Attractive graphic design and sheriff campaigns go hand-in-hand. Good designs are needed for everything from websites to social media posts to print materials.
If you don’t have a designer handy (or can afford one) for your graphic and print needs, then you may a problem.
One way to get a head start on your campaign’s graphic needs is with designed-for-you Canva templates.
Canva templates are easy to edit use – even if you don’t have any graphic design experience.
What is Canva?
Canva is an easy to use online graphic design tool. It offers offers drag-and-drop functionality, along with a huge library of stock images, graphics and fonts. Even if you are novice and never used a graphic design program, you still create great-looking graphics for web and print. You can easily change colors, fonts, and add your own images.
Canva offers a variety of content types. From pre-sized social media images to marketing materials such as brochures, postcards, invitations and ads, you’ll find almost everything you need.
Canva is free and provides plenty of great design features. Canva Pro [aff] unlocks a number of additional time-saving features. Canva Print makes it easy for you to have your designs professionally printed and delivered to you.
Log into your Online Candidate website administration and check the Marketing tab in the top menu. The free Social Media Templates are also available through OnlineCandidateResources.com. The login information is located in your website administration dashboard. (Not an Online Candidate client? Check out our campaign website packages.)
Instructions: Click on the links to open the templates.You should be brought to a page for each template that looks something like this:
The page displays a template preview along with a button that says “Use Template“.Simply click that button to start editing the template.
From there, you can edit any or all elements, add your logo and make it your own. You can download your image as a jpg, png or PDF or share your image directly to your social media accounts.
Before you decide to make a run for sheriff, make sure you are actually qualified to run. Contact your secretary of state or county clerk for specific requirements needed to run.
This article will give you the basics on the skills and qualifications you need to become a sheriff.
Common qualifications for becoming a sheriff
There are many ways to be qualified to be a sheriff. The most common way is through experience as a police officer in another organization or position. Another way is by working within law enforcement and gaining experience in all levels of policing such as patrol, corrections, investigative work and management positions.
To be an eligible sheriff candidate, you must generally meet the following requirements:
Minimum age of 18 or 21.
U.S. citizen / residing in the county or state.
Education requirements: High school diploma or GED.
Certain professional certifications or job training.
No felony convictions.
Certified law enforcement officer, corrections or other police experience.
Certain physical requirements of stamina and strength.
Leadership, empathy, good judgment.
Sheriff job skill requirements
Sheriffs are in charge of protecting and overseeing law enforcement in the United States, and the skill they should emphasize to be successful are leadership, public speaking, experience, and management skills.
Leadership is extremely important for sheriffs because they need to make sure that their team is working together well and that their subordinates know what to do in tough situations. Experience with law enforcement or other related fields is crucial because it will help them understand current problems that people face. Management skills are needed too because sheriffs need to organize the other members of their team so that they can get things done.
They also need public speaking skills to communicate with people who are upset or angry. It is also important for sheriffs to have experience in law, police work and community outreach.
Law enforcement experience also helps. Sheriffs may be required to work in a variety of settings and under different circumstances, which can include working with individuals who may be experiencing mental health crises or substance abuse issues, or working in challenging environments such as correctional facilities or remote areas. Sheriffs must maintain a professional demeanor while keeping the safety and security of citizens their top priority.
Sheriff salary and employment outlook
Sheriff salaries can vary greatly depending on location and experience, but it typically falls between $50K-$70K per year before benefits.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for police and detectives was $67,290 as of May 2020. The job outlook for law enforcement careers is projected to grow 5 percent from 2019 to 2029, which is faster than the average for all occupations.
There are more than 13,000 sheriffs in the United States and they all come with different levels of responsibility based on their location and jurisdiction. For example, sheriffs of larger counties may supervise various departments (e.g., civil process, corrections) while sheriffs of smaller counties may only enforce traffic laws.
How to become a sheriff
Exactly how you can become a sheriff will depend on your local laws. For example, in some areas a physical fitness test is not required; in other areas, it is. Not every requirement is necessary to qualify for the role.
Some job requirements are more helpful than others. For example, a degree in criminal justice or law enforcement experience can go a long way toward becoming a sheriff.
