There isn’t much invisibility when you are seeking to be elected. People are watching your every move. You are trying to get their attention with as much effort as the immortal Kim Craig (nee Day) look at moi can muster (see KathandKim if you have no idea what I am talking about).
Here are a few of my making myself visible activities this week and some of the lessons from the campaign.
The State government have banned the use of coreflute posters on public property, which traditionally has been the bat signal to the electorate that an election is on and in the style of the Roman Forum people could see a photo of candidates and make some kind of assessment of the type of person they are from a picture. The information about the candidate on the ballot paper includes a photograph so there is a mini version of this in black and white the comes directly to you via the Electoral Commission. So getting seen and known is a top priority. I decided to use the same photo for everything to increase recognition. I included the photo in the header of a letter to householders, I popped it on all the tiles of my socials and of course it is on my how-to-vote promotional material. It is on my website and business card. I know it is working because people have come up to me in the street and said Hello Moira directly to me indicating they recognise me from my materials.
Another act of getting people to look at me has been the waving around of signs alongside main roads as commuters are going to work, or students and parents going to school. I’ve done this a couple of times and will do more in the coming week. I don’t like doing this alone for a few reasons, it looks a bit lonely and sad I think if you are on your own, I like the story that an election is on and it is about the voters not about those seeking election, and it is safer should you get yelled out or abused or someone try and run you over. So I invited some other candidates to join me and wobble their signs around too and they accepted the invitation and we had a fun morning. The tip I take from this is wave. When someone waves at you it is hard not to wave back. This simple gesture is engagement with the campaign and I am confident builds a neuronal pathway to support voter recognition. When a driver toots and waves back your happy hormones rise too so I think there is a benefit to the candidate too. It certainly buoyed me and when the B-Doubles release their air horns it sends a wave of pleasure through you – thank you truckies who are doing this – you are keeping spirits high!
My campaign made hundreds of badges, invested in some t-shirts and a few baseball caps. These are helping with visibility too. A bit of merch goes a long way. It is like wearing the colours of your favourite sporting team, people begin to identify and connect. I chose a regal purple for my campaign colour as a nod to the suffragists and also to Lydia of Thyarita. The suffragists colours were purple, green, gold and white. Lydia was a very successful business woman who is documented in the Bible as a seller of purple cloth. I have been a fan of hers for a long time. The fact she is named means she must have been important as so few women are actually named in that ancient text. There is evidence of her funding outreach and she also seems to had no man to give her status as his wife or mother. This level of independence is rare and the fact it is recorded means she must have been very important to the wellbeing of the community. She is described as having an open heart in the Acts of the Apostles. The Orthodox tradition give her a title equal to the first disciples – she is known in that tradition as apostle to the apostles. And you can see in the word apostle and little hint of the election process … can you see it ? The word apostle and post have the same roots, meaning to separate and take forward, from one place to another. I feel the purple threads are woven into my campaign.
So you will be seeing more purple, more sign waving and hopefully more voter recognition as ballots have now just about finishing arriving and will be finding their way back through the post to the Electoral Commission, as I ask more and more people to look at moi.