Laszlo Strategies offers leaders and activists the skills they need to win elections or to sell their issues to the public.
Our customized non-partisan private advocacy and campaign training seminars constitute the most cost-effective skills training programs for non-profit issue advocacy groups, candidates, officials, campaign professionals, corporations, political parties and associations.
In a focused and engaging environment, participants acquire the latest information on field-tested techniques and methods. With outstanding courses on grassroots lobbying, fundraising, research, communication, management, and media, Laszlo Strategies gives individuals and organizations the skills they need to win.
Strategy and Message Development
What are the fundamentals of a winning communications and campaign strategy? What are the most important issues? What must be avoided at all costs? How does a communications effort solidify its base while picking up swing voters?
From positioning to issue development, this course will give participants the framework and tools they need to develop the campaign strategy and message best suited to their candidate’s or political party’s campaign. A top political consultant will cover the steps necessary for effective voter communication. Participants will learn how to use simple yet strategic messages and how to maintain consistency on key issues to maximize their base and convince undecided and swing voters to vote for your candidate or political party.
What are the top issues in the minds of voters or the people you serve? How do they perceive your issue/cause/candidate/party compared to the competition? What issues will convince swing constituents, stake holders and the public to support you?
Knowing how to use polling is crucial to winning issue and candidate campaigns. This course will focus on the keys to assessing your voters and political environment. The winning pollster leading the session will show participants how to understand what poll numbers mean to their campaign message. Strategic positioning will be highlighted with step-by-step instructions on considering message options, assessing decision-making time, and getting the upper-hand.
Focus Groups & Dial Testing
Which television, web, radio, Facebook and newspaper ads will prove the most effective in bringing support to your causes or campaign? Which advertisements will cause voters to vote against your opponent(s)? How will stake-holders and key deciders respond to your opponent(s) campaign message, style, and advertising?
Focus groups and dial testing are sophisticated ways to test your messages before they are delivered to voters. This session will explore how both focus groups and dial testing can make the difference between winning and losing. Trainers will discuss the circumstances in which focus groups and dial testing are appropriate. Attention will be given to integrating results into an overall campaign plan. The session will address why focus groups are done, how groups are set up and conducted, the limitations of focus groups, and the role of focus groups in an overall research plan.
“Had it not been for your great insights and expertise, we would have been wiped off the election scene. Instead, we more than doubled our seats in Parliament, and got a sizable majority of the popular vote nationwide. You and your team offered excellent campaign training, polling, focus groups, television and radio ads, and did not leave our sides at times on crisis.” –Ken Boyea, Member of Parliament, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Constituencies, Endorsements, and Coalition Building
How do community and religious ties affect support for your candidate? Are there proven techniques used to win campaigns in other countries that can help your campaign solidify its base while bringing in new groups? Can you run an aggressive campaign without stirring up hostilities or discontent?
This session will focus on understanding how community roots, ethnic, educational, professional, family and religious ties effect the voting decisions and campaign planning. It will emphasize proven techniques for coalition building and overcoming voter stereotypes. Top political and issue-advocacy consultants with experience in ethnic, racial, and religious crossovers will illustrate how to use issues and symbols to convince voters to shift traditional voting patterns in favor of voting for your candidate or party.
Scheduling, Advance and Campaign Timeline
Can you beat the clock? What elements must be done at which stage of the campaign? What needs to be in place far in advance of Election Day, or when a bill goes to the floor, to ensure victory? How can the candidate or issue-advocacy groups’ time best be used to bring home winning numbers?
One of the biggest enemies of any issue or candidate campaign is the clock. The vote on a bill or election is on a fixed day, and time is running out. This session will give you a critical eye and the savvy needed to make sure that everything gets done on time and that the candidate’s time is used effectively.
Paid Media and Press Relations
Getting the Press You Need to Win
How do you get reporters to say good things about your issue, cause, candidate or political party? How can you make sure that your organization, spokesperson or candidate does not make mistakes in front of the press? Is there a formula for creating a good “photo opportunity” for newspapers and televised coverage? How do you make sure that reporters provide information about your opponent that is critical to getting voters to make solid choices on Election Day – i.e., support your campaign?