Not every working sheriff is elected by the public. But if your position is selected by voters, then what it takes to get the job another dimension.
Campaigning for the position
In the political world, money is the blood of campaigning. That means fundraising is a necessary evil. Consider how you will raise money and advertising early on. If you are running against an incumbent, you will have an idea of what monetary goals you are up against. You will want to match – and hopefully exceed – your opponent’s fundraising efforts.
More and more sheriff candidates are using social media and campaign websites as a way to raise campaign donations. Social media is also important in getting name recognition out to the voting public.
Writing checks used to be the golden standard for donation gathering. Today, online donations taken over as the preferred payment method. An analysis by The Campaign Finance Institute shows that the average online supporter gives less than $200 per donation – but they more likely to donate multiple times over the duration of the campaign.
Make sure that you know and follow any local election fundraising requirements. At the very least, there are probably single-person contribution limits.
Grow your political backing
Gaining the support of local organization can help tap into potential votes from its members. Backing can also come from personal, professional and business contacts. Can you tap into business groups, labor organizations or ethnic communities?
Getting the support of an organization will likely be the culmination of a relationship. If you are planning a sheriff candidacy in the future, start making contacts and building relationships today.
Get a thick skin
Sheriff campaigns are notorious for being nasty affairs. Personal attacks, attacks on family, ethics, business and personal matters are the norm. If you don’t think you can handle the stress on yourself or your family, you may want to reconsider being a candidate.
Once it is designed, your sheriff campaign logo becomes the lynchpin of your campaign’s overall branding. Your logo will appear on yard signs, brochures, direct mailings, palm cards and all of your other campaign advertising.
A poorly-designed logo will keep voters from taking a political candidate seriously. A good campaign logo is simple and only includes important elements, such as the candidate’s name and the elected office that they seek. Political logos with too many colors or busy design elements can be confusing or difficult to read.
Of course, adding a badge graphic into a sheriff logo is pretty standard. Unlike most other political logos, a sheriff logo with a badge incorporated into it quickly tells a voter exactly what position the candidate is running for.
Ripping off another campaign’s logo is never a good idea. It can raise accusations of plagiarism. While political logos share many conventions, don’t freely borrow design elements from your opponent or anyone else running locally.
Sheriff Logo Design Tips
Keep your design simple. Many candidates for sheriff or any law enforcement position tend to use a serif font. Script lettering is more difficult read and it may not translate well to print or to signage. If you add additional elements, such as a badge or star, keep it subtle and try to have it integrate into the overall look.
Limit your colors. Law enforcement candidates tend to go with black and white or blue and black. The position of sheriff lends itself well to stark contrast. Odd colors may get attention but may also distract from the messaging.
Know the rules. There may be local rules or laws that prohibit what can or cannot appear on your signage. There may be restrictions on certain image elements and wording. Be sure to know the current rules so you don’t run into problems later in the campaign.
Keep the look consistent. Once you have a logo and you have put it to use, don’t change it later! Much of your voter branding is tied into in your logo design and colors. If you change it midway through your campaign, you’ll a lot of that branded connection.
Who Can Design Your Logo?
Some campaigns often hire a professional designer. Sometimes a volunteer will create the logo for them. A local print shop may create a design when the campaign produces their first print piece.
Regardless of who designs the logo, you will need a high-resolution version of it for print and large signs. Low-resolution files are fine for the web, but jpg files do not render well in offline promotion. Without a high-res file, you may need to recreate the design – and that may be difficult to do.
Sheriff Political Logo Templates
Online Candidate carries a large number of sheriff logo templates. These files are in PSD and AI formats, designed for Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator. Here are some sample sheriff logos.
While the majority of law enforcement and sheriff candidates go with the typical .com and .net domain name extension for their campaign websites, did you know that there are brand new extensions available? You can register all types of specialized TLDs (extensions) for a variety of businesses, services and interests.
The .LAW extension is designed for attorneys and judges but can be used for any sheriff or law enforcement site. Another great extension is the .COMMUNITY name. .COMMUNITY is great for gathering support and inform voters about community issues and events. You can also keep things local by using a .TOWN or .CITY name.
Different domain extension can really make your site stand out. Running in a partisan election? Consider using the .DEMOCRAT, .REPUBLICAN or .VOTING extensions.
