By Contributing Author Alyce Auman
Marketing and Outreach Tactics
“YOU’RE ONE OF THOSE LIBERTARIANS?”
This question that was presented to me today has pushed me to make a final decision on what I’m going to write about routinely. It has been a commonly known uphill battle trying to spread the Libertarian message. The thing is, most Americans ARE Libertarians, and don’t even realize it. How many of you were ever on the right or left, disagreed with a few of their stances, but couldn’t quite pinpoint what you would be other than Democrat or Republican? How many of you took the smallest political quiz, or something similar, and realized that there are thousands of others out there that think just like you and they call themselves “Libertarians?” Today I was sitting through another exciting team building project at work and we had to write down fun random facts about ourselves and then the supervisor put all the facts onto a list and passed it out. Then, our coworkers had to guess who each fun fact belonged to. At the end of the game, it was revealed that I was “that Libertarian”. A coworker turned to me, laughed in a friendly way, and said “You’re one of those Libertarians?” I asked “what do you mean by one of THOSE libertarians?” She said, well, you know, they are so rare.” (Commence the agonizing chest pains and thoughts of sadness about how much better the quality of life could be) Now, she wasn’t being rude, and I don’t know why this surprised me. I live in New York State, one of the most statist states of all. I have been chatting for the past couple of years to my LP family around my home city, Buffalo, about the dire need for an outreach plan to go out and speak to people about our ideals. Sitting around monthly business tables and talking about bylaws and candidates is great, but if we are the only people who know about our message, then we will always just be a special club. One thing that I have found to be true with most Libertarians is that they know their stuff. We have many political science majors, economics majors, and so forth. You can ask a Libertarian mostly anything about theory, history, books, economics, laws, etc. and they will have a fancy answer prepared. How to talk to people? The DESIRE to talk to people? That’s a whole other story. When they do, the first people to tear them apart for trying are…………..fellow Libertarians. We need to do better.
UNDOING WHAT HAS BEEN DONE
The left and right have had such a stronghold over the media and have had many years to build their money up enough to make sure that their sales pitches and lies are spread everywhere all day, every day. In advertising, this is referred to as “Repetition Advertising”. The other political parties have mastered this concept and it’s something we really need to study and get better at.
SPREADING IDEALS IS ADVERTISING……….
Repetition advertising is a technique used in sales and advertising that is based upon a theory that if people see something at least 9 times, they will remember it, or acquire an interest in it. (this number is varied among different sources) After this stage of grabbing a potential customer’s attention, the next stage is to make the customer trust you and see a need in what you are selling. The goal is to become the first thought that people have when they think about your product. Brand familiarity and comfort with the brand and its benefits. You have to be believable, trustworthy, and have people have their interest sparked with what you have to sell them. Walking around saying “Taxation is Theft” to the standard American is not going to sell anyone anything except that you hate paying taxes. Is that all the Libertarian party stands for? Is that the one thing that we wish to stick in people’s minds after walking away from a conversation with us?
THOUGHTS? GIVE ME FEEDBACK!
