Campaign Best Practices: Beating Murphy's Law in Politics.

by The Campaign Workshop

Campaign Best Practices


Campaign Best Practices: Be Ready When Things Go Wrong on Political Campaigns

Campaign best practices can make a real difference on your political campaign. Over the course of my career, I have pretty much seen it all happen on political campaigns. From the candidate’s brother dying mere weeks before Election Day to losing power at a staging location and everything in between. Murphy’s Law states “anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” Part of being a good organizer is always hoping for the best on political campaigns, but planning for the worst.

Here are some campaign best practices to avoid common pitfalls on political campaigns:


  • Have everyone’s phone number and make sure everyone has yours. Plug your phone in every night before you go to sleep.
  • Have power cords to key electronics (phone, laptop, etc) with you at all times and bring a power strip if you’re going to be in a place where a lot of people may want to charge things (airports, coffee shops, GOTV staging locations).
  • Strive to be early for everything. That way if something goes wrong, you’ll be on time, or only a little late.
  • Don’t make anything contingent on one person. For example, having a Field Director is important, but a couple other people should know how to cut your turf in a pinch.
  • Standardize as many practices as possible and get a volunteer to write them up and put them in a shared Google doc for all staff.  Everything from passwords to what needs to happen at the end of the day in remote field offices (turn off lights, take out trash, etc) to a template of the candidate’s daily schedule.
  • Have a good first aid kit in every office. Even if you only ever use the aspirin in it for hangovers, it’s a good idea to have on hand.
  • If you’re traveling all over the state, always be sure to have an extra pair of underwear and any important prescriptions with you, including glasses if you wear contacts, in case you have an unexpected overnight.

There are lots of other campaign practices we could all come up with, but what are some important ones I missed? Any crazy stories about times you were struck by Murphy’s wrath? Give us your favorite campaign tips.