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Conservative Outsider Defeats Native Incumbent

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As a non-native conservative of Ocoee, Tennessee, Karen Bracken faced incredible odds when she decided to run for county commissioner as an Independent in her rural, heavily Democratic town.

“If you’re not a Democrat, you won’t even get a job in the county,” said Karen.

The inhabitants of Ocoee have lived there for generations; most of them were born there and outsiders are regarded with suspicion. Winning alongside three Democrat incumbents, and beating one by 36 votes, Karen’s successful campaign in the area was equivalent to a miracle.

“This place is small town politics at it’s finest,” said Karen.

Karen worked for American Majority’s 501(c)4 sister organization, American Majority Action, in 2010, at a Liberty Headquarters GOTV (get out the vote) grassroots center in Doylestown, PA. The races she worked on were those for the U.S Senate, Pat Toony, and U.S House Delegate Fitzpatrick race, both of whom won.

“I ran the office — organizing walking lists and call bank, and all the stuff that goes into a get-out-the-vote center,” said Karen.

Karen applied the skills and actions she learned during her work with American Majority Action to her own campaign. She credits American Majority Action with teaching her microtargeting as a main campaign strategy. She started her campaign by knocking on doors from April to August. She mailed the local voters, put up signs, and talked to people as much as possible. During the early voting period, Karen pitched a booth and greeted every single voter. She let them know that she was running as an Independent so as not to create animosity. She would tell them that she did not believe a county commissioner should be a party affiliate.

“My opponents did absolutely nothing,” said Karen. “Even when you’re up against huge odds, you can beat them if you take the time and effort.”

Karen ran the campaign by herself and won due to the blood, sweat, and tears she put into reaching out to the community. She believes that it is the aggregate of small steps that made the win and that her opponents lost because of their neglect for those things. Without the support from family and friends, the loan of a billboard from a local resident, and her dedication to understand county interests, Karen believes she would have missed the opportunity.

“Old-time politics works,” said Karen. “We’ve so much divorced ourselves from that. I didn’t want people speaking for me; face-to-face contact is very important.”

Horsewoman Fights Government Overreach and Wins

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Candace Oathout of Crystal, Minnesota has operated under the belief for years that if people are taught the right principles, they will learn to govern themselves. The main goal of her work is to create an engaged, informed populace.

“I am open-minded and willing to agree with the other side if they are right. This has always been my principle,” said Candace. (more…)

How to Google and UnGoogle Yourself

google-yourself

It is no secret that the internet never forgets anything, but too often people fail to realize that it also applies to their information. Are you one of them? Have you recently googled yourself to see what information shows up?

Unlike the past where you could keep information about yourself relatively safe by withholding certain details (phone number, last name, etc.), today’s instant communication and endless retention of data means that as long as someone has your first and last name, a veritable trove of information is available on the internet. Do you know what all is on there? Everything from old social media profiles and public records to opinions on blogs and everything in between. (more…)

Grassroots to Lawncare: Building a Successful Campaign Part One

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If you have ever seeded a yard, you know that the time can pass by at an agonizingly slow pace. Weeks or months can go by before you see significant growth and even then, one sudden, severe rainstorm or over-watering can wipe out all the progress you made within a matter of minutes. Seeding a yard requires time, energy, preparation, and patience before you will begin to see tangible rewards. (more…)

Ann Rommel: Empowering Women in California to Lead

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Ann Rommel’s passion for free speech and an informed populace has translated itself into a career of training conservative women to run for office. Ann’s work in empowering new leaders earns her the reward of watching women achieve their goals and impact their communities.

“Seeing women win is my greatest motivation,” Ann said. (more…)

Andrea’s Story: Virginia Campaign Manager on Creating Leaders Who Listen

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Currently working as the campaign manager for a Virginia state delegate, Andrea Raffle aims high; her goals this year include winning a primary and general election and working on a presidential campaign.

