If you’re running to be a Full-Time Officer, the best way to get elected will be by speaking to students about your ideas. Your manifesto (which is basically all the things you want to achieve if you’re elected) lets students know what you stand for and what you’d like to do. To get you off to a head start, why not have a read of our top tips for a great manifesto.
First things first…
Why are you standing?
Think about what you would do for students and how you plan on conveying that message. These ideas, and what you want to change, should then be fleshed out into your manifesto. Perhaps you could then run your ideas by a couple of close friends to try and develop a clear message and brand for your campaign.
Who are you representing?
Most importantly you should consider the students you hope to represent – after all this is why you’re running for election. Remember, everyone's experience of University can vary because of social, cultural and other differences, so think about issues that will be common to everyone regardless of their background.
What are your key policies?
Now you’ve thought about the different types of students you will be representing, and the issues that will affect them the most, you should try and shape these into your key policies for your campaign.
Be clear and concise: It’s great to have lots of ideas but don’t clutter your manifesto. It’s better to have three to five main ideas that you’d like to work on, rather than trying to squeeze in lots of text. You only have 600 words available, so use them wisely and let people know what you stand for.
Be catchy: Thinking of a slogan or having a theme for your manifesto and campaign is a great way to stand out. But don’t worry if you’ve not got a name that can be easily turned into a pun - eye catching colours, designs and ideas will have the same impact.
Be ambitious but realistic: Full-Time Officers work to make the lives of Goldsmiths students better. You might have loads of ideas for things that would make life at Goldsmiths better, but think about which ones will have the most impact, and how you’d achieve these in one year. You’ll get lots of support from Union staff to achieve your goals, but being realistic with what you can achieve is important.
Be relevant: Think about what position you’re running for and make sure that your manifesto reflects the role. If you’re running to be Education Officer but write a whole manifesto about sports clubs, students might think you’ve got confused about which role you want.
Be creative: Each candidate can upload 600 words of text to the SU website, but that’s just the start. You can also upload a campaign video, embed pictures and gifs, and link out to your social media sites or another website. Every candidate has the same opportunity to upload a manifesto, so use your space to be as creative as possible and stand out.
And once your manifesto is written, perhaps you could start thinking about your campaign and how you’re going to let other students know what you would do in the role?
An important thing to think about (especially this year with everything online) is the design of your campaign - make it eye catching and distinct. Perhaps you could look at ideas from famous advertising campaigns, magazines and television for some inspiration.
Making a video can also be a great way of interacting with students. You can make your video serious with you talking about your policies, or you can make a spoof video that you think will appeal to students and potentially go viral. Need inspiration? Have a google and see what previous candidates have created as it may help you get started.
Setting up a Facebook group or page can also be an excellent way to get your supporters to show their support for you, and to help raise the profile of your campaign online. You can publish your full manifesto, post updates on what you’re doing and encourage people to vote for you.
Using Twitter and Instagram is also a good way of communicating with potential voters, especially if you use the relevant hashtags when tweeting about the elections. And use photos of yourself, if you can, so students can see exactly who they are voting for.