Monday, March 17, 2008

TBA2008 -- Campaign Planning 101: Developing the Right Campaign Plan to Win

11:44: This session is being led by Gia Vitali, Michael Obermueller and Luis Navarro.

11:52: Luis Navarro: You have a far greater chance of winning a campaign if you have a campaign plan. You can win without one, with specific circumstances, but the chances are a lot less.

Luis Navarro

11:53: With a plan you are trying to quantify three resources: money, people and time.

11:54: Time is non-renewal. So in your plan you need to start with election day and work your way backwards. You need to create a calendar that includes dates for filing.

11:56: You need to prepare a budget. You need to determine how many volunteer hours you need so you can plan for the number of people to get the job done.

11:57: A campaign plan is a living document and needs to change according to the real world circumstances.

11:59: The importance of a plan increases the higher the office you run for while the impact of a plan increases the lower the office you run for.

12:02: Getting started in writing the plan, by Gia Vitali...

Gia Vitali

12:03: Collect and analyze data:

District profile
Past election results
Likely opposition?
Filing deadlines
Legal requirements
What's it going to cost
Likely donors and supporters
Voter file access
Resume (including personal history)
Financial/credit history

12:05: Creating a "Kitchen Cabinet"

Volunteer committee
Who needs to be on it
This is a working committee
These should not just be yes people

Key staff/volunteer jobs
Campaign treasurer
Campaign manager
Field director
Volunteer coordinator
Policy researcher

12:08: Rule No. 1 of campaign planning: If it's not written down, it doesn't exist.
2: Time people and money are your resources, use them wisely.
3: Know your win number 50%+1 + 4-10% cushion.
4: It always takes longer and costs more than you expect.
5: Plans should be flexible and adapt to changing circumstances. Build in a cushion.
6: Knowing and following the legal rules minimizes stupid risks and mistakes.

12:09: Five key questions:
What needs to be done?
Who will do the work?
When will it take place?
How much will it cost?
Is it necessary to help you win?

Key Campaign Plan Components
Message development & delivery
Message development
Paid and earned media

Voter contact and field
Voter registration
Voter ID and persuasion
Base building

12:14: Four rules of creating a budget
1: Create a realistic budget
2: Budgets reflect priorities
3: Minimize overhead and maximize voter contact: Learn to say no to fancy gadgets that don't win you votes.
4: Pay bills and avoid debt

12:15: Cost breakdown
Less than 20% of your budget should be overhead
Research 2-8%
Fundraising costs 10-12%
Voter contact 60-70%

12:18: In high Democratic precincts (60% Dem performance), the key reason to spend money is drive turnout, since they are likely to vote for you anyway. The precincts (40% Dem performance) focus on new Democratic registrations, new residents or groups that are more likely to vote Democratic. The bulk of your funding and persuasion would be to focus on the precincts in between 40-60% performance.

12:24: Michael Obermueller: The way to run is to figure out what you think first and then go out and run, don't start running before you know why you are running and what your values are.

Michael Obermueller

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