? Print.

Digital is hugely important to political campaigning. But with print you can create something tangible – something your supporters can hold over their heads or pin in their windows.

Explore this and other advantages of offline marketing – informed by creative experts, Professor of the Creative Industries Phil Cleaver, and Radim Malinic, creative director at Brand Nu.

Or dive straight into our dedicated election printing page today.

Show your commitment with leaflets

Local councillors regularly hand-deliver printed leaflets within their ward, to keep residents informed about what they’ve been doing – both in the run up to an election and throughout the year. This shows they’re active in the community all-year-round. Hand-delivering leaflets also provides the chance to speak with voters.

More impactful than unopened emails

A leaflet dropping through the door can have a much greater impact than an unopened email. Someone will at least pick it up from the floor. Get the design and content right and hopefully they’ll read the leaflet to find out more about your campaign.

People can hold and feel it

Someone holding your leaflet will see the effort that has gone into designing, printing and delivering it. Be sure to invest time in producing something with quality – it will say a lot about your party.

“Winning the trust of the people with an authentic presentation of your politics is now a vital endeavour for any party,” says Phil Cleaver.

How to distribute leaflets – our guide

Create presence through posters

We’ve already mentioned the importance of posters to political campaigning – and the impact of one in particular: Barack Obama’s Hope poster.

The Obama poster captured the imagination of millions of people in 2008 and helped him rise to power – becoming a cultural phenomenon along the way.

They may not become a cultural phenomenon. But at a local level, posters can really help keep the name, face, and messages of your election campaign in people’s minds in the run up to the vote.

Around election time, posters are not only put up in the relevant constituency, but also posted to supporters  to display them in their window.

Combine print and digital to create a buzz

Digital has completely transformed the landscape of political campaigning. We’re not in any way denying that. But to get the maximum impact, print and digital should be combined.

You need to be everywhere, so you’re in everyone’s mind all the time,” says Radim Malinic.

Only by harnessing the power of both print and digital can you effectively do this.

Let’s look again at the Obama poster. This started life in print – created by LA artist Shepard Fairey. It appeared on T-shirts, mugs and of course posters.

But it only realised its true potential when shared online, going viral and becoming a cultural phenomenon.

“It’s important that posters are designed with the digital world in mind,” says Phil Cleaver.

“Sharing on social media is incredibly important for political campaigns, and to remain consistent it’s best that the same design is used both online and as physical posters.”

Boost your brand visibility

Political parties are essentially brands. The aim of every brand is to increase visibility, boost sales and dominate the market. Aside from sales, political campaigns have the same goals and print can help to achieve them.

At rallies and campaign events, physical printed materials like wide roller banners and signs are always present. These instantly identify with people and TV cameras can pick up the more creative, eye-catching designs – while photos and videos sometimes go viral online.

A more subtle approach is handing out business cards at networking and community events. These can be branded with party colours and information, so people can get in touch to find out more.

Once again, a business card must be physically thrown away and will most likely end up on a pin board or on someone’s in-tray – always in reach. That’s more than can be said for a deleted email.

Consistency is key to make an impact

We have talked about different methods of reaching out to your audience. From business cards and posters, to leaflets and even social media posts.

There’s a lot going on here, and consistency is key.

Phil Cleaver says creating a familiar style across all assets is crucial for creating authenticity. “People are more likely to trust something that feels cohesive,” he explains.

Ready to get started?

At Solopress, we print posters, flyers, banners and signs – all with free UK standard delivery. Find everything you need at our dedicated election printing page.