4 Essential Campaign Strategies for a Political Campaign
While the mid-term election season draws to a close, that doesn't mean that elected politicians and hopeful candidates stop working. Future campaigns are just around the corner. As a political consultant with more than 20 years of experience and with both local and national experience, Chad Alexander created 4 essential campaign strategies that should be used in a political campaign.
Always Take the Time to Talk to a Political Consultant
One thing we've all been told during our lives is to never talk to law enforcement without having your lawyer present even if you didn't do anything wrong. There's good reason for that. A lawyer can help make sure that your answers aren't taken out of context. They strategize with you to come up with the right defenses if you're charged. Civil lawyers help you prove your side of the legal equation, too.
Think about it...would you go to a lawyer if you needed a plan to treat or prevent heart disease? Would you see a doctor if you needed help with negotiating or enforcing a business contract? Of course, those questions may be silly, but they highlight an important point. When you have a goal in mind, you seek out a professional to help you meet your goal.
According to Chad Alexander, first-time candidates can make many campaign-ending mistakes unless they have the guidance of a professional political consultant. A consultant can walk you through the laws and ethics surrounding political campaigns. They can also help you help you with fundraising, press releases, voter contact, and the issues that are most important to voters.
Time Management Woes
Time is your most precious resource. As a candidate, your primary job includes two responsibilities: effective fundraising and and voter contact. Personally meeting and calling your family and friends for donations is your base until you're viewed as a legitimate candidate. Volunteers are great for for many roles, but they don't replace you when it comes to meeting voters. Voters want to meet you. They want to get to know who you are and where you stand since you want to represent them. Chad recommends that volunteers be used for more administrative responsibilities such as bank runs for deposits, yard signs, running errands, and stuffing envelopes. As a candidate, you should spend a substantial amount of your time meeting voters.
Not Following the Advice of the Consultant
Your political consultant is your new best friend, priest, coach, and defender. Of course, you may not always agree with your political consultant. If something that's suggested offends you on a moral level, talk to your consultant. When Chad Alexander ran for the State Chairman of the Republican Party in 2001, he used a political consultant. His consultant suggested that he included a line in a letter to voters that said Chad "...prayed about the decision and felt called to run." Chad had a big issue about saying that he felt called to run although he had prayed about it. After speaking with consultant, they changed that line to read "I prayed about running for office." Chad did this because he felt that if he stated he felt called to run, he would be lying.
So, why did Chad hire a political consultant since he has experience? It's about objectivity. It's really hard to be objective about your strategy when it's your name on the ballot. Think of your consultant as someone you're paying to help ensure you see all of the important points. However, they can only help you if you are honest with them and if you're willing to communicate throughout the process.
As a political consultant, Chad has, of course, experienced clients who refuse to listen. Why are you paying someone to help you if you don't want to listen to them? Professionals who've done this hundreds of times know what it takes to win a race.
Not Being Fully Committed
The fourth mistake made is when someone isn't 100% committed to winning. If you're not 100% committed, don't run. There is a big price to pay when you're a candidate. The process is draining. It takes almost all of your time. No one really likes asking for money. Knocking doors is a tiring (but necessary) process. You won't spend as much time with your loved ones during this time. You must also be prepared for negative ads. You must be ready when your family and friends hear and see these negative things about you. Without a 100% commitment, your campaign is in trouble from day one.
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