This is the fourth in a series of articles about “How to Get Elected as a Libertarian.” This article focuses on creating your campaign plan.
Once you choose a winnable race, it’s time to plan your campaign. A campaign plan does not have to be complicated or lengthy. It is simply an outline of what you hope to accomplish as you attempt to persuade voters that you deserve to be their leader.
Your campaign plan should have specific achievable goals, broken down as much as possible. Each campaign plan should include the following details:
- Voter research: Obtain a list of voters from your county clerk and find out how many likely voters there are. How many votes do you need to win? Who is your opposition?
- Campaign workers: who will volunteer to help you? What will each of them do? Will you designate one person to be in charge?
- Messaging: what issues will you stress while campaigning? How will you showcase your strength and experience?
- Future articles will be more detailed regarding signs, mailings, social media, print media ads, door to door campaigns, and more. For your business plan, you should outline how much you will spend on each of those areas, and when/where/how you will spend it.a. How many signs do you want to put up and where? What is the sign ordinance in your area? How will you find places to put up signs? What is the cost of signs, and where will you obtain them?b. How many media ads do you want to run, and in which publications? When should you run these ads? What should they look like?
c. A website is necessary for promoting your campaign. What will this website look like? Who will create and maintain it?d. Social media is very helpful and necessary to be competitive in a contested race. Which social media will you use? Will you create a special page? Will you spend money on ads? Again: when, where, and how?e. Door to door campaign: Every Libertarian who has ever won a contested race has run a strong door-to-door campaign. Future articles will discuss this in detail, but take a look at that list you got from the county clerk and make a goal for how many households you will visit each week.f. Mailings: These can be expensive, but may be necessary if you plan to reach every voter. You can use the same list of voters that you use for a door-to-door campaign. There are many options for mailings, which will be discussed in a future column.
- Campaign fundraising: how much money will you need to accomplish your goals? This calculation will involve adding up the amounts you will need for signs, mailings, media ads, and any other expenses. Once you estimate how much money you will need, how will you obtain this money? Will you self-fund, or ask others? How many people will you need to donate to reach your goals?
Obviously, your campaign plan must be flexible, as it will be modified many times as the campaign plays out. Optimally, you would review your campaign plan weekly to see how things may need to be changed.
In summary, having a campaign plan is necessary if you are running in a contested race for public office. Hopefully this article helps you start thinking about what this plan might be. As a recently elected Libertarian for a Township Trustee in a small rural northern Michigan town, I believe that the Libertarian Party of Michigan should recruit as many qualified, freedom loving candidates as possible to run for similar local roles across the state.
The topic next month will be about networking: attending community events. I welcome ideas and questions at any time at email@example.com.