SETTING UP A POLITICAL CAMPAIGN
You will need to decide on a realistic budget for you campaign, but before you do that you will need to fill the very important job of campaign treasurer. You may sign up a treasurer first or you may want to choose someone to run your campaign. First, you need to understand the difference between campaign consultants and campaign managers.
After you have decided whether a campaign manager or consultant will lead your campaign, here are some things you should know about hiring a campaign consultant. Much of the advice on hiring a consultant will also apply to hiring a professional campaign manager.
If you are not an experienced public speaker, you will want to improve your speech making skills before your campaign starts. And, one other step is necessary before you launch your campaign.
Political Campaign Polling
If you have the budget, a political campaign poll done by an experienced pollster can be a huge help in targeting your voters. Lots of individuals promote themselves as pollsters. However, unless you get a very competent pollster, the results of your public opinion poll can actually lead to your campaign making decisions that will hurt your chances.
Once you complete your poll, it is vital that you know how to use the information you have gained. Polls do not get you elected. They are tools that can help your campaign if used properly. Using a political campaign poll properly takes knowledge and skill.
If you can’t fit a public opinion poll into your campaign budget, there are some other methods you can use to help you gauge public opinion in your constituency. We shall see this in details in later chapters.
Every campaign needs some money to get the message out to voters. You have two basic options. Give your own money to your campaign or raise money from other contributors. These two chapters cover the pluses and minuses of these two fund raising strategies.
Early steps in your political campaign
Your ballot designation is one of the most important choices you will make on your campaign. The deadlines for making this choice will vary depending on the rules in the location where you are running for office and may come later in your campaign. However, when you are planning your polling and putting together campaign advertising, you will want to be consistent in how you list yourself.
You will want to set up your volunteer effort early in your campaign. It is also worthwhile to buy some campaign signs. Your supporters won’t really feel like it is a real campaign unless there are some signs. The amount of your budget that is spent on campaign signs depends on your individual campaign strategy and budget. Announcing that you are running for office is sometimes considered the first step in a campaign. However, in a properly run political campaign, the announcement takes place after a great deal of ground work has already been done.