So you’ve decided that it’s time to make your mark on student life and you’re going to campaign in your SU election. Good on you!
Anyone who puts themselves forward to help their fellow students is to be applauded – and what’s more, campaigning can be a rewarding and educational experience in its own right (as well as a lot of fun). Here are our top tips for running a successful student union election campaign.
Social media is a great tool – use it!
Strong social media game is an absolute essential for an SU election campaign. Social platforms are great for getting the word out there (and it helps if you’ve got some smart branding and snappy slogans, too).
Posting your promotional material across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can help you reach out to people who otherwise might not know about your campaign. Just make sure they aren’t sick of hearing about you by the end of it!
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there
Again, making yourself visible – in person as well as online – is really important. Make sure you speak to as many people as possible around campus, and what’s more, make yourself approachable.
Some of your fellow students are likely to be more comfortable approaching you privately to discuss your campaign, so make yourself available to them.
Make sure you’ve got a strong team behind you
A good team is indispensable to a successful SU campaign. The run up to an election involves quite a lot of work, so having the solid support of friends and housemates can help take a lot of the weight from your shoulders.
It also means you’ve got people who are only too happy to help spread the word about how brilliant you are. So don’t be afraid to badger your mates!
Try not to push yourself too hard
Following on from the previous point, campaigning can be fun and you’ll learn a lot from it, but at the same time it can be quite draining, physically and mentally. Be careful not to overdo it, and if you feel you need to take a step back for a while, don’t be afraid to do so. Your wellbeing is far more important.
Put a great manifesto together
As part of your campaign, you’ll probably be asked to put together a brief manifesto. This should include a bit of background about you, why you’re running for the position and what you’ll do if elected. When you’re writing your manifesto, make sure it’s easy to read, looks good and gets straight to the point.
If you’re a political animal, then getting active in student politics can really stand you in good stead in your later life – Parliament is full of MPs who got their start on campus. But remember, losing SU elections (if it comes to that) isn’t the end of the world. Just fight the best campaign you can, and enjoy the experience. Good luck!