Let’s get better at selling our product. We all know that advertising costs money. We all know that the other 2 parties have money and both corporations and people in their pockets. That’s why we need to concentrate harder on guerilla marketing. If you are unfamiliar with this term, guerilla marketing using low-cost, unconventional marketing tactics. The internet and Facebook are big with Libertarians, and they are great tools, however Guerilla marketing is much more than just those tools. During national campaigns, we do get a little creative. Signs waves, YouTube and occasionally a publicity stunt or two. How about things like educational community outreach efforts? What kinds of things have worked for you? Have you shared your techniques with other Libertarians to try in their areas? Different towns, cities, states have different demographics, so not everything will work in each location, but sharing of information is a great thing to do, even as just a conversation starter. If you’re like me, I’ve had 100 ideas, but cannot seem to ever find the extra set of hands that I would need to pull off some of the ideas. Lately, I have been thinking about the advice of a fellow Libertarian woman who I admire greatly. She once told me “don’t wait for others to join you, just do it yourself.” (Yes, I’m talking about you, Sarah Stewart aka Sarah Daggers). Why didn’t I think of that? This is a typical thing us women do in our regular lives, right? Maybe it’s because I have a lot of other things going on in life. Maybe it’s because I haven’t pinpointed what works for me. Maybe it’s because it’s easier to do things in a team so that the spotlight isn’t all on you. Whatever the reason is, we need to get past it. Nothing ever worth it was easy; no movement in history that was worth it was easy. How many people in history can you think of that started something by themselves or a small group of people? It’s time for us to learn to talk to people. A very smart man once said that it’s easy to point out the problems, but what about offering solutions to the problems? (Thanks, Larry Sharpe) This is so true. I’m sure that everyone can agree that starting off by drawing up a bulleted solutions guide as quick talking points shouldn’t be too hard for Libertarians to do? We are all about the logic. Also, let’s stop trying to convert Democrats and Republicans. Why? They are set in their ways. Also, in recruiting people from the other parties, we sometimes face people trying to come in and bring their ideals from their old parties that don’t quite fit, but they will keep trying to shove the triangle into the circle and make it fit. If a few jump on board along the way, great. Do you know who the target market should be? The target market should be the people who have NOT been voting, or vote as Independents. Why? These people realized the other 2 parties were a lie, or didn’t buy into them to begin with. They are likely Libertarians in their beliefs if they don’t line up with the progressive or forceful ideas from the other 2 parties. These people just don’t realize it because we aren’t getting our message out there, and if we are, we aren’t doing it enough. We also need to make sure that where we DO agree with the other 2 parties, we are working WITH THEM. It cannot be an “us vs. them” effort in this country because we will struggle to make friends with people when we are walking around seemingly “holier than thou”. There is nothing that says you are disrespecting your party if you join an event set up by another party and back them in that particular event. I’m not talking about supporting them financially or assisting them in recruitment events. I’m talking about showing up for individual rights events that us Libertarians are all about. People will realize our beliefs if we are out supporting our causes. There have been many successful Libertarian candidate wins recently, let’s keep that momentum going. And, hey, have some fun with it! Get creative! Share with the rest of us what worked for you! You can reach me on Facebook on my political page Alyce Auman, Liberty Activist, send me a message. You can also reach out to me on my page Western New York Liberty Initiative to talk about what worked for you. Other methods of contact are available upon request.
I spent years trying to figure out how to reach out and help within my community, state, and country in the best way possible. I have always been involved with things within a church family, but I recognize that not all people that I wanted to help or have a relationship with are religiously affilated. I always watched politics and as I became more involved in public jobs, outreach, and furthering my education, I was able to find myself on a permanent road to being awake when it comes to the world as a whole. I have voted in both the Democrat and Republican Parties, considering myself more of an Independent than anything else, until I found the Libertarian Party. The Libertarian Party Platform and ideology made so much sense to me and I wished that I had come across it a long time ago. I’ve worked in the Criminal Justice field, the Banking field, Youth Counseling, and many other roles until I most recently began working at the College that I am soon to graduate from. I have an Associates degree in Criminal Justice, a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration (in 4 weeks), and a whole lot of education from the school of Hard Knocks. My desires are to continually seek to learn every day from others and also to maintain a positive atmosphere around me where I can help people also learn and grow together. Community, compassion and love are very important to me. I believe that most people are good. I believe that we, as a community, need to try to seek out how to become better, but we need to start on an individual basis with self ownership and self responsibility. When you learn to maintain these traits, the likelihood of success in life, and the feelings of confidence and independence, are much higher than if you lean onto others as a crutch on a continual basis. My current involvement in the Libertarian Party has taught me a lot about Outreach and I have become more involved from supporting campaigns with petitioning and other campaign roles, as well as coming up with or joining with others in efforts to spread the ideas of self-reliance. I believe that Voluntaryism is the best answer when it comes to how we deal with each other.