No matter what elected office you are running for or the size of your campaign budget, either someone on your campaign team or you will need to write a script. Don’t wing it. Please.
You may not have budget to buy TV time or run radio ads, but with a handy iPhone or digital camera, you can shoot 15, 30, or 60 second spots and put on your campaign website (buy a .VOTE web address today at GoDaddy.com) Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. All it takes is an easy-to-use editing app (obtain at the Apple App store), a smile… don’t rush your script; and the person filming to not shake. Here are some other points to remember when you are writing your script:
1. Pace. When writing your social media or radio script, remember to practice as your write it so you can learn your pace.
2. Succinct Script. Most people try to shove in too many words – often 30% - 50% more then they need. Be succinct. Concise. Direct. This isn’t easy. Most of us are long winded – especially people running for political office. So take the time to write a concise, understandable script. As Winston Churchill said, “If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter.” Good writing takes time.
3. How Many Words? How many words are in 15, 30, 60 second script? The rule of thumb is as follows: 15 seconds, 36-word count; 30 seconds, 75-word count; and 60 seconds, 50-word count. Obviously your speaking pace may alter this rule of thumb.
4. How Long Will Voters Listen? According to Social Trends Report, “almost half (or 44%) of 30- to 60-second video ads on Facebook were viewed to completion. Meanwhile, those that ran 30 seconds or less saw a 26% completion rate. Interestingly, 2-minute or longer video ads had the second-best completion rate of 31%.”
5. Twitter. Finally, scripts for Instagram and Twitter need to be shorter than something posted on Facebook.
6. Once completed. Or at least once you think you have it completed, hopefully you’ve read it out loud to yourself a dozen or more times and performed it out loud with yourself as you stand in front of a mirror.
At this point though, hand over what has been written to someone else in the campaign – it’s time for you to listen. Have this person, in front of at least yourself, read what has been written as you imagine you’re a potential voter and hearing it for the first time. And then honestly, give it the thumbs up or down.
First impressions matter. What you put out there on the radio, TV or the digital universe leave a lasting impression for those who view it. It all starts with a pen and yellow pad. Think through your script.