So far as politics is concern social life can never be underestimated. As a politician you stand for the people and the people also stand for you. This interdependent will be determined by your social life. Lets follow this simple principles that will take you to your political dream land.
1. You first of all have to Decide which elected position you believe you can have the most impact.
2. Evaluate your skill set, experience and interests. This will help you determine which position and sector of government (Country, City, Town, State.) your skill set will best serve the community
3. Determine if you have adequate finances needed to run a political campaign. Running for political office can be very expensive. Alternatively, you can pursue your candidacy in a more grass roots effort as a way to keep your campaign cost low.
4. Gather feedback of those close to you, individuals in the community, and local organizations on your decision to run for elected office to get an idea of the support you have in your community. Trust me yoou can see the benfits of an informant.
5. Research your community, it is very important you look beyond just what you believe needs changing. Actively engage your community on what they fell needs improvement.
6. Make a list of community leaders that your community respects and trust. Visit with these people to seek advice, counsel, and ask them for a possible endorsement of your run for political office.
7. After visiting with the community and community leaders create a platform you .believe best serves your community. Then create your “stump” speech, this is the speech that defines why you are a good candidate, how you intend to improve the community, and most importantly, ask for their support.
8. Depending on the sector of government you are running for election you may consider hiring a campaign manager or recruiting an experienced community leader to volunteer to help coordinate your political campaign. A good campaign manager will be smart, motivated, organized, and willing to work just as hard as you. They handle your calendar, appointments, and minor details.
9. Know your limits, both mentally and physically. Running for political office can be an exhausting enterprise, no matter what sector of government you are targeting. A political campaign is a 24 hour operation, it does not end until the polls close on election day. Good advice is to think of it as a marathon, not a sprint, meaning find a comfortable pace that you can maintain for the duration of your campaign..
10. By now your engaging the community has inspired volunteers that would like to support your candidacy. It is up to you to motivate the volunteers, it is your campaign managers (if you have one) to managing them. Organization is crucial to ensuring these volunteers are utilized in an effective way. Make sure to properly take care of volunteers, after all they are working long hours right along with you for no pay.
11. A successful campaign most often has a massive door to door component that allows the candidate to meet more of the community, and engage them to find what they feel needs improvement.It also allows the candidate to ask for permission to place a yard sign supporting his candidacy. Yard signs are a great way for people to see a visual representation of the support you have in the community. People really appreciate seeing the candidate in person, and feel good that you personally asked for their vote. Especially when they visit the polls on election day!
12. Create pamphlets, banners, bumper stickers, buttons, and signs to disperse door to door, at community events,in parks, anywhere there are people you and your volunteers should not be far behind. Consider a mass mailing of your campaign literature to targeting frequent voters. Note: it is important all local laws concerning campaign literature be respected.
13. Organize events that allow people in the community to come meet the candidate. These events do not have to be large or fancy. They are to provide you with a venue to share your plan, and why you are the best person to serve their community. Again, the most important part of your talks, must be to ask for their vote. These events are also a great way to get the press to write about your bid for office. In many cities it is difficult, not impossible, to get press coverage for local elections, but that doesn’t mean you should not try.
14. You can involve your campaign to release press releases to the local media, but do not count on them to continually print stories on your election. It can be to your strategic advantage to purchase ads in the local newspapers or run commercials on your local radio station, but there is a cost involved. Consult with your campaign manager, or if you are running your campaign, consider the effectiveness of the effort. You should know if your community reads the papers or which station is the most popular. If you can’t answer these questions, you need to be working harder. Period. If you do not know what your community likes, how can you expect them to elect you to serve their best interest?
15. Fundraisers can be big or small, it’s not the size of the crowd, it’s the size of the donations. Depending upon the office being sought or how you, the candidate, determined to run your campaign early on will influence fundraising. Did you decide to spend, spend, spend or did you choose the grass roots approach. Both styles have won elections, it is a decision you must make as a candidate. Consider your communities views when determining your campaign budget. You must know if they believe a large flashy campaign is impressive or is your community more impressed by the candidate working hard at the grass roots level. In a local election more often then not, it is the amount of people you engage, rather then amount of dollars in the campaign war chest. Note: Campaign finance laws are very strict, and it is important that you have a person that is capable of proper accounting.
16. There is no easy, sure fire way to win any political office, but if you follow the above advice, you increase your chances of winning. You may have noticed I never mentioned opposition, because as a candidate, the only candidacy you should be concerned with is your own. Do not waste your time discussing your opponent, that time could have been better used to prove you are the best candidate because the more you mention your opponent the more you endorse your opponent and the electorate will do as you say.
17. In local elections the most important factor is personal contact with voters. There are lots of people today, that will have you believe that you need to craft a persona, or spend lots of money to impress potential voters. Wrong! Time and time again, the candidate who walks the most miles, shakes the most hands, and rings the most doorbells almost always wins. In a local election, if you make your race about the people, and you do your best to meet every frequent voter in area.
Note that you don’t need to have the oldest community tree in your house before you can stand and win an election in your contesting area. Politics is all about your social life and hard work with this even if you are stranger in the area where you are contesting you can win. I wish you the very best in your political ladder.
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