A political campaign manager’s role becomes extremely crucial at times, especially as persuading voters is a tricky task to do.
Becoming a campaign manager can be a tough job to do if you don’t know how to manage the details. In countries like the United States of America, the job of the political campaign manager becomes more important due to the two-party system of the country.
If you do not perform well as a campaign manager, your competitor will completely outclass you. The benefits of working on a political campaign include deep insights into the political infrastructure of the country, which transforms your vision about things completely.
As a campaign manager, you have to use different political campaign management software that will help you to measure various parameters accurately, unlike the traditional methods.
The duties of a campaign manager vary from case to case, yet the end goal is to win as many votes as possible for the political party or the candidate for whom the manager is campaigning.
Recently, Sean Patrick Maloney was nominated as the chairman of the Democrats campaign arm. His job as the political campaign manager will be one of a kind, as he is mandated to bring the Democrats out of an imminent crisis.
Let’s explore what he can do for the Democrats in general and what political campaign managers do in particular.
Sean Patrick Maloney: A Messiah for the Democrats
Amid all of this, the appointment of Sean Patrick Maloney into the office of the Democratic campaign arm is one of the smartest decisions the Democrats made in recent times.
The mismanagement of the political campaign, especially the digital political campaign, was evident for the Democrats in the 2020 elections.
While they flooded enough resources to focus on the offline and traditional way of canvassing, they ignored digital political campaigns altogether.
In the wake of the 21st century, the advent of Information Technology made it compulsory for the candidates to dedicate equal resources, if not more, to the digital campaigns as they do with the offline campaign.
This is due to the fact that people are using the Internet, and their behaviors and life choices are somehow interconnected with the pixels of the screens.
The persuasion power which is associated with an online message overcomes the power of the offline message. That’s why Obama emphasized this approach in his 2012 reelection and reaped its fruits.
The Democrats lost at least nine seats in the 2020 House elections, whereas no incumbent Republicans lost the House reelection this time. If we analyze data, it is evident that the Democrats were far behind the Republicans in using digital campaign tools.
This is what the progressive squad in general, and AOC in particular, emphasized; that the Democrats’ flawed digital election strategy cost them the election.
Sean Patrick Maloney also emphasized that the Democrats have to make a fair balance between the digital and the non-digital campaign. Honestly, this is the logical approach, as one without another is a complete waste of time and effort.
If we consider the recent propaganda of the Republicans against the Democrats, we will see that Democrats had no clue how to answer the agenda. For instance, Republicans alleged Democrats of sponsoring socialism in the United States, but it was not true at all.
Similarly, Republicans also sponsored the notion that Democrats want to defund the police, which was, once again, fake propaganda. However, Democrats did not make the counter-narrative with full force.
The failure to make this counter-narrative lost them nine seats in the House reelection. Now, with the introduction of Sean Patrick Maloney in the office, it is expected that the Democrats will devise a thoughtful strategy in the digital domain, as he is a tech-savvy politician.
For instance, his contributions in winning the House for Democrats in the 2018 elections can’t be overlooked at all. As Democrats lost the 2016 House elections, Sean Patrick Maloney did a thorough autopsy of the election data.
He did it by going through the data of each and every district with the DCCC team, and hence the Democrats captured the House once again.
His knowledge and reliance upon data are a welcoming sign for the Democrats, which will help them in the 2022 elections and the 2024 presidential elections.
After speaking to at least 200 colleagues, Sean Maloney said that “By listening to them all and then examining what the data and the evidence shows us, we will come to some conclusions that are informed, and out of that knowledge, a strategy and a battle plan will arise. That’s what happened in 2018. I think the results speak for themselves.”
This will be an interesting time ahead for Democrats, who will undoubtedly level up their digital election strategy under the care of Maloney.
Let’s explore what the duties are of a political campaign manager, which he must focus on.
Duties of a Campaign Manager:
Becoming a campaign manager is not difficult, but becoming the best in the field requires a specific skill set that is necessary to help your party win the elections. Following are the duties of a campaign manager that can help you win the votes of the masses with ease.
