Grassroots Campaigns: a Political Memory

grassroots campaigns memories

How I Learned Grassroots Campaigns from the Master

Every Fourth of July, I think about my former boss, Congressman Jim Jontz. Jim taught me the importance of grassroots campaigns - real conversations, and knocking on doors. Jim was a congressman from Indiana’s 5th district and a progressive legend. In his first campaign, he won a state representative seat by 4 votes. He went on to win a state senate seat by less than 100 hundred votes and three congressional elections by less than four thousand votes total. He was my mentor and teacher in the world of grassroots campaigns.

I, along with many future campaign operatives, got my start in politics by doing field work for Jim Jontz in a rural Indiana district. There, I spent six months of my life organizing volunteers and knocking on doors and got a great apprenticeship in how to run grassroots campaigns.

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Member Public Affairs Strategies to Remember

Member Public Affairs Strategy

Member Public Affairs Strategies to Remember

Member public affairs strategies can be an amazing way to move your issue forward. Membership organizations should have a head start when it comes to public affairs strategies, but that head start is often complicated. Membership organizations tend to have bureaucratic structures that make it difficult to work nimbly, especially when it comes to public affairs. Because of this, some member organizations have avoided using member-based public affairs strategies and they are missing out. 

Here are some ways to use your membership to enhance public affairs strategies by turning them into member public affairs strategies.

Membership Storytelling

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What Does A Political Candidate Do?

political candidate

Explore the role of the political candidate

By the title, this could be the shortest post in the history of our blog. The typical answer to this question, and the way I teach candidates about political campaigns, is that a political candidate has two jobs: to raise money and meet voters. But these tasks are easier said than done.

A political candidate’s perspective is that message, fundraising, and strategy come from her or him, so not involving the political candidate in those decisions could be disastrous. Anyone who has been involved in a political campaign knows there are many levels of involvement. So let's dig into it. I’ll chat about the candidates role in each element of a campaign and some of the pressure points in between.

Assessment of viability/ deciding to run: 

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Digital Campaigns and the Googlization of American Politics

google for politics

Digital Campaigns and the Googlization of American Politics

Searching for answers on the web has become a fixture in our lives. Want to go to a movie? Search the time and showings. Buying a house? Search for listings. Interested in a candidate or a local issue? Ask Google.

But when it comes to political and advocacy digital campaigns, why do many folks ignore tactics that drive search results for digital campaigns?  Why is the web relegated to an intern or volunteer instead of seen as a strategic tool?

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Canvassing Campaigns Still Matter

canvassing

Don't knock door-to-door canvassing

Canvassing is special to me. I love knocking on doors. I think it is still a vastly underrated form of communication. Why do I think canvassing is so special? Because of the connection direct contact makes with targeted voters in a personal and systematic way. With any paid medium you need repetition over a condensed period of time.

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What Some Campaign Consultants Get Wrong About Digital

what campaign consultants get wrong about digital

When Campaign Consultants Don’t Believe in Digital

It’s not uncommon in politics for a campaign to want a consultant who has been in the business for a long time. But sometimes, campaign consultants without real digital experience don’t believe digital can provide your campaign with results the way traditional media can. While digital advertising is newer than other strategies, it can still provide your campaign with a valuable way to reach voters. Below are some common misconceptions some campaign consultants have with digital advertising.

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