It’s September – 5 Things You Should Be Doing Now

The beginning of campaign season!

It’s September!  Welcome to the semi-official beginning of “Campaign Season!”

“What?!?” you say?  “But I’ve been working my tail off for eight months already!?!?”  Yes, yes you have.  But not highly visibly campaigning.  Labor Day weekend kicks off yard sign, billboards, tv ads, and all the highly visual aspects of a political campaign, so let’s get to it!

  1. Door-to-door!  Hasn’t this been number one for the past 5 months or so?  That’s because face to face voter contact, real conversations, and hey, stumbling into barbecues!
  2. Yard signs!  Communications comes into play in a major way starting in September and continuing on through to Election Day.  All those people you talked to (and hopefully kept track of on a spreadsheet or something) that said ‘yes’ to having a yard sign – go deliver them!  In most towns the earliest you want to do this is around Labor Day weekend.  Some towns have ordinances dictating how early signs can go out – 30 days before Election Day, 60 days, etc.  If there’s nothing written in stone, Labor Day Weekend is the general rule of thumb.  Make sure to keep 10-20 in your trunk for giving them out when the opportunity arises!
  3. Coffees and teas.  Having a ‘coffee’ meeting in someone’s home with a handful of neighbors is a good way to come inside and have some deeper conversations on issues that are affecting your constituents.  Sometimes these events manifest themselves in other themes, but the general idea is to get together with a handful of voters for an hour or two.  Make a lasting impression and these people will be your biggest supporters, and the excitement will spread.
  4. Campaign Events.  I’m talking here about public events created and sponsored by your campaign.  This could be reserving a large room at the library or senior center and posting flyers inviting the public to a ‘town hall’ or ‘meet the candidate’ type event.  You can focus on a specific issue, if there’s a meaty one, or leave it open to respond to voters’ questions.  It’s basically an opportunity for direct conversation with the voters, and also, possibly some media attention.  Be sure, of course, the local papers and radio and TV stations are aware of any such campaign events.
  5. Fundraising.  Yep, this is STILL something you have to think about.  Money propels the campaign forward, and in the next two months, you’ll likely spend MUCH more than you did in the previous eight.

How to Create A Master Political Campaign Calendar

busy political campaign calendar

So after attempting to write a 10,000 word post fully fleshing out how to create your own master political campaign calendar, it occurred to me that it’d probably be easier to digest as a series.  Therefore…we’re starting a new series!

You see, as the name implies, in order to make a master calendar, you must first have some underling calendars that feed into it.  Coming in the next few posts, you’ll learn how to make separate calendars that govern GOTV activity, media and public relations activities, public events, fundraisers, debates & speeches, volunteer activities, and everything in between.

As you can imagine, there’s a lot to keep track of.  We’ll also talk about getting a volunteer to act as your scheduler, and the importance and mechanics of that role.  Oh, what a tangled web we weave when we practice to deceive ourselves into thinking we can do everything all at once!  When you’re working together your master calendar, you’ll need to keep in the back of your mind an idea of which volunteers might be best suited to lead in different areas of the campaign.  These folks will need to be in near-constant communication with the scheduler.

If you’re running for election in 2012, this is definitely a series you don’t want to miss!  And you thought summer campaigning was hectic…

Also, for you 2012 hopefuls…if you’re sensing your campaign is seriously lacking in the way of organization, it’s not too late to apply the principles of the Campaign Planbook.  Like it says in the sales pitch, it really only takes a few days max to put together a winning campaign plan, even with a late start.  Don’t get discouraged now – the real campaign hasn’t even started yet!