“My motivation to work in politics comes from the idea of the public servant,” Andrea told American Majority in an exclusive interview. (more…)

How to Use Twitter Lists to Make Sense of Twitter

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In the vast world of Twitter where any cause, big or small, can create endless numbers of tweets and retweets, information overload increases exponentially to the point where Twitter may even become “unusable.” How are you supposed to find the funny tweets from your Uncle Fred among the impossibly frequent news and political tweets that stream on your feed?

Fear not weary social media explorers, Twitter has a built in tool to allow you to sort and organize the people you follow in order to streamline your Twitter experience: Twitter lists!

Twitter Lists allow you to create your own lists as well as subscribe to feeds from others. Does Uncle Fred have a list of his favorite fishing buddies and their stories? No problem! You can subscribe and follow all of their fishing adventures in 140 character glory.

How to set up lists on Twitter:

  • To manage your Twitter lists, go to your profile tab and click “lists.” From here, you will be able to create lists and manage your existing lists.
  • Click “Create new list” and fill in the name and description of your list. You can also designate if you want your list to be public or private.
  • Once you are finished, you will be asked to add people to your list: type in their Twitter hashtag, name, or company, and select them from the list.
  • Once you’re on a user’s profile, you will see a little gear symbol (settings tab) next to their subscribe (or unsubscribe) button. Click the gear symbol and then select “add to lists,” pick your preferred list, and that’s it!
  • Note that you do NOT need to follow an account in order to add them to a list.

American Majority Staff Twitter ListNow that you have your list setup, it essentially acts like an RSS feed: any tweets or retweets from an account in your list will show up in your list. If you are not subscribed to a member of the list, their tweets will not show up in your main feed, but they will show up in your list feed. So if you have a few friends or organizations that tweet dozens or hundreds of times a day (we’ve seen accounts that do this!), you can filter them out of your main news feed while still having a quick way to access their tweets.

To subscribe to someone else’s feed (like the American Majority staff feed found here), go to their profile and look for their main “stats” (like their number of followers, their number of tweets, etc.) and you will see a “lists” count (if they have any). Click on that tab and you will see all of their public lists. Click a list of interest, and select subscribe.

And that’s it!

Now you have a way to sort between the journalists, news sources, political friends, humorous accounts, friends and family, relevant hashtags, and more! No fear of losing the classic humor of your Uncle Fred.

For more details or to see pictures, you can find the official Twitter guide of how to create a list here. Want more information on using Twitter for activism? Check out our Twitter activism video here!

American Majority Trains in Colorado in June

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Lakewood Campaign Activist Training

Lakewood, CO, June 20

Learn to organize, mobilize and communicate at a grassroots level to impact your community as a conservative activist at this activist training, hosted in partnership with the Colorado Issues Coalition.

When: Saturday, June 20  from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. MDT

Where: Denver West Office Park, 1626 Cole Blvd., Lakewood, CO 80401 (Building 7, 4th floor)

Cost: $25 (includes lunch and training materials)

Register now!

Lakewood Candidate Preparedness School

Lakewood, CO, June 20

If you have ever thought about running for office, helping with a campaign or understanding more about the political process, plan on attending this event, hosted in partnership with the Colorado Issues Coalition, to learn what candidates need to do to win.

When: Saturday, June 20  from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. MDT

Where: 13952 Denver W. Pkwy #450, Lakewood, CO 80401

Cost: $45 (includes lunch and training materials)

Register now!

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4 practical ways to highlight your brand on social media

 

It’s no secret that people follow people. We read certain newspapers or news sites because specific columnists or reporters draw us in. We follow actors and actresses because we like their style and consequently are drawn to their work with various networks and studios.

(My guilty pleasure is I Facebook follow “Full House” darling Candace Cameron Bure and have therefore come to know and like her work with Hallmark Channel.)

Behind every great company is a great man or woman. Many of the most successful brands in the country have someone standing in front of the accompanying product, fearlessly associating with the brand and increasing its recognition worldwide.

