So, you finally got nominated to be a candidate in an election. Chances are, you know that one person doesn’t win an election. So, you have to put together a strong campaign team. Here’s how!
Assemble the following key players of your campaign team:
- Campaign Manager: The campaign manager is a vital part of any campaign team. They should have strong organization skills, work well under pressure and be willing to say NO to people, including the candidate. They will develop the policy and present it to you. They must be willing to work hard, sometimes in a group, other times alone. Being very sociable and knowing lots of people in the riding won’t hurt either.
- Official Agent: In Canada and the US you are required by law to have an “agent” or “treasurer” or “financial director.” You must trust this person with your life. Well, okay, at least your money. Anyone who has worked on more than one campaign or has political savvy can tell you countless horror stories about an agent. They are responsible for collecting donations, asking for donations, paying all bills, keeping track of the campaign account, authorizing monetary movement and most importantly, at the end of the campaign, filing all the financial records with the elections agency. This person must have superb mathematical skills. It is highly advised that you hire a professional, if you can afford it.
- Election/poll coordinator: This is the person who will hire the scrutineers, checkers, drivers, etc. Also, they should ensure that people are registered to vote, to avoid long waits on the writ day. This person should be patient and be willing to drive around the riding a lot, especially on election day.
- Personal Assistant and Scheduler: The ideal person for this position will have known the candidate and worked with him for along time, as they will be together for the duration of the campaign. It is up to this person to make the candidates agenda, ensure that it is followed, carry his briefcase and cell phone, have food on hand for him and just ensure the over all well being of the candidate.
- Media relations: This person will have the campaign ads produced, write the campaign literature, schedule interviews with reporters, write the press releases and handle any other topics that may come up with the media. This person should be charismatic and be able to think on their feet. Being witty doesn’t hurt either.
- Legal Advisor: Another position that you are legally required to fill, but not often used, is the legal advisor. Typically this person is a lawyer who also supports your party. They will advise you about the elections agencies laws and regulations.
- Sign Coordinator: A daunting task, especially in a huge riding, signs need to be made, placed, fixed and taken down. Someone with a lot of time and patience should fill this vital role.
- Have lots of coordinators not mentioned above such as “phone coordinator, merchandise coordinator, etc.
- Often your party will have training sessions for these people.
- Although you don’t need to pay any of them, typically a tip at the end of the campaign is a nice gesture.
- The official agent’s job will be hard to fill. Chances are you will need a new one each campaign, unless you hire one.
- Always be polite to the workers.
- Show your gratitude to them, by sending a card out after the campaign.
- You don’t want a back stabber on your campaign team; make sure these people are loyal.
- Make sure they are all legal.