4 Signs of a Winning Campaign

by Ben Holse (He/Him)

winning campaign

4 Qualities Winning Campaigns Share:   

After working with a few campaigns, you really do get a sense of what it’s like to work on a winning campaign. These campaigns share a few key qualities that ultimately contribute to their success. Below are four of the qualities that winning campaigns almost always share:   

Willingness to delegate responsibilities

One telltale sign of a winning campaign is a clear delegation of responsibilities. In a winning campaign, the staff are empowered to make decisions that aren’t overruled later down the line by the candidate or manager. Winning campaigns are also truly collaborative. If you’re working on a winning campaign, you will feel as though your voice is heard. You may not win every argument, but you win some of them.

In that same vein, another clear sign of a winning campaign is to take advantage of the resources and experience of your staff and consultants. No one has all the right answers all the time. Campaign consultants, especially ones that work remotely, rely on good on-the-ground knowledge and input. But it’s important to remember that campaigning is a zero sum game. Every moment that’s spent rewriting direct mail copy or debating a preferred shade of red is less time that can be dedicated to fundraising and talking to voters.

A clear campaign vision

Most campaigns will tell you that they have a clear vision for what they want their campaign to look like. But this just isn’t always the case. Winning campaigns clearly delineate what type of campaign they want to run. They set goals that are based on real metrics, so they know when they’ve been successful and when they’ve fallen short. In a winning campaign, everyone on the team has a clear understanding of the campaign’s vision. This vision has been communicated to all the members of the team, which allows the team to in turn create a campaign that fulfills that vision. 

Dedication to the hard work

Winning campaigns always have one thing in common; they put in the hard work it takes to win. Very, very few candidates like doing call time. But winning campaigns recognize that call time is a necessary evil and are willing to dedicate the time it takes to raise enough money to be successful. And let’s face it, canvassing is exhausting. No one likes getting chased around by angry dogs or bothering people during their dinnertime. But winning campaigns go out in their communities and dedicate effort to talking with voters and telling them why they’re the right choice to represent them. Losing campaigns make excuses and try to find the “silver bullet” to avoid doing the hard work it takes to win.

Message consistency

Voters have incredibly short attention spans. Winning campaigns know how to stick to their message, plain and simple. While many campaigns will get sick of talking about the same three things all the time, it’s important to remember that you aren’t saying the same things to the same people. Even in a small campaign, there are a lot of people you need to convince that your candidate is the right person for the job. If you get to communicate with a voter twice, you’re very lucky (this includes at the door, in the mailbox, online, etc.) So it’s critical you communicate your most important points in the very limited amount of time you have a voters’ attention. When it comes to the campaign message, winning campaigns always do the same three things, repeat, repeat, repeat.

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