Crafting a well thought out plan:
Right after the appointment to the office, the first step which a good campaign manager takes is to craft a winning strategy for the political party or the candidate. A little negligence at this step translates into bigger disadvantages later on. While devising this plan as a political campaign manager, you must take the following things into account.
- The budget associated with the campaign.
- Time remaining until the targeted elections.
- Human resources available to you.
- The preferred way of canvassing according to the targeted audience.
- Taking care of candidates’ schedules and meetings.
Fundraising for the political campaign:
Raising a significant amount of funds can be crucial and an extremely important step in a political campaign. The campaign managers will make sure that they incorporate enough fundraising strategies to not miss out on any opportunity. Digital fundraising can be crucial in this regard and can help the campaign managers to exponentially increase the funds of the campaign.
Managing the people organization:
The duties of the political campaign managers include managing a lot of people under them. While the exact number of people will vary from campaign to campaign, only a person with proven leadership and people management skills can manage this many people under the pressure of an election.
It is pertinent to note here that as a political campaign manager, you will deal with the lower-level managers, who will manage a lot of the staff under them.
The political campaign staff which you have to manage as a political campaign manager is given below.
Political Campaign Staff:
It is the sheer responsibility of the political campaign manager to choose and manage their staff. As we discussed, you have to manage a lot of people to make things happen. A political campaign is just like a corporation, where a manager has multiple responsibilities. As a political campaign manager, you have to manage the following people and roles:
In today’s era of technological advancements, having a competent political technology manager is a big win for any political campaign. In the first place, putting him in the political staff hierarchy is not a mistake, primarily because of the benefits that the technology manager provides to the campaign.
A technology manager is responsible for crafting a winning digital election strategy for the political parties. Additionally, he also works to keep the campaign records safe and secure while formulating a strategy against cybercriminals who are in action during the election season.
For instance, the cyberattacks on Hillary Clinton by her opponents in 2016 uncovered her email messages. A technology manager will make your election data secure by finding all the security loopholes and lapses present in your digital infrastructure.
Similarly, he will also protect the reputation of the political parties online so that no one can harness fake propaganda against the candidates. He will make your political campaign message consistent on all the digital platforms to attract as many voters as possible.
With so many people using social media in one form or another, it is an absolute necessity that your technology campaign manager is well aware of the digital trends to persuade the voters. Due to these fast-changing trends, it is also compulsory that the political technology manager is well aware of the latest technology and should continue to evolve himself with the pace of changing technology.
A political technology manager also closely observes the opponents’ digital election strategy to develop a counter-narrative against their plan. In total, he should be able to devise an unmatchable digital strategy that wins the voters in bulk.
The finance director or fundraiser is responsible for collecting the funds to run the political campaign. In today’s world, it is a truth that you cannot manage anything, let alone a political campaign, without enough funds.
A fundraiser has to accommodate a lot of tricks and hacks to raise funds. The fundraising campaign should be diverse and extremely targeted to make it as optimizable as possible. Digital fundraising is a great way to outperform your competitor in this strategy and hence the elections.
A finance director will have a team under him, which will assist him in the fundraising campaign. A political campaign fundraiser will be answerable to the political campaign manager.
Public Relations Manager:
A public relations manager is responsible for all types of interaction with the mainstream media and the people. He/she has to make the image of the campaign in society so that people can trust the campaign and the individual. It is such an important position that an inefficient person at this position will result in wasted efforts. For instance, consider the following important questions.
- How does your campaign respond to public critics?
- How does your campaign respond to any pressure group?
- What is your campaign’s strategy against the propaganda?
- How does your campaign win the trust of the people over time?
Devising a proper strategy on all of the above questions is the responsibility of the PR managers. Not only this, but the Public Relations Manager is also responsible for each and every word that goes out of the podium in the public gatherings. He will have to oversee the effectiveness of the message going to the public under the name of the campaign.
The public relations manager, or communication manager, will also be answerable to the political campaign manager.
Like the fundraising manager, there will be a team of staff working under the public relations manager.
