Tips and Tricks: Placards
If you want to use placards as part of a campaign or to advertise an event then you should make plans well in advance. Here we consider placards of a size that can be put up by one or two people for a reasonable cost.
First ask your local authorities about any restrictions as to where, and how big they can be and when they may be put up and any other advice they may have. Then get out a map and identify the places where the most vehicle and pedestrian traffic is likely to be. Go to these locations and identify suitable places to post or hang them. Then you can calculate how many you require and place orders from where ever you wish to obtain them or make them yourself if needs be remember to add a few extra to replace those that are damaged during the length of the campaign. If possible make a route so that you can easily drive, cycle or walk a route that lets you check up on and maintain them for the length of the campaign.
As mentioned above, areas of high traffic are to be preferred but you will have to take into account local laws and property rights. High traffic areas for vehicles are near intersections, railway crossings and feeder roads in built up areas. In pedestrian areas, bus stops, train stations, city centres and schools are places to think about. Good locations are trees, lampposts, street signs, fences, walls and (if available) boards specifically for displaying posters. If you are using private property get permission – also shop owners might consider putting one in their window if you ask. If on public property make sure you are not impeding the right of way or visibility and above all do no damage. Think about ease – ease of maintaining and removing them. Do not paste them directly onto walls and surfaces where they do not belong. We are Pirates not vandals.
This is something you will need to decide on taking into account things like cost, weather, time needed to put them up and the environment. Very popular are the new coroplast preprinted signs which resemble “plastic cardboard”, fibreboard which are more robust, probably more environmentally friendly but harder to put up and take more time as the posters must be pasted on by hand. (Tip: if you are disposing of old furniture the backing of cupboards and shelving units are often fibreboard). There are many other types but we are considering the most practical for Pirates on a budget. Cardboard is also an option where rain is not expected.
There are a variety of ways to affix them to lampposts, fences and the like. Depending on what sort, the best methods are in order of ease cable ties, wire and adhesive tape. What ever method you use you want to aim to have the maxim possible placard surface against the post and as tight as possible without ripping the material. One of the best solutions is to use two placards back to back with the post in the middle. This also allows for cable ties or wire to be fixed in such a way as to prevent the ends sticking out in an unsightly and even dangerous way. Use a ladder to place them high, beyond the reach of vandals and where they are not preventing road users from seeing. Record all the places where you have placed them and share them online where your team can find them for the purposes of maintenance and removal. Custom Google maps are one way of and Ehow have a tutorial on the subject. Use your smart phone to take pictures and note relevant details.
Try to put up your placards when traffic is at a minimum. Weekends and times that avoid commuter traffic are best. If you have to work in low light be sure to wear high-visibility vests. Avoid working in wet or icy conditions if using a ladder. If there are restrictions as to how long before an election you can hang them then you are in a race with other parties. Plan to get to the best spots first, before they are snapped up by the opposition.
Maintenance and Removal
During the length of the campaign arrange for regular inspection tours where damaged and stolen placards can be repaired and replaced. You can update the online map in case action must be taken at a later date when your are prevented by traffic or weather conditions from doing so on the spot. You will also find that wind and passing traffic will result in them being twisted from their optimal position. When removing the placards at the end of the campaign take care not to damage them and be sure to have a storage place where you can keep them safely for the next campaign.
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