Steve Jobs is the face of Apple. Bill Gates is the face of Microsoft. Richard Branson is the face of Virgin Airlines. Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce are the faces of Dolce and Gabbana. Ralph Lauren is the face of, well, Ralph Lauren. The list goes on.

Former Sports Illustrated Supermodel Kathy Ireland is the face of her own namesake line of home goods and gowns — likewise are dressmaker extraordinaire Verga Wang, fashion designer Lilly Pulitzer and handbag designer Vera Bradley the faces of their own namesake lines. And does anyone recall Lisa Frank — the woman who made a fortune off her colorful stationary?

For this reason, it’s important to let your personality shine through on your social-media platforms. Here are some ways to do just that!

1. Put your face front and center.

man and woman holding frames with big excited faces

It’s a letdown at times to be alerted of a new Twitter follower only to find the new follower is an organization or product. Unless you’re The Atlantic or The Wall Street Journal, chances are I’m not going to be super excited to get a follow from the account. But, if the follow is from a real, live person, expect a follow back 😉

2. Diverge a little from your usual tweets or posts if it means showcasing your personality.

Portrait of a vintage tin toy robot isolated on white background.

“Don’t be afraid to not be a robot,” Brett Relander, Huffington Post contributor and founder at Launch & Hustle, recently said at Right Online, an annual gathering of digital-media activists.

3. Like any good relationship, social media takes time.

PARIS FRANCE - APR 10 2015: New wearable computer Apple Watch smartwatch displaying the new Smile Emoji. Apple Watch incorporates fitness tracking and health-oriented capabilities and integration with iOS Apple products and services

Set aside 15 to 30 minutes a day to read content that piques your interest. Then use that content as a launchpad for discussion with others interested in the article or its author. Engagement is half the battle.

4. Sprinkle visuals into your posts.

a cute chihuahua in the grass taking a selfie on a cell phone done with a vintage retro instagram filter

Images often drive up click-throughs and engagement. So, once in a while, snap a photo of what you’re up to or include a funny meme or graphic in your Facebook post, Instagram or Tweet. Give people something to smile about throughout the day and you might just find a new friend.

Happy sharing!

ICYMI: Here’s the recording of the “Planning Your Campaign” webinar

Did you enjoy our “Planning Your Campaign” webinar but would like to fill out your notes and review the information — or maybe you signed up but had to miss the webinar unexpectedly?

Either way, here is the link to the Monday webinar, where you can watch American Majority Executive Director Matt Batzel dish on the ins and outs of structuring a political campaign.

View the recording here

Stay tuned for more information on our ongoing summer webinar series.

Click here to register for the “Mastering Social Media” webinar.

Click here to register for the “Fast-Track Your Twitter Success” webinar.

Click here to register for the “Crafting Your Message” webinar.

We hope to see you at one (or more) of our virtual presentations!

Cheers,

Carolyn Bolton, American Majority Operations Director

Contemporary Campaign & Online Activism Webinar Series

Presented by American Majority in partnership with The Manning School

The age of new media requires professionals and aspiring political leaders to manage a dynamic and pliable schedule — one that allows you to track goals in the months and weeks leading up to key dates but that also allows you to respond with lightning speed to policy decisions or curve balls thrown your way throughout the course of your issues- or leadership-driven activism.

This series of four FREE webinars will train you to do just that! Join us as our experts walk you through campaign timelines and give you practical tips to reach your short- and long-term goals.

Planning Your Campaign — The steps needed to run and win

Monday, May 11, 2:00-3:00 pm ET
Matt Batzel, American Majority Executive Director

A campaign without a plan won’t get very far. How do you build a winning campaign plan? Discover what a campaign of any size must consider before launching a campaign. This webinar will cover campaign strategy from start to finish: from determining demographics and political environment and conducting deep dive research to targeting, candidate timelines and voter contact.

Register now for the Planning Your Campaign webinar!

Mastering Social Media — Creating meaningful connections and amplifying your message

Monday, June 8, 2:00-3:00 pm ET
Scott Ellis, American Majority Campus Director

Did you know that 88 percent of registered voters in the U.S. are on social media? Learn the pro-tips to being effective online through Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Discover the pitfalls to avoid, know how to increase online activity and reach and learn how to post engaging content and analyze your progress.

