Trick or treat! No, wait. I meant to say, “vote for me!” – SCN Encourager

#3 in the ghoulish five-part series highlighting the similarities between Halloween and political campaigning.

Podium in a spot light on stage over red curtains“Hey, Tom!  Why are you picking on politicians?”

C’mon, Do I really need to explain this?

But I’ll try… just for you.

Despite the fun I’m having this week comparing our current political campaign season with Halloween, I do sincerely hold 93.4% of our office seekers and elected representatives in high regard.

Even Cindy would back me up on this.

Having managed and been active in more 100 election campaigns myself, I understand the effort involved in carrying out an effective campaign strategy.

Also, having worked in the Michigan House of Representatives communications team for nearly 4 years before becoming a member of our tribe of school communicators, I appreciate the role every legislator plays as well.

Every day for them is usually centered around a recurring theme.

Occasionally, I would accompany a state representative for a whole day and it would ALWAYS resemble something like this:
•  7:30 am Breakfast at the senior citizen center / topic: money needed for meals programScreen Shot 2014-10-28 at 5.36.42 PM
•  9:15 am Coffee with county sheriff’s group / topic: money needed for road patrols
•  11:00 am School tour with elementary principal / topic: money needed for more teachers
•  Quick lunch and constituent update / topic: money needed to cover my lunch
•  1:30 pm Meet-up with environmental council / topic: money needed to protect wetlands
•  2:30 pm Farmers group Q & A / topic: money needed to help plant crops on wetlands
•  3:30 pm Elected officials roundtable / topic: money needed for revenue sharing
•  4:30 pm Monthly road commission report / topic: money needed for snow plowing
•  6 pm  Fundraising dinner with supporters / topic: money needed for campaigning

It’s a tremendous burden to listen to needs and concerns, consider the best path, and allocate limited resources accordingly.

If you’re a superintendent or at the school leadership table in some other capacity, you know what I mean.

Now with this tip of the hat to all of our office seekers and ballot question campaigners out of the way, here’s Similarity #3.

Remember the #1 similarity was the necessity to present a clear choice.

The #2 similarity was the necessity to set out a defined target; your candy-on-hand # or your # of voters needed to win.

Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 5.56.46 PMToday’s #3 Similarity points out how effective trick-or-treaters and political campaigners all package their request using the same friendly and unthreatening manner.

Think about it.

Whether we are being screamed at for candy or being pressured for our vote, we immediately know the difference between a “reasonable ask” and one that is mean-spirited or unrealistic.

And the most successful trick-or-treaters and political campaigners know that we know.

This is why they are masters of the “reasonable ask.”

It’s not all that difficult.

When you don’t forget how fundamental it is.

Even this three-headed monster can consistently nail it!

That’s why I just signed up for his 75 minute webinar.


carWed 102914






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