SUPPORT AND CAMPAIGNING
WHAT SUPPORT IS AVAILABLE?
To be successful in winning the election, you’ll need to convince your fellow students that you’re the best person for the job. That might sound like a challenge, but there are plenty of ways we can help you along the way.
Read! We’ve tried to put all the information you would need here on our website. Make sure you thoroughly read through everything here, hopefully, it’ll answer a lot of questions.
Thinking of Standing Workshops and Manifesto Drop-ins
While nominations are open, we’ll be running a series of optional workshops and drop-in sessions for people considering standing in the Elections. We’ll explain more about getting nominated, what the roles involve, the Elections process (including regulations and restrictions), how voting works, what a manifesto is, and campaigning. There will also be an opportunity for you to ask questions. Check out the full timetable for details.
Please note double sided will cost double the price
Download the Costs here
WRITING YOUR MANIFESTO
Think about why you want to run, a manifesto is the main document where you'll be able to explain to everyone why they should vote for you. A well-written and interestingly designed manifesto can make a huge difference in influencing people to vote for you. It’s important that you spend some time over your manifesto, as it might be the only information that voters will have about you at the crucial moment before they vote! We’ll display all candidates’ manifestos on the website (brunelstudents.com/elections/whosrunning/), so they’ll be available for the whole world to view! You’ll also need to keep it snappy, as manifestos can’t be more than one side of A4 (You can upload your manifesto here), you can also write a shorter version which you upload on the nomination form which is limited to 500 words, text only.
Example 1 Example 2 Example 3
The focus should be on what your KEY MESSAGES are, together with what “injustices” you can identify to encourage voters to agree with you and recognise that you’re the person to change things (eg. Currently, there are not enough core textbooks for engineering in the library. Vote for me and I will lobby the university to increase the number purchased, ensuring that when you want to see that core text, you can”). Remember to ensure you inform voters of the following:
- Who you are and what you are running for
- Any relevant experience you have
- What you would like to achieve if elected; what do you want to DO in your role
- What are the key areas of injustice or problems you have identified that you want to change?
PHOTOS & VIDEOS
When you submit your nomination, we’ll ask you to submit a photo of yourself. This is your chance to show voters who you are, as we’ll be displaying these on our website along with your manifesto. You can use a photo you already have, or take a new one for the campaign. We’d suggest it’s of you on your own, as you don’t want to confuse people with a group shot. Make sure it’s clear and well lit. If you want to be taken seriously, consider that in your photo. If you want people to see how fun you can be, try making your photo fun. Just remember, the people viewing it don’t know you and you don’t want them to judge you too fast! We’ll be cropping all photos to be square, so make sure you submit it as a square.
You are welcome to create and circulate your own election video promoting yourself. You can also have a simple video made for you and uploaded to the Union's youtube channel by booking a spot here.
While we can’t help you design your publicity, we will help get it printed. Each candidate is given a printing allowance and you can use this how you feel is best for your campaign. Whether you want A3 posters or hundreds of flyers – it’s up to you. You’ll be asked to fill in a form telling us what you want, whether you want colour or black and white. You’ll also need to send us your design!
It’s important to remember you’ll be competing for attention with all the other candidates, so you’ll need to make your designs stand out.
The places you can put posters are limited, but we'll have a comprehensive guide coming soon.
Social media is a brilliant tool for promoting your candidacy; you can set up groups and events on Facebook and even have a twitter hashtag. Just remember to ensure you post your manifesto, links to the voting pages, and links to your elections video, also ensure your key manifesto points are clear.
CREATE A BRAND
Research suggests that you only have 7 seconds to make a first impression. Creating a brand around your campaign that communicates who you are and what you stand for is there for important. In addition; if all your publicity and promotion has the same branding, people will recognise it as promoting you, using a number of different brands could lessen the impact of your campaign.
Don’t be afraid to make your brand fun!
THINK ABOUT YOUR CAMPAIGN
You need to work out how you’re going to convince voters that you’re the best person for the job. With 15,000 + students with the potential to vote, it’s important to understand that they’ll all make their decision in a different way. Make sure you’re able to appeal to all of them by properly preparing your campaign. Obviously, we can help you along the way and there are a lot of routes that we’ll provide you with, but you should be prepared to use your imagination!
Your target audience
Think about who you are targeting, the message you put out will change depending on the groups of students you are aiming to target. Final year students are less likely to be interested in what you will do for them as they are usually leaving, however you can always encourage them to vote based on making a difference for students continuing to study at Brunel (or how about considering whether they intend to take up a Post Grad course, and find out what their needs might be?).
Ensure you have read the election regulations so you know what you can and cannot do. You also need to know where you are allowed to place your elections publicity and where you are allowed to campaign. The most important thing here is to feel comfortable ASKING if you don’t understand, or just want to check you’ve read it right. We provide multiple routes to check to understand, so ERC will interpret mistakes harshly (“oh I thought it meant this” is not much of an excuse).
Speak to people
If you choose to have a presence on campus during the voting week, it’s worth spending some time considering how you’re going to approach people and make sure anyone campaigning for you is giving out the right message.
The time you’ll have to speak to people is limited, as they may well be in a hurry to get somewhere. That’s where the elevator pitch comes in – imagine you only have the amount of time it takes to travel in an elevator, how would you sell yourself to someone at that time? Be quick, snappy and memorable (for the right reasons). Telling someone to simply “vote for me” isn’t going to cut it. Tell them what you’ll do for them if you’re elected. If you manage to get someone’s interest for longer than a few seconds, why not try asking their opinion on a topic, then see how you can answer that with your ideas and policies?
You: “Do you like cheese?”
You: “Well, if I win I’m going to lobby Subway to stop including cheese in their sandwiches!”
Don’t forget about your studies
It’s easy to get carried away with your campaign and forget about your academic commitments and it’s generally inevitable that candidates will miss some lectures. Therefore, it’s best to prepare in advance so you are not left behind.
Eat and Sleep
Forgetting to stay healthy by getting a good night’s sleep and eating a nutritious meal is something that is easy to do during elections, however; it is not advisable and can be detrimental to your campaign if you burn out early on.
Take steps to ensure you are looking after yourself:
Make a batch of food in advance, so you don’t have to cook when coming in from a hard day campaigning. It will also stop some of the temptations to eat a takeaway.
Ensure you plan a lunch break to have something to eat and relax.
Wear appropriate clothing for the weather, your personal comfort will affect your mood and this shows when talking to people.
Ensure you set time aside to get a good night’s sleep
Ensure your message is clear and to the point. No one wants to read pages and pages of words, so ensure your key points are obvious to anyone looking at your publicity. It’s also best to avoid complicated acronyms.
Tell people about what makes you different and talk about how you are going to achieve your aims and why you want to make those changes.
Get a group of friends and supporters to help your campaign. You can't be everywhere at once, so having a team will allow you to spread yourself around campus. Having a team will also allow you more time to look after yourself and attend to your studies.
However; you must ensure your campaign team knows the rules of election as any breaches by them will affect you. You also need to ensure they are clued up on the main messages of your campaign so they can effectively represent you to other students. Ensuring your campaign team know how to vote is also a must!
Know your electorate
Identify opportunity to gain less contested votes. In Spring 2018, 2472 students voted in the elections. There are currently around 15000 students registered at Brunel (and therefore close to this number eligible to vote). This means over 12000 untapped opportunities of support for your campaign- think about going after the votes that no one else has so far reached, think about what messages or campaign ideas would reach them, and what key thing could make them seek out the voting pages.