Valuable Chapter Resources
With all the opportunities to work for political change and to expand our membership and networks, there are certain resources which all of our chapters have a similar need for. These include sources for good printed materials, promotional items, signage, mailing lists and other basic tools of promotion and outreach. This is becoming even more important as some of our chapters take a growing role in candidate training and campaign support.
Fortunately, our members include some very experienced political operatives who have worked as campaign staff and consultants and in just abut every area of organizing activism. By pooling their knowledge the RLC national committee is able to provide chapters with an invaluable wealth of knowledge ad resources to make your efforts more efficient and more effective. We’ve already done the research and found the resources which you need as your chapter grows and takes on more responsibilities.
The RLC Store
The RLC store is your first and most basic resource. It has standard brochures, buttons, bumper stickers, t-shirts and other ready-to-go items which chapters need for outreach and establishing your identity in your political community. We sell these items as near cost as we can and the selection is pretty good. We can undercut the price you would pay to produce these items yourselves because we are buying in large volume. And if you come up with great ideas for items which have worked for you and would be useful to other chapters we can add them to the store. The store can be found at www.rlc.org/store
At some point you are likely to move beyond what is available at the RLC store and want to purchase unique customized materials for your state or regional chapter. We’ve already researched the best sources so we can give you a head start when you go shopping.
General Printing – Flyers and Brochures
When it comes to printing brochures, flyers, posters and mailers, we have two recommendations and some suggestions. Also, contrary to what you may expect, the printing industry has change. Full color is now the standard for almost anything and you may find that glossy high-end printed products end up actually being less expensive than printing them on a home printer or using a copier for anything but the smallest print runs.
Michael Franks at gopstore.com is a longtime RLC member, a great source of advice and offers good prices on excellent quality printing. He does most of the printing for Ron Paul and Rand Paul. Their prices are most competitive on large runs of typical campaign material, but they also print a wide variety of promotional items and will try to match competitors prices. They also charge more reasonable prices for quick shipping than many of their online competitors and that can make a very big difference. Michael does all the printing for Ron Paul and Ted Cruz among others.
If you want a full service online printer we recommend overnightprints.com. If you take advantage of their sales they have the best prices in the industry. But don’t let the name fool you. They can be very fast, but if you want fast delivery they charge an arm and a leg for shipping. If you order brochures and want them in less than a week, the nice low price may double because of shipping charges, so look out for that.
For printing bumper stickers we recommend uprinting.com.com. They have one day turnaround, produce a first class product and charge reasonable shipping prices. You can do all the prep work on their website and get a proof on the spot. Their prices are not competitive for most other items, but for stickers they are good.
For traditional campaign buttons we recommend wackybuttons.com. They do one thing and do it very well at the best price in the market. They offer multiple sizes, provide an online proof and their shipping is cheap and fast.
Badges and Nametags
For custom badges and nametags try nametagcountry.com. They offer a great selection and a competitive price and their site is better designed than most of their competitors. They don’t do instant proofs. It takes them about 24 hours. That can slow things down a bit if your design is not already fine tuned.
For custom imprinted promotional items we recommend marcopeomotions.com. They have he best prices, especially on their numerous sale items, and a fantastic selection. If you want pens or mugs or bags or any other knickknacks they are the place to go. However, do not use them for more traditional printing like hats or t-shirts.
For hats and t-shirts and other screen printed apparel gopstore.com is pretty competitive once you find the right base shirt or other apparel to print on. I would suggest pricing your job at another low priced screen printing company like logosportswear.com or rushordertees.com and then taking their quote to Michael Franks and see if he can match or beat it.
Banners are absolutely essential if you are representing your chapter at events or hosting candidate forums or fundraisers. Regardless of the source, what we particularly recommend for events and meetings is the “Tri-Stand” style banner, which is a combination of a vertically printed banner with a simple stand which holds it erect and taut for great visibility. They are available in 2ft by 4ft and 3ft by 8ft sizes. The larger size stands alone next to a booth or next to a lectern and the smaller one works great on top of a table. You can also double up two stands with a double width banner to create a great convention table backdrop at 6×8 at a very low price, a total of less than $120 compared to a minimum of about $500 for a standard backdrop. Here’s the newsletter. The cheapest source for the banners themselves is stickersbanners.com in Atlanta, which has unbeatable low prices and you can get tri-stands for them at a very low price from San Diego Sign Company at sdsign.com. But don’t buy the banners there.