Despite the growing popularity of social media, e-mail is still the ‘killer app’ for sheriff and law enforcement candidates. If you are planning on skipping email during your campaign, you will miss out on a great way to keep contact with voters, build your fundraising base, and enhance your final GOTV push.
If you haven’t started building a campaign email list, start now! Don’t wait or you’ll kick yourself before Election Day when you realize how much voter communication you have missed out on.
There are a number of paid email list management services on the market. For smaller campaigns, any of the major email service providers will do the job. They include AWeber, Constant Contact and MailChimp. In this article, we’ll give an overview of each service and give you our opinion as to what service we recommend. (Spoiler: It’s AWeber.)
MailChimp is an attractive option for many small campaigns because it is free for lists of up to 2,000 subscribers. However, once you reach that limit, your monthly cost becomes $30 month (as of this writing).
MailChimp provide users with many easy-to-use templates and analytic reporting. You can quickly back-up your list of subscribers, and embed a simple sign-up form on your website and Facebook page.
While MailChimp is easy to use and customize, it does have a few downsides:
You cannot create followup autoresponders with the free version. A good autoresponder message sequence is essential to any good email campaign. Without it, the only messages your subscribers will get will be the ones you send manually.
The deliverability (actual messages getting into subscribers inboxes) may be lower than with other services. This is explained in more detail below.
MailChimp does not currently provide its subscribers with phone support service.
Constant Contact is another popular email service. Many political campaigns successfully use the service. It has a 60-day trial period. For additional costs, they have a number of integrated services that you can add on to just basic email services. There are a lot of features offered, and there good reasons why it’s a popular service.
Here are a few downsides:
Constant Contact is more expensive than some other similar service providers. While it allows for importing of email addresses, you cannot use Constant Contact with purchased or rented emailing lists. (Spammers beware!)
It may be difficult to cancel the service. Surprisingly, you cannot cancel your account online or via email. You must actually call them to cancel. Otherwise, you will continue to be billed after the campaign.
After working with all three services over the years, we have come to the conclusion that AWeber is a better option for many campaigns and businesses looking to build an email presence.
Here are a few reasons why we recommend AWeber for our clients:
1) Easier opt-in and subscribe forms. The signup forms from MailChimp and Constant Contact in particular are difficult to configure and design. Constant Contact allows you to embed a subscribe form in your site but the code uses tables that is difficult to use and sometimes breaks other parts of your page design.
2) Message deliverablity. AWeber tends to have a better track record for successfully delivering messages into subscriber’s inbox, without getting stuck in spam filters. This is because AWeber DOES NOT allow users to add people to my mailing list without sending a confirmation email that requires subscribers to click a link to confirm that they do, indeed, wish to be added to the list.
MailChimp and Constant Contact allow you add names and email addresses to my mailing list without sending confirmation messages. This is probably a reason why AWeber has a better track record of avoiding spam filters. Because every person on an AWeber mailing list has “confirmed” themselves, there is a much lower chance of subscribers clicking the “spam” button on messages they receive through the service.
3) Advanced auto-responder configuration. Both Aweber and Constant Contact have full autoresponder functionality that automatically sends new subscribers a series of prewritten emails over a certain period of time. While autoresponder messages require some advanced planning, they are powerful tools to help communication and provide information to your audience.
MailChimp has autoresponder functionality built into their service, but it is only for paid accounts.
The downside to switching vendors
Many campaigns use Constant Contact and MailChimp successfully and are happy with their service. However, once you commit to an email marketing service provider, switching over to another one is not a simple task. You can lose many subscribers in the process. For example, if you import a large list to Aweber, each person will need to re-confirm their subscriber status in order to receive your future messages.
If you do not yet have a mailing list for your sheriff campaign, we recommend that you start one as soon as you can. Don’t wait!
“The Money Is In The List“
AWeber proves it to thousands of organizations every day.
If you are looking for a simple, all-in-one online marketing tool for your sheriff political campaign, this solution may interest you…
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Before you decide to run a campaign for sheriff, be sure that you are prepared to handle the campaign, both physically and mentally – that you are capable of actually serving if you are elected.