Register now for the Mastering Social Media webinar!

Fast Track Your Twitter Success — Practical tips to increase your influence online

Monday, July 13, 2:00-3:00 pm ET
Aubrey Blankenship, American Majority Communications Director

There’s no doubt that social media plays an important role in politics today. Most of us spend hours each week on various social networks. How can we most effectively advocate for liberty online in 140 characters? In this purely practical webinar, learn the steps and tools to make an immediate impact with your Twitter account, from growing your audience, scheduling your tweets and creating engaging content to incorporating Twitter into your offline activities. Whether you’re an advanced “Twittivist” (that’s Twitter + activist) or you’re just beginning, this webinar will help you become a better voice for conservatism online.

Register now for the Twitter Success webinar!

Crafting Your Message — The art of getting to the heart

Monday, August 10, 2:00-3:00 pm ET

Jess Nicholson, Political Communications Professional

Campaigns are about choices. How do you effectively present a candidacy to voters? Explore what it takes to craft winning messages in campaigns. Whether you are in a primary with multiple challengers or taking on a long-time incumbent, learn the tried-and-true methods to get your message out to voters in a way that highlights your strengths. If you don’t define yourself, the media or your opponents will. Discover how to develop a campaign message that sets you apart from the competition.

Register now for the Crafting Your Message webinar!

 

The Manning School is Canada’s premier conservative-oriented training organization, focusing primarily on those who wish to hold elected office and the volunteers, staff, and organizers who support them. The School also provides customized training for grassroots activists, interest groups, and political parties. Our programs employ the latest empirical research and the most skilled leaders in industry and politics to develop and deliver practical executive and online programs.

10 Free, No-Nonsense Stock Photo Sites for the Conservative

Last time I talked about creating online graphics for free. Today I’m looking at some places to get free, no-attribution-required stock photos online for those times when you need a classy picture of Mount Rushmore in a pinch.

When you’re looking for images to use in your social media or websites, it’s important to note that you can’t just copy and paste images from your Google search. Photos often hold copyrights and require attribution, or special care, or their owners reserve all rights to use. With that in mind, all of the sites I have listed are stocked with public domain photos, either copyright-free or under the equally easy-to-use Creative Commons License, which allows all uses and edits except for commercial resell.  What this means for you: All these sources are completely hassle-free. (more…)

For the conservative: 7 ways to create online graphics (for free!)

One of the questions that we consistently hear when American Majority trains conservatives to effectively use social media is this: “How do I create graphics to post online?”

Everyone knows that eye-catching infographics and pictures go a long way in communicating ideas. When you read a blog post the last thing you want to see is a page of words without the break of pictures, images, GIFs, etc. Who actually reads a Facebook post if it goes on for more than two paragraphs? One paragraph? Two sentences? (more…)

Share Your Story: Enter to Win a Bluetooth Speaker

What’s your story?Share your story

Welcome to the American Majority Alumni Network! If you attended an American Majority training for candidates or activists, you are part of a growing community of Americans seeking to impact their communities for liberty.

What have you been up to? We want to know what you have accomplished and what you’re working toward achieving!

Please take a moment to complete this four-question survey and you will be entered to WIN an Urge Basics Soundbrick Bluetooth Speaker! Survey ends April 30th.

 

 

Share Your Story Now!

How to Make Sense of Your Twitter Feed Using Only Your Smartphone

Apple Iphone 5S With Twitter Logo

“To tweet or not to tweet?” That is the question. This blog post will help move you away from wondering whether to create a Twitter account to asking yourself “What should I tweet today?”

Many of us created a handle in the early days of Twitter only to let it fall by the wayside because of the deluge of news; commentary; borderline porn; marketeers; entrepreneurs; “motivational speakers;” fat-burning gimmicks. The list goes on. But there is a way to make Twitter less intimidating. (more…)

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