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How to launch your political career if you have a disability

Woman with disability in Red Blazer Wearing Black Framed Eyeglasses
Photo: Pixels

Are you considering making a run for office? People with disabilities have long been underrepresented, but that means it’s increasingly important to take an active role in politics. If you feel called to a position but aren’t sure how to get started, read on for some helpful tips below:

Choose Your Affiliation

If you haven’t already done so, the first thing you should do is choose your political party. While this sounds simple on the surface, many issues have gray areas, and there is a lot of party overlap. You might find you agree with one party on one issue but not another, and you might even think a different solution altogether is the answer. Choose the issues you feel most passionate about to help guide your affiliation.

Find Learning Opportunities

 One way to get a solid first step into the political arena itself is to volunteer on behalf of a political campaign. By spending time on the inside, you can learn more about the way a campaign is run and what all is involved. Connect with a candidate you support and believe in, and find out what capacity you can fill. You might do any number of things, like make phone calls, work the polls, compile campaign materials, and so forth.

Another way to gain knowledge, build your skills, and improve your leadership ability is to earn an MBA degree. Online programs are designed to fit with your schedule so you can earn your degree while beginning to develop a campaign strategy.

Develop Your Goals and Strategies

Most people win their first election at a local level, and that’s a wise place to start your first campaign. Begin with developing your campaign strategy. As Network for Good explains, this involves outlining your overall goals, getting a good feel for the political climate, and laying out a series of milestones toward reaching your goals. You’ll need a clear message for your campaign, and you’ll need to work toward your goals on a daily basis.

Early on in your fledgling campaign, start assembling a killer team. This might include a campaign manager, fundraising consultant, communications director, and media consultant. Look for individuals who believe in your stance, have experience in politics, and who have the time and energy to devote to your campaign.

Establish Goals, Messages, and Milestones

Your overall goals will dictate your campaign message. For instance, if you’re advocating for your town’s business district to enhance accessibility, you would work that into your campaign message and how it will benefit those businesses and the town as a whole. From there, you would frame your milestones. This might involve wooing a certain number of area business leaders to join your platform and/or donating to your cause.

Market Your Message

Thanks to yard signs and commercials, chances are you’re well aware of political marketing, but working this through from the inside out is a different matter. The Campaign Workshop notes your slogan is at the heart of things, and you’ll want to develop one that resonates with your ideals yet meshes with the current political climate.

From there you can start working on the many campaign materials you’re familiar with—yard signs, banners, posters, internet ads, and so forth. Of course, digital marketing is also crucial. Use various social media platforms to your advantage by hiring a social media marketing expert. From setting up to managing your profile, an expert can ensure that you maintain an active social media presence, which can increase your chances of attracting more followers.

Your campaign can easily enhance your social media pages (without having to hire an expert) by creating a colorful and attractive banner with an online banner creator. Choose from thousands of professionally designed banner templates and customize them to your needs.

Once you have a sound marketing strategy, get the word out! Your team will arrange for you to speak at various events, give interviews, and engage your supporters in many different ways. Always keep your overall goals in mind, and present a message that is clear, no matter what comes your way.

If you’re ready to make a change in the world through politics, plan a gradual ascent. Find like-minded people, get a feel for how things work, and decide what official role will mesh with your goals. Entering politics is a challenging proposition, but one that good people can still succeed at.

About the Author

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Rob Woods

Rob Woods is a dad from Philadelphia, USA. He is passionate about raising his two children and enjoys working on DIY projects. Rob is the co-creator of Fix It Dads which offers tips for home improvements.