Your Campaign Checklist
Before you start your campaign you must develop a plan. Every successful campaign starts with a strategic plan. As you set your campaign plan up refer to the items below to make sure you are on the right track.
If at all possible you want to have an experienced, motivated campaign manager running the day to day activities for you. A good campaign manager is worth their weight in gold. They will help you develop strategy, organize volunteers, plan events, and spearhead GOTV efforts.
You won’t make much progress until you have a strategy in place for your campaign. Will you focus your efforts on block walking or phone banking? Will you run radio ads? Will you target high intensity voters or try to sway the opinion of the independents? Your entire campaign centers around this strategy so make sure you place emphasis on this part of your list.
Now that you have the strategy figured out take a look at a calendar and lay everything out that needs to be accomplished before the election. Start with your goals in mind and work backwards. How many doors do you need to knock? How many volunteers will you have to work and how many doors can they knock in an hour? If you work through each of your goals this way you will develop a clear timeline of events to implement your strategy in.
Voter Targeting Software
Once you have your strategy in place it’s time to find the best voter software for your campaign. This software allows you to target your voters, gather data in real time, and manage your voter list. It’s sometimes tempting for the first-time candidate to use free software or paper lists but the headache and inefficiency those options cause make paying for a quality program well-worth the money.
This might end up in your Strategy bucket but it’s important enough to mention here as well. How you target which voters to contact is crucial to the success of your campaign. In an ideal world you would like to make contact multiple times with every voter but that’s physically impossible with the majority of campaigns’ time and resources. Consequently you want to zero in on the voters who will give you thebest results. For example, if you are a Republican candidate running for office you generally would never want to target registered Democrat voters. Digging deeper using the same example, you may want to limit the Republican voters you target to only those who have voted in specific elections to determine their political involvement and likelihood to vote for you.
Building Your Volunteer Base
Volunteers are the bread and butter of campaigns. Without them things simply do not get done. Spending a large part of your time finding and training new volunteers should be one of your key areas of focus-especially early on. You want to mold your volunteers into an efficient, motivated group.
Few people like the process of fundraising but without it campaigns simply wouldn’t exist. It takes money to win in politics-the more you can raise the better. Develop an aggressive plan to fundraise throughout your entire campaign. Don’t be afraid to ask people for money-if they believe in your cause as strongly as you do then they will be happy to help you out.
As you progress forward in your campaign getting good media coverage can be key. Create a list of media contacts who cover your local area. Reach out to them and let them know who you are and why you are running. Control the narrative of your campaign by talking to the press and being vocal on social media.
Once you carefully work through and develop each section your campaign will be off to a great start!