Of all the hurdles that first-time candidates and lesser known challengers face when running for office, none is as intimidating as being seriously under-funded. Money isn’t everything when you run for office — issues count, name recognition is a major bonus, volunteer manpower is important – but without the ability to raise a significant sum of money, it becomes very hard to get your message out and win your election.
Once upon a time in the world of elections and political campaigns, the guidelines for state election committees consisted of one thin manual covering all state election rules. Local jurisdictions may have had ordinances in place, but these were casually enforced and perhaps casually obeyed.
It is one of the great political clichés, the day before an election an analyst says about a race, “it all depends on turn-out.” That statement is true, but voter turnout is much like Mark Twain said about the weather, everyone complains about turnout but no one does anything about it. For Gavin Newsom’s mayoral campaign we did something about turnout.
In the first edition of Winning Big in Small Budget Campaigns, which was first published in 1997, we dedicated just a few pages to an increasingly important campaign medium. In fact, we didn’t even include it under the media chapter, but relegated it to the leadoff item under the next, catchall chapter – “Fragmentary Bombs.
Political campaigns can be tense and stressful. There is so much to do and often not enough time to do it. If you are a candidate or campaign manager, you should not be without a button maker machine. These machines will help you with some of the most critical areas of your campaign – getting the word out, addressing issues, and rallying support. Not only will buttons help acknowledge the issues and rally support, they will do it inexpensively and that is a word that any campaign manager likes to hear.
The following is an overview of several common types of presentations and their purpose. Each presentation type requires a specific organization technique to assure they are understood and remembered by the audience. The suggested organizational structure is also provided.
At its core, voter contact isn’t complicated. You need to make phone calls. You need to send mail. You and your volunteers need to get out into the street and knock on doors.
In a modern political campaign, the campaign database is the single most important tool. The right database system will allow your campaign to run more efficiently and effectively. A good system will save time, increase the amount of funds raised, improve voter contact and may just make the difference between winning and losing.
There is no such thing as a natural born communicator. People in the public eye including executives, television hosts, and especially candidates for public office become “naturals” by practicing—and often with the help of a communication coach.
Since the early days of professional campaign management, political operatives have been interested in data management — tracking voters, donors and opinion leaders have been key to a successful campaign. Early data management technology generally consisted of an alphabetized set of index cards.