Last week Donald Trump declared his candidacy for President of United States. I know I should only be focused on Canadian politics…but when you have a race for President of the United States between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, how do you not follow it?

Last year I had an opportunity to work with Paul Cheng who ran for Mayor of London, Ontario. We came from being an unknown to placing second of 15 candidates.

Nine things that may surprise you about local politics

Big Words – Too many people use big words and political lingo. They do it to impress people. The average voter may not know what the lingo means. If you want to relate to your audience, talk the way they talk and not talk above them with fancy words.

Everyone is Valuable – No matter how big or how small team members roles are, everyone who is part of the campaign team is important.

Radio – Never underestimate the power of talk radio. A wide range of ages listens to talk radio.

Social Media Followers – Likes are not everything. As I have mentioned here, followers are not the only metrics of success. Just because you may have fewer followers than your competition, doesn’t mean your competition is as successful as you think they are.

TVs vs Computers – This was a surprising fact. Not everyone has the internet. We were really shocked. As the majority of the voting population is on social media, a large number of people are not.

Listening Skills – Listening to what people have to say is really important. Throughout the campaign, people spoke and we listened. Everyone has a story and their story needs to be told. So many voters felt they were never listened to and felt helpless when they had a problem and their comments, questions and pleas for help went unnoticed. We tried to listen to as many people as possible.

Crime is Everywhere – Unfortunately, crime happened during the election race. Election signs were not only slashed, but they were also stolen. Not only were the larger street signs vandalized, but lawn signs were stolen too. It was not uncommon for people to contact us to let us know they needed a replacement sign as their lawn sign was stolen.

Bullies are not Just Children – Bullies were everywhere. Not just in person, but also on social media, especially on Twitter. It was an eye opener to see how passionate voters would get over their choice of candidates and the things they would do and say to help get their choice be elected.

Work/Life/Balance – Even though we were busy every day, and they were long days, a work/life/balance wasn’t an option… it was mandatory! If we were not in optimal shape, we couldn’t perform well. It was important to not just work hard, but get sleep, eat well, rest and exercise.

As hesitant as I was working on a political campaign, it was an opportunity that I’m grateful to have had. Not only am I proud to call Paul my friend, but I learned a lot about myself. Never underestimate what you are capable of doing. You may surprise yourself you can do more than you thought. You may even develop new interests than can help you grow stronger.

Published On: June 22nd, 2015 / Categories: 2015, Community / Tags: , , /

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