How to Organize an Election Campaign
Making the decision to run for municipal office is not an easy decision to make but once it is made you should direct all of your energies to winning the election. To do so you will need to have a well-organized campaign plan in order to be successful.
Making the decision to run for municipal office is not an easy decision to make but once it is made you should direct all of your energies to winning the election. To do so you will need to have a well-organized campaign plan in order to be successful. Having just charisma is not enough to win an election. Having the right ideas and ideals may not be enough either. You are more likely to be successful if your campaign has been properly planned and organized.
Here is some basic information you will need to consider in the planning and preparation of a successful campaign.
It is important to identify, understand and focus on the key challenges and opportunities facing your municipality. You should be able to answer the question “why do you want to run for office”.
Create a Functional Campaign Team
The team can vary depending on the size of the district in which you are running. Campaigns generally rely on volunteer workers. Most campaigns need to fill basic roles such as campaign manager, volunteer coordinator, finance manager and media/public relations director. Draft basic job descriptions for each of the key positions on your campaign team and fill these positions as early as possible.
Know Your Opponents
It is important that you know your opponents and what they stand for so that you can differentiate yourself.
Know Your Voters
After all, these are the people who can elect or defeat you. In a political campaign, it is critical to know as much as possible about your voters and the issues that are important to them.
There are many ways to ensure that the voters become aware of your candidacy without spending a lot of money on expensive advertising or glossy brochures. Free advertising opportunities may be available. For example, check with your local newspaper, radio or television station to see if they are planning a series of candidate profiles. Your local community groups may be organizing public debates or all candidates meetings. Remember you are your own best advertisement. Attend community events and leverage relationships you have with local groups to reach potential voters. Stop by at least once at every door in your ward—there is no reason why you can’t meet the majority of the voters.
Get Out the Vote
Talk to the “Maybe” voters to see whether they have made up their mind or need additional information to assist in their decision making. Put together a committee and a group of drivers and telephone people on election day and ask if they need transportation, information on where to vote, etc.
The election campaign does not have to be expensive but it still will require some funding. As a candidate you should have your finance manager approach potential supporters on your behalf for a financial contribution. Keeping this function separate will allow you to focus on your primary task of talking to voters.
Sometimes You Have To Lose In Order To Win
While hard work and proper planning will make it more likely that you’ll be successful, you need to accept the possibility that you might not be victorious in your first campaign. In fact, some of the most successful politicians in history have one thing in common: in spite of losing several elections, they never gave up. Tenacity is the most valuable trait to have as a political candidate.
If you’re running against a popular incumbent, then it might take more than one try for you to win a seat. Losing an election can be an upsetting experience, especially if you gave it your all on the campaign trail. But by making an effort to learn from your initial campaign experience, you’ll be much more likely to win the next time around.