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Maximizing the effectiveness of
your campaign yard signs
by George Mussmann
(reference: Campaign Yard Signs)
Here are some tips to improve your use of yard signs in your
campaign for office.
I cannot remember exactly where or when I picked up these tips,
but I can confirm they work. I field-tested them in my two
campaigns for Alderman and three campaigns for Mayor of
O'Fallon [Missouri], all of which I managed to win from 1973 to
With that said, here goes:
1. Use only two high-contrast colors. I prefer day-glow orange, or bright red on white -- which stand out and can even be seen at
dawn and dusk.
2. It is not necessary to include your picture. While a picture
may look nice, they clutter the yard sign and pirate space from bigger text.
3. Use no more than three lines. Keep it simple and catchy -- but
not corny. Lead with biggest letters such as: "Make Muss Man
Mayor," "Elect Easter day," or "Young's Your Man."
4. Make some small stick-on labels (1 x 3 inches) with your
disclaimer "Paid for by...." and stick them on the lower right
hand of the yard sign. This won't detract from your message and will meet legal requirements.
5. Use a street map to locate your yard signs. Avoid having too many in one area and too few in others. Your record also reminds you where to pick up the
yard signs after the election.
6. Target corner locations as your first priority.
7. Identify and lock up sign commitments early. Each yard sign on a lawn is a lock for a couple of votes from that household and
provides a boost from spin-off to neighbors.
8. Whatever number of yard signs you choose, stage their
placement across your entire campaign area. This gives the
appearance of growing voter support and keeps your opposition
But make sure you don't violate any local ordinances or laws
because your yard sign could be yanked. By the time you fight them in court, the election will be over.
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Staging depends on the length of your campaign and how long
the local laws permit you to have your yard signs posted. Use a ratio.
For example, if you have 10 weeks for yard signs to be up, then:
10% of the campaign signs go up the 10th weekend prior to Election Day.
10% of the lawn signs go up the 9th weekend prior to Election Day.
And so on. And finally:
10% of the signs go up the last weekend before Election Day.
9. On your last weekend, if you have used up all your signs, yank
the first set of signs and re-erect them at your polling places the
evening prior to Election Day.
10. Win or lose, pick up all signs no later than the weekend after
|Read another article on use of yard signs, click here
Click here for information on available signs and a friendly source.
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