Non-Political Books for Politicos

non-political books for politicos

10 Non-Political Books Every Politico Should Read

*Originally written by Joe Fuld and updated by Elena Veatch 4/3/18

When you get into politics, it’s hard to resist the all too common tunnel vision of focusing only on politics. But be careful – binge watching Veep or The West Wing is not going to help you run a better campaign or organization; nor will reading solely political books.

The fact is, you are running a business. And while we like to think of politics and business as totally separate realms, it’s tough to run any political operation without a Business 101 crash course. So, take a break from the latest Clinton campaign staffer or Obama aide memoir you are probably reading, and check out some of our non-political book recommendations. Below are ten non-political books that will be helpful to any politico running a campaign, a non-profit, or really any operation.

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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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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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Hiring a Campaign Manager

campaign manager

How Do I Hire a Campaign Manager that Fits Me?

Finding and hiring the right campaign manager is a challenge for any campaign. However, this task is vital because it can mean the difference between winning and losing a race. To help with this crucial process, we have written extensively on what a campaign manager does, as well as questions you must ask yourself to determine who would be right for you.

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Winning Advocacy Strategies for 2015 and Beyond

Advocacy Strategies for 2015 and beyond

The Evolution of Advocacy Strategies

Advocacy strategies have changed a lot over the last 20 years. When I was a chief of staff in the New York State Legislature, I don't remember there ever being a real advocacy campaign around public support of an issue that focused on legislators. The main way groups moved legislation was to hire a lobbyist and that was really it. There were occasional print ads and lobby days, but day-to-day mass contact from constituents that were driven by member groups were few and far between. Today, we spend a lot of time running advocacy campaigns on the state level.  Issue advocacy tactics that were once only used on large, federal issues are now seen on smaller federal issues as well as state and municipal issues.

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