This nuts-and-bolts session will explore cutting-edge changes in the nature of issue advocacy and political communications at a time when new boundaries are being drawn between the press, interest groups and politicians. Top campaign consultants will use case studies from real campaigns to reveal the secrets of effective media strategies, explain how to use technology to your advantage, and give participants a detailed checklist for how to get winning press.
Media Coaching and Debate Preparation
Is your spokesperson or candidate prepared for bright lights and hostile questions from reporters? If your spokesperson or candidate are challenged to a debate, and are they prepared to win?
This session is an exciting, hands-on media training workshop. It will demonstrate the key do’s and don’ts of appearing on TV. At the end of the seminar participants will be invited to be critiqued on their media styles. Most sessions also include significant role playing to ensure that your spokesmen are ready to get their messages across.
Is there a difference between pretty pictures and a cutting-edge political commercial that wins votes?
You bet there is. Political commercials are critical to winning campaigns. This session will cover the importance of message, positioning, issues, strategic visuals, script writing, and production needed to make campaign commercials that work. The top media consultant(s) leading the session will provide tips on gross rating points (GRPs) and media placements, giving participants the tools they need to be sure that targeted voters get the information they need to make informed decisions. Real-life political commercials from top campaigns will be shown and analyzed for their message, positioning, quality, and results.
Podcasts & Radio Advertising
What makes a podcast or radio ad effective? When do you use them? How can you drive traffic and attention to your online messages?
Award- and election-winning campaign consultants will give step-by-step tips for implementing messages, writing scripts, creating voice-overs, utilizing sound effects, and securing media placements. Participants will listen to and hear analysis of podcasts and radio spots from recent competitive campaigns.
Building Your Issue Advocacy or Campaign Team
What are the roles and functions of a successful communications operation, candidate, campaign manager, field director, press secretary, volunteer director, scheduler, research director, office manager, budget director, and advertising team?
A well defined management team is critical to winning a campaign. This session will give specific and detailed job descriptions and responsibilities for each key member of a campaign team and insights into knowing who will success in each position.
“Laszlo has worked on behalf of Trinidad and Tobago on several occasions over the past three years. The company has always executed its functions in a timely, effective and efficient manner. –Basdeo Panday, Prime Minister, Trinidad and Tobago
Developing and Implementing Your Campaign Plan
When should an issue-advocacy or political campaign start advertising? Should your candidate debate his or her opponents(s)? How much will you rely on TV, newspaper, social media or other networks? Should you attack your opponent’s record on issues?
Answers to these questions need to be resolved up front. This session will cover all aspects of organizing and implementing a campaign plan. Every aspect of developing a successful campaign plan will be covered including research, message, budgeting, timing, staffing, working with the media, crisis management, voter contact, and getting out the vote.
Recruiting and Training Staff and Volunteers
How do you get and keep issue advocacy or campaign staff and volunteers functioning at their maximum performance? Where can you find outstanding support and assistance? Can volunteers be helpful or are they a distraction?
From rallies, to door-to-door canvassing, media coverage, and phone banks, the top political consultant leading this course on campaign personnel will assist your campaign in getting outstanding performance from staff and volunteers when they work under pressure and tight deadlines.
What defines a winning field organization? What are the steps to an effective canvassing program? How must a campaign track the results of its field operation? What is the most effective way to target your campaign’s resources and manpower?
This session, led by a field-tested, winning political consultant, will teach the critical outlines of field strategy, including recruitment and training, coordinating voter contact efforts, and monitoring results. Experts will show participants the latest techniques in designing an effective canvassing, literature drop, sign, and mail program.
