Let’s face it: Being a campaign manager is not easy. You not only have to keep track of your campaign’s constantly changing moving pieces and parts, but you also must always keep a clear focus on the big picture – winning the election.
Whether working on a large or small campaign, a manager’s role can be challenging, especially in this highly competitive, 24/7, “always-on” digital environment.
In order to succeed, today’s campaign managers need the dedication and trust of their candidate, as well as the support of each and every team member working together on the campaign.
Here are five tips today’s campaign managers should always follow:
- Run your campaign like a business. Too many political campaigns tend to weaken simply because they are not run like a business. The best, most successful campaigns typically operate like efficient enterprises. The key is to stay on top of the budget, make smart financial decisions and track the ROI. Campaign managers should spend the majority of their time implementing and maintaining systems – fundraising, grassroots, PR/media – and effectively manage staff and volunteers.
- Budget backwards. Think priority first when it comes to budgeting. Anyone can think of activities or events that can be funded in a campaign – however, many of these end up being irrelevant to the goal of winning the election. The key is to know what is truly important (and what is not). Keep in mind: If something doesn’t contribute to the ultimate goal of winning, cut it from the budget.
- Pay attention to the candidate. This is very important. Too often, campaign managers think they are the actual experts. And while some of them may in fact be experts in certain areas, it doesn’t mean they know more than their candidates about each issue. Never dismiss ideas from your candidate, especially one who is experienced. In many cases, this approach can deliver a treasure trove of good ideas you may never have come up with on your own.
- Know your stuff. A good campaign manager can tell you that their candidate’s opponent lost in a Utah county by 35,789 votes, that one region in Indiana may inefficiently be spread over three media markets, or that a majority of Tampa voters, for example, are female. This strong knowledge base can be key when it comes to staying ahead of opposing candidates.
- Listen to your voters. As campaign managers, it can be easy to assume you know what the voters want. However, good campaign managers don’t cut themselves off from what’s going on within their constituency. They get out in the community, meet people and truly listen to their suggestions and ideas. Remember: These community members and individuals have the candidate’s best interests at heart and can provide a fresh perspective from outside the campaign headquarters.
Do you need assistance in developing a top-notch campaign? Lincoln Strategy Group employs political strategy experts that use a creative approach with sharp electoral focus to effectively employ solid campaign strategy and management.