Sunday, January 30, 2011

Why You Need a Written Campaign Plan

We have all heard the quote "Failing to plan is planning to fail." There may be no other time when it is more true than in campaigns, and yet a large number of candidates never bother to put together a written campaign plan.
Studies indicate that most campaigns without an official campaign plan fail. When there is no written, concrete plan to refer to it sets the campaign up for failure. It becomes very easy to get sidetracked, and not follow through on essential products.
Campaign plans offer several benefits that are essential to keeping the proper focus. It will help create a timeline and benchmarks that will provide a check and balance system. It should answer the tough questions ahead of time so those situations are already dealt with before they arise. It will give structure and job descriptions to the campaign staff and volunteers. It will lay out the strategy, message, and tactics the campaign intends to utilize.
Make sure that you bring together a team of advisors to help you create the plan and brainstorm the creative portions. There should be at least one professional advisor on this team, and preferably that person would be able to steer you on what subjects need to be addressed.
You have to be ready to be very honest about your strengths and weaknesses as well those of your opponent (s). You have to be realistic about fundraising and budgeting expectations and goals. But most of all you should do it as soon as possible. Creating the plan early will help you to focus and start reaching for the milestones that much sooner.
Don't worry about the plan being perfect, it is certainly up for adjustments as circumstances change. Getting the plan written and committing to implementing that plan may be the most important step in your journey to the ballot box.

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