Like everything else in life, your campaign has been seriously upended by the current Coronvirus Crisis.
Social Distancing and Shelter in Place orders have completely disrupted traditional campaign activities.
Going door to door, holding town hall meetings, even meeting with groups of voters for coffee are all currently off-limits.
As I wrote in my previous article, 5 Ways to Still Campaign During the Coronavirus Crisis — your campaign needs to utilize your online assets.
If you don’t have a website, get one — like yesterday.
The same goes for a Facebook Page for your campaign.
Those are the two most essential things to have in terms of online assets right now.
You probably have other social media accounts you’re using, like Twitter or Instagram, and the advice here can be used on those platforms as well.
While it is hard to campaign as you normally would, you can still be campaigning online.
You just need to tailor the conversation to the realities of the moment and it should reflect by what you’re putting out their on your campaign’s social media platforms.
Here’s five things you as a candidate should be sharing on social media during the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
1. Support for Local Businesses
Local businesses are being hammered like has never happened before.
State and local governments are telling people to avoid going out to places they frequent, like restaurants and bars.
Small businesses that were thriving in February, have now seen their profits and possibly their future existences disappear in March.
One of the things you can do as a candidate is to let people know which businesses are still open in your community.
This demonstrates that you’re part of the community and you’re doing what you can to keep local places open and their workers on the job.
You should post pictures of yourself at some of these businesses – especially if you get food for take out.
It will demonstrate that you’re doing your part.
But be careful that there’s nothing in those photos that can be used to attack you for not taking social distancing, hygiene, or anything else seriously that helps slow the spread of the virus.
Sean Mill, a former client of mine who narrowly lost his race for City Council last year, is doing that with his campaign’s former Facebook Page.
2. Share Who’s Hiring
Nearly 3.3 million people filed for unemployment benefits last week alone.
That number is staggering.
America went from having pretty much full employment to having over three million people out of work in only a week!
There truly are great economic costs being inflicted upon our country and its communities as we fight the spread of this virus.
Fortunately, there are businesses that are hiring and need employees now.
So have other online retailers and pharmacies.
If any of these companies, or businesses in your community or not to far away, are hiring — share that information.
There are people desperate for work.
Yes, checks will be coming for most Americans from the federal government and unemployment benefits are going to be higher than usual — but that’s only going to go so far.
Americans are hard workers and those who just lost their jobs want to work now, not later.
Let them know where you might be able to land a job.
3. Support for Local Non-Profits
Non-Profit entities rely on donations for the work they do with the disadvantaged in our communities.
Those donations are their lifeblood.
And that lifeblood has effectively been cut off during this crisis.
People are holding on to their cash, losing their jobs, or worrying that they soon will.
If there’s a non-profit that you believe in that does good work in your community, then show them some love.
Use your online assets to display the good work they do and to solicit donations for them.
Not only will you be doing a good thing for a cause in which you believe, but it will also be a good way to practice a fundraising pitch and not have it be about yourself and your campaign.
And speaking of lifeblood…
4. The Need to Donate Blood
Social Distancing also delivered a major blow to America’s blood banks.
About 9,000 blood drives were canceled across the country due to our Social Distancing requirements.
Those cancellations prevented about 250,000 Americans from giving blood.
This crisis does not eliminate our hospitals’ need for blood.
Fortunately, the Red Cross is now scheduling blood donations to make up for those canceled blood drives.
And if you are someone who can give blood, then you should probably click that link before anyone else does.
Plus, a picture of you giving blood and encouraging others to do is a good way to demonstrate that you lead by example.
5. Useful and Truthful Information
Social media is an incredible tool for sharing information — especially with the continuing disappearance of local newspapers.
Sadly, too many people who use social media share a lot of lies, rumors, and misinformation.
Some do it because they don’t know what they are sharing isn’t true.
Others do it because they have an extremely hard time accepting facts on their face and need to imagine a grand conspiracy that explains what’s really happening in the world.
And yes, a very small number actually spread misinformation out of sheer malice and spite.
That’s why when you see some very dangerous misinformation on social media, it’s all right for you to challenge it.
You don’t need to get into a drawn-out debate or discussion.
You simply need to make sure that others see your comments and possibly question the validity of what the other person is sharing.
To do this you need to be very factual and not engage in any forms of name-calling.
As it’s important for people to have useful and truthful information about the novel coronavirus and Covid-19, that’s what you should be sharing.
It’ll make you a trusted source of information in your community.
And if people view you as someone they can trust, then they’ll also view you as someone they could vote for.