Here are the basic steps to take when running a campaign for sheriff:
Determine if you are eligible to run. Before you start a sheriff campaign, you should make sure you are actually qualified to run. Typical requirements include, residency, age requirements, educational requirements and a clean criminal record.
Depending on your location, you may need to have graduated from a law enforcement academy. Additional education will help as well. For example, post-graduate classes and continuing education courses will make make you a more attractive candidate.
You will likely benefit from law enforcement experience in a local police department or sheriff’s department to be considered for the position of sheriff. Voters feel better about a candidate with relevant experience.
Determine the ballot requirements. In order to run for sheriff, you must fully follow the rules of getting on the ballot. You need to have a certain number of citizens sign a petition within a certain time period. Many jurisdictions require a background check, and maybe even a lie detector test. Do these early, so you don’t run into deadline problems. Paperwork must be filled out and signed where necessary. Be sure to know exactly what you need to run. Cross your Ts and dot your is!
Start your campaign for sheriff. Put together your campaign plan. What is your campaign platform? What are the issues that make you stand out from your opponents? Research the issues in the county you’re running in, and know your positions cold. Meet with community leaders, organizations and local voters to build support.
What is your sheriff campaign platform? What specific issues do you want to tackle, and how will you do it? Take the law enforcement issues that are important to voters and make a plan to address them. Often your campaign slogan will incorporate these concerns.
Consider how you will fundraise and advertise your campaign. If you are running against an incumbent sheriff, you will have an idea of what you are up against. Through fundraisers, mailings and personal solicitations you will want to match – and hopefully exceed – your opponent’s fundraising efforts. Consider using a campaign website to solicit online contributions.
Get access to your party’s database. Pull together any voter and resident demographics that you can find or buy. Use this information to your advantage.
Send out fundraising and event requests. Telephone and meet with party contributors for initial contributions to begin the campaign. You may end up asking for help more than once during the campaign.
Keep pushing through Election Day! With a little luck and enough votes, you can find yourself elected sheriff!
The most effective way for sheriff candidates to raise money for a local election is still the ‘old-fashioned’ way – by making calls and holding campaign events. Personal contacts and solicitation are still an integral part of the fundraising process and absolutely necessary for raising money.
In the last few years there has been an explosive growth in the number of people who are making political donations. An average of nearly seven million people contributing money to campaigns each year. Candidates are taking notice of this trend and many are turning to different venues to raise the funds they need to win their election. While traditional parties rely on fundraisers to meet their budget, there is a growing trend for campaigns to solicit money from individuals online.
Online political fundraising is proving to be a valuable source of funds for many candidates running for local office.s. Technical barriers have dropped, and more and more local campaigns are successfully raising money online.
Under no circumstances will the internet magically bring in money. If you have a sheriff campaign website, then that site exists as a conduit through which to raise money, not as a means unto itself.
If your website is not promoted or no one has an interest in your campaign, then slapping an online donation button onto a web page will not do a thing for you.
Of course, all fundraising carries certain costs. Services that allow you to accept online credit card contributions charge transaction fees (typically between 3 – 8%) that are deducted off the top of any payment. Some services also charge setup and recurring fees.
Your campaign is responsible for complying with the law. For example, you may need to collect certain information about your donors or you may have a legal limit on contributions. You may also have a timetable as to when you can begin campaigning. Check your local laws and, if necessary, seek legal advice.
A summary of the online fundraising process:
After clicking a ‘Donate’ button on a website or email, visitors enter their billing and other requested information on a donation or contribution form. Then they submit their information to start the payment process.
After submission, a payment gateway takes over. A payment gateway is a service process that verifies and electronically moves funds. The donor’s credit card is electronically verified and charged. Then the funds are deposited into a Merchant Account. This account may be in your organization’s name or in the name of the payment gateway vendor.
When the transaction is complete, the donor is shown a confirmation page and sent an e-mail confirmation. At this point, a record of the transaction becomes available for your reporting purposes – and the donation process is complete.
You will be able access the funds within a day or so, depending on the transaction vendor.
If you decide to pursue online donations, you will need a campaign bank account in place.
Every candidate for sheriff needs a fundraising plan that lays out how much money needs to be raised, when it is needed, what that money will be spent on – and how it will be raised.