Effective Campaigning

The key to election success is campaigning - getting your name and message out to your voters, and convincing them to back you rather than the other candidates. We've collected advice and tips on how to campaign successfully and effectively to Imperial students.

Strong Manifestos

Your manifesto is a written statement of your beliefs, aims and policies - it's your opportunity to sell yourself to the voters. For many voters, your manifesto could be the only information about you they will see during the election campaign. So it's important to make the most of it!

Every candidate can write a manifesto that will be shown to students as they cast their vote. The manifesto can be up to 250 words long, accompanied by a picture of you, as well as social media and website links, and a single A4 PDF about you and your campaign if you choose to use them.

Here are our tips for writing an excellent manifesto:

  • Get straight to the point - Drop any unnecessary introductions or background information about you unless it's relevant to the role.
  • Set out your vision - and back it up with clear examples of what you want to achieve
  • Put yourself in their shoes - think about what would influence you to vote for someone if you weren't a candidate
  • Use your experience - if there are times you have shown leadership, made a difference, or solved a problem, mention it
  • Keep it sharp - a good manifesto is concise, free from cliches, and original
  • Drop the in-jokes - your friends are probably going to vote for you anyway!
  • Stay positive - talk about why you're good, not why the others are bad. The voters will just think you're petty rather than constructive, and it'll cost you votes.

Effective Campaigns

In previous years, as many as 8000 students have cast their vote in the Leadership Elections - that's over 45% of the student body, the highest turnout rate of any students' union in the United Kingdom. That means you'll need to get your message out to a lot of people - whether it's your whole year group, your whole department, faculty, or even the whole of College itself.

Campaigning in Person:
  • Take 'Student Voice' literally - one of the most effective campaigning methods is the lecture shoutout - ask the lecture for two minutes at the start or end of the lecture, then tell the room who you are, why they should vote for you, and just as importantly, how to vote!
  • Go where the voters go - whether it's a departmental common room, computer labs, the JCR, or other high-traffic areas. Be there, and be visible
  • Call for backup - bring friends along as campaigners, and don't forget to be grateful for their contribution!
Campaigning in Media
  • Be visible online - candidates are free to use their own social media accounts for campaigning. Please note that candidates are not permitted to post on Facebook groups asking for votes, as this is considered spamming. This applies to mailing lists too - no spamming your course or department's inboxes.
  • Print isn't dead yet - You can put posters up (but only on actual poster boards!) - these will be highly visible to students walking around campus. You can also use flyers and leaflets (while staying within budget!). Please note that no stickers are permitted as they can damage surfaces permanently.
  • Be innovative - some of our best campaigns have been characterised by clever ideas such as stunts, online videos, catchy slogans, and other flashes of inspiration. Think: how will you stand out from the crowd?