Bringing people out to vote on election day or even in the early voting is an art. Without a GOTV manager (Get Out the Vote), all the campaign efforts can be wasted, as voters are the ones who will decide the elections at the end of the day.
GOTV managers will manage staff members, who will execute the strategy to increase the voter turnout. A GOTV manager is responsible for doing audience research before crafting the strategy to bring out the voters.
Researching and scrutinizing different reports to collect data and use it also comes under the job description of the GOTV managers. A good GOTV manager will explore creative ways to increase voter turnout. He will have to make sure that he targets the voters both digitally as well as in the traditional methods.
While the fundraiser is responsible for collecting funds to run the political campaign, the campaign treasurer is mandated to spend those funds. With proper fund management, the new avenues can be unlocked in the campaign. For instance, what is the amount of funds the campaign should allocate to the media department? Similarly, what should they spend on the GOTV campaign? All of this is decided by the staff working under the campaign treasurer.
The legal complexities attached to the political campaign are so high that, at times, an inefficient legal advisor can make the campaign stagnant. This is a wasted effort as no political campaign manager would like to stop the campaign due to legal hurdles.
Imagine you are working as the political campaign manager, and the court orders you to stop the campaign close to the election date due to some legal restrictions; for instance, failing to file the taxes.
Obviously, this will result in the loss of votes as many undecided voters make up their minds just before the election. So, a knowledgeable legal advisor is a must in a political campaign.
Volunteers play a crucial role in promoting the political campaign. Most of the volunteers are the supporters of the political parties who can go the extra mile to win important votes for the party.
Managing these volunteers and bringing the best out of them is the responsibility of the volunteer manager.
The volunteer manager is responsible for holding regular meetings with the volunteers to make them aware of the latest plans. With these plans, they will promote the campaign’s message in the respective areas.
A scheduler deals with the time management of the political campaign. Amid the election season, the campaign may run out of time due to too many engagements.
However, an effective scheduler will help the campaign to devise the time table and schedule to optimize the time as much as possible.
He is also responsible for arranging the events at different locations. At what time does the certain event start and finish? How many times should a political leader interact with the voters? These things, along with many other things, are managed by the scheduler.
These are just some of the departments working under the authority of the political campaign manager. Once again, it all depends upon the size of the political campaign. In the case of the national-level campaigns, these departments will increase and hence the scope of the political campaigns.
While you manage political campaign staff members, it is necessary to ramp up your team’s productivity by using different software types. Let’s explore what type of software you can use to win your next elections.
Political Campaign Management Software:
Choosing a political campaign management software can be a tricky thing. If you choose the wrong campaign management tool, disasters can happen. You will get the updated and correct data only with the help of the latest software that will alleviate your tensions and make your jobs easy. Some of the best political campaign management software are listed below.
- Click & Pledge
- Campaign Partner
It is mandatory that you do your research while choosing the best tool. These are some attributes which you should check while choosing the best political campaign management software.
- How much diversity does the product offer?
- Is the tool reliable?
- Will the benefits of the software outweigh its cost in the long run?
- Does the specific product deliver what it claims?
All of these questions are of considerable importance while selecting the tools for your campaigns. While some of the software offers greater diversity, others specialize in any one field, such as fundraising. So, it all depends upon your needs as the political campaign manager.
But the game of winning the next elections doesn’t end here. You have to move to the people who are experts in this. There are many companies available that will uplift the game of voting for you. Let’s explore.
Political campaign companies
Political campaign companies can be really helpful to translate your ideas into reality. As a political campaign manager, you should keep this option in mind as it will significantly reduce the burden on your shoulders. Not many companies will manage your political campaign in its entirety. Some of the political campaign companies that you can check out are
- Clarify Agency
- The Blue Lab
- California Strategy
- Campaign Solutions
Most of the time, you will find political campaign companies related to one specific niche. For instance, some companies will only focus on reputation management, while others will focus on fundraising. Instead of going to different companies for individual hacks, it is always a reasonable approach to deal with one company.
Winning the elections with a proper election strategy is an art, and only an efficient political campaign manager can help the candidates in doing this.