“Why would anyone run for office”? That is the question I hear regularly, especially as politics has become a 24-hour media spectacle. The truth is, there are thousands of individuals that run for office every year from the local level all the way to a federal office. These candidates are generally committed to making their communities better. Whether you’re running for local schoolboard or U.S. Congress, there are a few key concepts candidate should take to heart.
1. Have a plan, work the plan
The age old saying, “he who aims at nothing, hits it” is spot on. Throughout a campaign, candidates can easily become distracted or consumed by what is happening now. Having a detailed, written plan can act as a compass for any campaign and help provide direction to the turbulent events of a campaign. The key points of a campaign plan should include:
• Vote Goals – How many votes do you need and where are they going to come from?
• Finance Plan – How much money do you need and how are you going to raise it?
• Voter Contact plan – How are you going to reach voters to achieve the vote goals you need (media, mail, door-to-door)?
• Volunteer Organization and Coordination
2. Have an answer for “The Question”
As a candidate, the number one question you’ll get asked is “why are you running for office?” Too often, candidates fail to spend the time developing an authentic answer to that most basic question. Simply saying “people asked me to run” doesn’t cut it. Developing a strong answer to this basic question will help set the proper tone for your campaign.
3. Know How to Delegate
Candidates should focus on 2-things: knocking doors and fundraising. There are lots of other important things that take place during a campaign, but successful candidates prioritize their time and learn to delegate other campaign tasks to staff and volunteers. Successful candidates don’t get sucked into the “I have to do everything because it’s my campaign” myth.
Winning a campaign comes down to preparing, outworking your opponent, and executing a sound plan. Keeping these three concepts in mind can help ensure victory on election day for any candidate no matter how big or small the elected office may be.
Michigan Legislative Consultants is a bipartisan lobbying firm based in Lansing, Michigan. Our team of lobbyists and procurement specialists provide a wide range of services for some of the most respected companies in America. For more on MLC, visit www.mlcmi.com or connect with us on LinkedIn and Twitter.