Running your campaign

Safe campaigning during COVID-19

Local Government Victoria has released Safe Campaign Guidelines to provide information on how to campaign safely in COVID-19.

Your campaign activities must comply with the Victorian Chief Health Officer’s latest directions. You should check the rules and restrictions for your area every day.

View the Safe Campaign Guidelines booklet, (including overlay guidelines for stage 4).

 

Tips for campaigning

One-on-one voter meetings and community engagement are key to your campaigning efforts. You can also use communication channels, such as local newspapers and community radio, to reach and engage even more voters in your area.

Make sure your activities follow the COVID-19 restrictions and advice to minimise the health risk to yourself and your community. For example, you might need to meet with voters and conduct news interviews over the phone or a video call, rather than in-person.

Five tips for digital campaigning

Now more than ever, given the current restrictions due to COVID-19, using online channels to run your campaign is essential. Consider how to make the most of free exposure in your community via digital communication channels.
  1. Activate your presence on social media, by starting a candidate Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram page and posting regularly. Ensure your presence, tone and messaging is consistent and professional.
  2. Ask businesses or community groups in your area to do a ‘social media takeover’ for a day, and invite conversations from the community.
  3. Use the campaign hashtags #ItsOurTime #BeHer #AskHerToStand #StandForCouncil #SupportHer #VoteForHer in your digital campaigning.
  4. Add yourself to online community groups, such as your local ‘Good Karma Network’ group on Facebook. Engage with people and listen to their concerns.
  5. Consider online advertising as part of your campaign budgeting and strategy. Most advertising platforms have tools that enable you to reach specific people, according to their location and interests.

It’s important to get suitable headshots that you can use in your campaigning collateral and content.

During COVID-19, you will need to take headshots yourself, or with the help of someone in your household. You can use a smartphone to take good quality photos – you don’t need professional photography equipment. When taking your headshots, consider:

  • Background and space. If you’re taking your photo indoors, make sure that the background is free from any clutter that could appear distracting. Shooting outdoors, such as in your garden, is also a good option.
  • Lighting is important. If you take your photos indoors, find a room with a window. Position the camera next to the window and stand facing the window. If you’re shooting outdoors, the lighting is best in the early morning or late afternoon. Try not to take your head shot while standing in direct sunlight.
  • Stance. Focus on your expression and posture. Think about the emotion you want to express rather than striving for perfection.

Cyber abuse and online harassment

Experiencing online abuse can have a devastating impact on your wellbeing and sense of safety, and should be taken seriously.

Unfortunately, online harassment is a common experience of women in government and leadership positions.

Some examples of cyber abuse include:

  • Seriously offensive and shocking material
  • Targeted and persistent personal attacks
  • Posting someone’s personal information online without their consent
  • Threatening violence

While it can be a distressing experience to receive online harassment or ‘trolling’, navigating these difficulties with a set of guidelines will help protect your profile and integrity on social media.

If you receive online harassment:

  • Take a breath. Receiving online harassment can be anxiety-inducing and distressing. Take a moment to be calm while reading any negative online commentary.
  • Use the hide/report functions. Most social media platforms allow you to hide or report users who are abusive.
  • Ignore, scan or move on.
  • Set time limits. Limiting your screen time while campaigning will help you avoid online burnout.
  • Remember it perfectly appropriate not to respond. On emotive issues, facts may never be enough to change hearts or minds.
  • Check your answers before posting. If you decide to respond, keep it appropriate to your tone and your voice. Avoid a negative combative dialogue.
  • Have someone else, such as a campaign team member or friend, monitor your social media, to avoid any personal attacks that may be detrimental to your wellbeing.
Visit the eSafety Commissioner website for more information on cyber abuse and online harassment.

What to do if you feel unsafe

Contact your local police if you receive abusive or threatening messages to you, your family or your friends, and are concerned for your safety. If you feel immediately threatened or unsafe, call Triple 0 (000).

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