Targeting, Voter Files, and List Development
Who is going to vote for your candidate or party—and why? How do you create lists of voters who will support your campaign? How do you identify voters who have not yet decided whom they will support, or who may change their minds? Do you know which voters will not support your candidate or party but might be persuaded to stay home and not vote for your opponent, or who will definitely vote against you? How do you identify undecided voters who will swing to support your campaign so you can get them the information they need to make an informed decision? How can opinion research and computer targeting save time and money? How do you prepare a list of supporters you can be sure will get to the polls on Election Day?
Once you know key information from polling and focus groups, your campaign can begin to use targeting to pinpoint your support, reach swing voters, and inform voters on key issues. This list development can be refined through an effective field/phone bank canvass. This session, led by experts in targeting, will demonstrate how the use of geodemographic, generational, opinion, voter file, and list targeting in political campaigns can help a campaign save money and increase its effectiveness – particularly for a splintered electorate. This session is critical to campaign success in tough elections.
Campaign Literature: Brochures, Letters, and Leaflets
What is the difference between commercial literature and winning campaign literature? How do text and design affect voter response? Should a campaign create a one-piece ad or several? What is the best timing of campaign literature in an integrated campaign plan?
Like political campaign commercials, effective campaign literature is more than pretty pictures – it’s a combination of message, positioning, targeting, creative graphic impact, and strategic planning. This session will demonstrate how to integrate cutting-edge commercial marketing techniques and political strategy to win campaigns. This includes information on how to write, design, obtain special photography, coordinate voter lists, and contract printers and letter shops to fully execute a print piece. In this session, participants will learn how brochures, letters and leaflets fit into a successful media/voter contact mix and how to design a truly impressive print campaign. This course uses state-of-the-art case studies and sample from tough winning campaigns.
How do you determine the effectiveness of a direct mail program? How are list selection and development, the creative and production stages, test mailings, pull-outs, and tracking done?
This session offers an introduction to the use of direct mail in political and issue advocacy campaigns. It will pay particular attention to the building of supporter lists, the design and mail of direct mail packages, strategies for success, and mistakes that must be avoided to maximize results.
Web, Social Media and Newspaper Ads
What is the difference between a waste of space (and money), and a winning ad campaign?
There is more to effective web and print advertising than most people think. This session will explore the nuts and bolts of incorporating strategy and message into every web print advertisement and outreach. An examination of case studies will be used. From test development to design and placement, this session will give participants skills they need to win.
Phone Banks & Robo calls
When should you use phones in a political campaign? How do you write a successful script? Should the scripts vary for different areas or groups? How do you track calls and interactions for maximum impact?
This hands-on session will teach participants how to setup a telemarketing center, create phone scripts, organize and track lists, setup training procedures, and evaluate performance.
Field, Rallies, and Events
Who should speak at a rally? Should it be on a stage or in an informal setting? How many people should attend and how can a campaign get them to come? What are the visual “tricks” to a successful event that will help a campaign get positive press coverage?
Momentum is critical to campaigns and one of the best ways to gain momentum is through well orchestrated field programs, rallies, and events. This session will give step-by-step instructions for winning events.
Get Out The Vote (GOTV)
What needs to happen right before an election and on Election Day itself to ensure that each of your supporters goes to the polls? How can you get last-minute swing voters? This hands-on workshop will help participants design their GOTV plan and teach key steps for implementing it. Top trainers will cover the techniques for preparing for phone programs, door-to-door canvassing, Election Day transportation, last minute media, and visibility tactics. An intensive step-by-step session, every aspect of logistics and timing is explained in detail.
Interactive Workshops/Campaign Simulations
With interactive tutorials, participants use real-life information to simulate campaigns. From outlining a message to writing a campaign plan, speeches, literature, and scripts, this day will be spent brainstorming and practicing giving the participants a thorough opportunity to engage the minds of top political consultants.
“Jennifer worked with me on a major national project involving state and local leaders from around the country in the creation of action plans for cost-effective solutions to reducing crime and violence in our nation. Her hard work and dedication were instrumental in making this seminar a success.” –Governor James Hunt (NC)