Election campaign management and corporate affairs management go hand in hand when it comes to designing and executing an effective election campaign strategy. An election campaign strategy is a compass for your campaign. It can be described as a structured, focused effort to bring about change, and it should be directed by thoughtful design.
An effective election campaign strategy begins with assessing the current environment, who would the campaign issue affect, what solutions will address the campaign issue and finally what resources, tools, and tactics need to be implemented to launch the campaign that will improve the situation.
The cornerstone of election campaign management is creating a common vision. Ironically, most election campaign strategies are formulated with no clear campaign objective. Most campaigns fail due to the lack of an axiomatic campaign objective. It is important to invest a reasonable amount of resources in identifying the primary objective and then prioritising and dividing the short and long-term goals in achieving it.
It would be more constructive to brainstorm with the entire campaigning team on what the core problem is and the actions to be taken to arrive at a solution. Combine individual visions into a single common vision and chalk out a single path of action to remain focused, thus leading to a successful campaign. It is pivotal to keep in mind that the campaign team’s vision connects with the voters’ vision.
The next area of focus would be mapping stakeholders and their relationship with the campaign issue. Corporate affairs management will help identify the stakeholders related to the campaign issue; ones who would favour, ones who are deeply impacted, ones who can influence and ones who would oppose the campaign issue. The election campaign strategy should then detail how to deal with the stakeholder groups in achieving campaign objectives.
Another important element of an election campaign strategy is the campaign approach – positive, negative or a combination of both. Positive campaigning is safe but the convincing process is quite slow and the conversion usually takes multiple waves. Negative campaigning can be disruptive and result in immediate conversion; however, it may create a negative impression of the candidate while the opponent enjoys more attention.
Election campaign management is all about balancing the human and financial resources in achieving the campaign objective. If the candidate is affluent or well-networked, you’ll be able to afford full-time employees, hire professional media agencies, and ads on mainstream media. If the candidate has limited funds, you would need to count on volunteers, grassroots tactics, and amateur marketing materials and ideas.
Running an election campaign could be one of the most challenging and exhausting activities. It could also turn out to be an exhilarating and stimulating experience. Since the powers and privileges are large, the stakes are equally high. There is no extension to the ultimate deadline: Election Day and you either win or your campaign team has to shut shop. The best way to combat the stress of countdown to Election Day is to be very thorough in planning the election campaign strategy. Eighty percent of successful election campaign management is strategy while implementation is only twenty percent.