How To: Distribute Leaflets in Letterboxes
One good and cost efficient way to get the Pirate message out, is through distributing leaflets to letterboxes (apart from in the USA, where anything placed in a mail box must be stamped). This article assumes you have access to leaflets – we will discuss how to make your own in another article which will be linked here when it has been published.
If your party has a broad spectrum of policies and you have access to several different leaflets then you can use clues from the house and surrounding area to choose an appropriate subject to increase the impact of your leaflet. Some examples of targeting your leaflets would be:
- If you saw play equipment it would mean you leave a leaflet that focuses on children and education
- A neat and well kept garden might mean retired people live there and a leaflet on health policy or pensions might be more appropriate
- Solar panels on the roof means they might be more interested in energy policy
Should you meet a resident during your walk do not hesitate to explain that you are from the Pirate Party and have some copies of your platform and manifesto with you to give to people that show an interest. Small gifts, such as some Pirate Party logo pens or stickers, are also useful when you meet someone. Another tip is to wear a badge identifying you as belonging to the Pirate Party whilst walking around. Should anyone become aggressive towards you – smile and walk away.
Always make sure that your leaflet has contact information for you local chapter. A stamp with a URL pointing to the local web page or contact details can help you win new voters but also new members. If there is a “beware of the dog” sign and the letterbox is not at the gate you can assume the dog is not dangerous. Owners of dangerous dogs have their letterboxes at the gate or they would not receive their regular mail.
If you see a notice asking for ‘no leaflets or advertising’ then please respect it. Annoying people does not encourage them to vote Pirate. Avoid leafleting in rain unless you can protect your leaflets from becoming soaked with water – soggy leaflets are seldom read. A campaign bag – see photo – is very useful in this regard. The German Pirate Shop (German language) will soon be able to deliver outside Germany and in standard PP colours. Another option is using the Swedish shop which can also ship abroad. Do you know any more pirate shops that ship products internationally? Let us know in the comments section.
Use google maps to plan and record which streets have been leafleted. This helps avoid covering the same houses if you are working as a team and over several days. If you cannot cover a whole area try to leaflet the area for specific polling stations. This will allow you to see how effective your work has been after the election by comparing them to the results of stations whose areas were not leafleted (my local chapter did this in the recent elections in Lower Saxony in January 2013 and found a 20-30% increase in votes cast for the Pirate Party). Suggest this to other local chapters in your area and use the combined analysis to help plan your next campaign. Make sure to include this part in your post-campaign analysis.
Featured image: Laura Dornheim delivering campaign literature in Lower Saxony January 2013
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About Andrew Reitemeyer
I am a New Zealand citizen but am currently living in Lower Saxony in Germany and a member of the Pirate Party there and active in my local chapter. I joined in April 2012 once I found out that non citizens were welcome to join and become active members of the Party. By trade I am a programmer and also translate German texts into English and will mainly be active in this respect for the Pirate Times. I hope to be writing articles from time to time and will be part of the Facebook admin team. Politically I come from the libertarian left and have, up to now, not regarded any political party as having a solution for the democratic deficit that envelops the world. With the advent of the Pirate Party, which truly embraces grass roots democracy, I have found a political home. The Pirate Times is a way I can contribute to furthering the Pirate message around the world. Skype: frithogar