Austin Trip, Day 3: Annel Gonzalez (June 2, 2012)


If I could describe todays experience at the New Politics Forum I would have to say it was complete information OVERLOAD! But the good kind of information, the type that inspires you to learn even more.

We began our morning by learning how to create a message that will really be heard by our voters. We learned how to hear and understand where it is they are coming from and what it is they want. Then they explained how to frame the message so that it will reach deep to their core and plant a seed that will be both beneficial to our campaign and their own interests.

Parag Mehta and Jessica Colon Discuss Communication

And since we don’t have an unlimited budget waiting to be spent, we also learned about how to “make the ask” and fundraise. I felt confident that I fully comprehended the information. It wasn’t until we broke off into partners to practice asking for a donation that I understood how difficult it can be!

The NPF reminded me of the importance of being educated, whether it is about our own candidate in a campaign or our opponent, and an educated citizen is a powerful citizen. The civic duties we have for were explained very well throughout the lessons. We have a duty to not keep knowledge to ourselves but to share it with others to inform them of how government affects them and how they are a key component of the political process.

We learned the value of honesty, truth, and consistency. Our credibility and our respect can only be earned if we are always truthful in our message. Our media today makes it a risky strategy for a candidate to tell an outright lie. They are constantly being recorded and photographed, and their every word carries much weight. One misinterpreted sentence can ruin an entire campaign! It is vital that we do not deviate from our message.

In the end elections are all about who we can reach, how we connect to them and whether or not we did it at the right point in time. Time can make all the difference in a political campaign: in the words of Parag Mehta, “Time is the one thing we cannot get more of.” Our timeline should be strategically planned and carefully executed.

I thoroughly enjoyed today’s lessons! Thus far this has been a great experience.


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