Campaigning on a Tight Budget – Examples from Poland

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Campaign Material  

– Green Newspaper
We created ‘Green News’, which we print a few times per year, always for a specific occasion, for example on Women’s Day or EuroPride. Hence, women’s rights and LGBT rights are the main, but not the only, topics covered by the publication. We publish articles by our members and VIPs.  

We print ‘Green News’ on the cheapest existing paper, so it is an inexpensive publication, almost as cheap as a leaflet. However, there is space for far more content. Additionally, people tend to throw leaflets away just after they receive them, whereas they are more likely to take a newspaper home and read it. We distribute ‘Green News’ in the streets for free.
The EuroPride issue in PDF format.  

– Bicycles as posters
Back in 2004, during the European Parliament election campaign, we placed bicycles painted in green, with our posters stuck to them, all around the city: next to green-friendly shops and cafes, but also high on city lampposts and walls above the street. We used old, broken bikes. One by one, all were stolen; but they made a lasting impression on pedestrians and passers-by. Certainly, they were different to other election posters!  

– Bicycles as trailers
As a part of other election campaigns, we bought special trailers for bicycles and stuck our posters to them. Those of our members and supporters who ride bikes cycled them around for the whole of the campaign.  

– Posters in private windows
It is a good idea to design A4-sized black-and-white election posters and encourage supporters to print copies at home and place them on the inside of their windows. Also, you can find supporters who have balconies overlooking busy streets, and ask them to place election banners there.  

– Leaflets: smart places, smart additions
Leaflets are so common nowadays that it is hard to produce a leaflet that is not instantly thrown into a bin.  

Firstly, it is good to print different leaflets for different occasions and different target groups. An inexpensive way of doing this is to print leaflets using a normal office printer, in black-and-white, but on colourful paper. It is easy to design three long leaflets on a piece of A4 paper. These can have text on both sides. Maybe design an A4 pattern with three long leaflets featuring the party logo and contact information. You can then just fill in the gaps with different content for different occasions.  

Secondly, it is a good idea to place leaflets in well-chosen locations (not just a university windowsill) or add small gifts to them. For example, the London Greens printed leaflets for cyclists (about bikes and eco-transport policies in London) and stuck them to parked bikes – rolled around their frames (scotch tape needed!). To leaflets for cyclists, the Warsaw Greens added stickers that could be used to fix punctured tyres – a cheap, but practical present for people with bikes. Other ideas: sunflower seeds or other seeds (if the issue covered concerns organic food, GMOs, etc.), condoms, or anything small and light that you can come up with.  

See also the Campaign Handbook chapters:
Financing the Campaign
Traditional Media

Please note: when printing pages, each page of an article must be printed separately.

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