Candidate Messaging—Consistency Is Key

candidate messaging

Candidate Messaging Can Win Your Campaign

As spectators of political debate and electoral politics, we’ve all seen it before. Our favorite candidate takes a turn and ends up going on either a rant, long tirade, or ultimately veers far off the path of his or hers intended candidate messaging. As spectators we can only watch in horror as this trainwreck happens.  In the world of social media, these moments are captured more often than not.

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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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How To Stay On Campaign Message

campaign message

How to stay on message

With the first Democratic debate quickly approaching, let's discuss the importance of a strong campaign message. Presidential debates are a great way to learn what to do and what not to do. Staying on message is an art form, whether you are in politics, advocacy or in business. Below are a few best practices for staying on message.

Pivot, pivot, pivot:

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Six Campaign Fundraising Tips

How Much Money Can I Fundraise?

Assessing Your Campaign Fundraising Potential

Campaign fundraising is never easy, and predicting your ability to fundraise can sometimes be even harder. But before you run, you need to have a strong understanding of your campaign fundraising potential. Below are items to consider when determining how much money you can raise.

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Looking for a Job in Advocacy or Politics?

job in advocacy or politics

Finding Your Dream Job in Advocacy or Politics

If you are looking for a job in advocacy or politics, your search can seem daunting: lots of informational interviews, resumes to send out, and so much more. Staying organized in your search is key. My main tip is to focus on follow up after an interview. This is perhaps one of the most important parts of the job hunt, and something people frequently overlook!

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Political Consultant: Can Campaigns and Consultants Work Together?

Political Consultant Relationship

How to Have a Positive Political Consultant Relationship

Any experienced campaign manager or campaign operative can recall a bad experience working with a political consultant. Perhaps the consultant couldn’t deliver what they promised, they were unresponsive or didn’t hit deadlines. Undoubtedly, a lot of what goes into a successful relationship depends on the campaigns and the political consultant. How you start the relationship is important. As a former political organizer turned political consultant, here are my tips on how to jumpstart a successful relationship with your campaign consultants.

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5 Tips to Win your Down-Ticket Race

Down-Ticket Race Tips

Winning Your Down-Ticket Race

Getting involved in your local or state government is a noble task, and there is a lot of opportunity to do so in down-ticket races.  Although there can be many to choose from and it’s a great opportunity to get involved, you’ll want to keep some things in mind before jumping into your down-ticket race.

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How Democrats Can Jumpstart Their Campaigns for 2016

2016 Democratic Campaign

How Democrats Can Jumpstart Their Campaigns for the Future

Races are heating up, but there are a number of exciting opportunities for Democrats up and down the ticket. Here are some tips to jumpstart your Democratic campaign:

1. Do a thorough self-assessment. Are you ready to run? Does your family support you? Does your community support you? Have you done your politics? These are important questions to ask and know the answer to before you even file to run. If you can confidently answer, “yes” to these questions, you are ready to jumpstart your campaign.

2. Plan, plan, plan! The biggest mistake a candidate can make is failing to create a campaign plan. Your campaign plan should include a vote goal, budget, timeline, and message. Campaigns themselves are living, breathing animals once they heat up, but your campaign plan should pretty much stay the same.

3. Focus on the right stuff. It’s really easy to get caught up in the back and forth of a heated race and allow that to throw you off course. The best Democratic campaigns stay focused on directly communicating their message with targeted voters and turning them out. Period. Everything else is just noise.

4. Do the work. Running for office is hard. Doing what it takes to win is often even harder. Spending hours on the phone, asking for money every single day, is tough. Knocking on every targeted voters door is exhausting. But this is usually what it takes to win. The best way to jumpstart your campaign is to embrace the work and lean into it. You’re probably running because you want to represent your community—use this time to get to know them and ask them to join your campaign.

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Campaign Manager vs. General Consultant

Campaign Manager vs. General Consultant

What's the Difference Between a Campaign Manager and a General Consultant? 

Political campaign terms can be confusing. In my work, I have seen many folks confuse a campaign manager with a general consultant or campaign consultant, and have trouble deciding on which they should choose. Below is my attempt to clear that up, as well as a discussion on the pros and cons of each.

A campaign manager is a day-to-day employee who works full-time and is paid for by the campaign. The campaign manager's job is to run a single campaign and keep all aspects of it running smoothly. A general consultant is someone who has multiple clients across multiple campaigns the clearer term is general political consultant. Their job is to focus on the big picture of the campaign and make sure it is achieving its short-term goals in order to win. In short, the big difference between a manager and a general political consultant is the time you get with each and the level of experience.

Both can be very helpful, but depending on your campaign and the level of experience of your manager you may or may not need a general political consultant.

Here is a breakdown on the pros and cons of using managers and general political consultants.

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