Campaigns are about more than just who can run the best ads. When campaigns engage constituents as a core part of the process, they build momentum for real civic participation, and an infrastructure that creates power for the long term.
We're proud to present this manual. It is written with a congressional-level campaign in mind, but the principles are applicable to races big and small.
An Engagement Campaign follows a typical campaign timeline of engaging and turning out voters, but adds on an early "Engaging Supporters" phase, giving you extra time to develop all the human capital possible for your campaign. This helps you to build support and enthusiasm across political and social networks long before campaigns normally begin and gives your campaign a pathway for turning supporters into donors, volunteers and campaign leaders.
In addition to capitalizing on human resources, an Engagement Campaign draws on recent breakthroughs in new media and technology across every division of the campaign structure to better find, motivate and turn out supporters.
This manual aims to provide guiding principles, strategic processes, and program samples to help campaign managers develop the kind of integrated Engagement Campaigns that can succeed.
While the campaign world is transforming rapidly, it has not changed entirely. A broadcast television advertisement still reaches more voters than 100 volunteers and in almost every case a good week of candidate call time will raise more than a fundraising email.
But when your anticipated margin of victory is under 5%, the incremental opportunities that wide-scale engagement offer cannot be ignored. And remember, your goal is not just to win the campaign but to enter office with an army of supporters at your side, ready to fight for the legislative change that will improve our lives.
In short, good managers need to have it both ways-25 hours of candidate call time a week AND a smart online strategy to fundraise; a robust earned and paid communication program AND volunteer organization to engage voters; a rigorous voter contact program AND creative ways of engaging voters through their social networks online and offline.
Leaving anything on the table is more than any competitive progressive campaign can afford to sacrifice. The change we're fighting to win is too important.
It's up to campaign leaders like you to continually innovate, creating new ways of engaging supporters and voters to win the change we seek for our families and our country. This is just the beginning. . .
Table of Contents:
- Chapter 1: Leading an Engagement Campaign
- Chapter 2: Getting Started
- Chapter 3: Assessing the Landscape
- Chapter 4: Setting Goals
- Chapter 5: Crafting Your Narrative
- Chapter 6: Developing Your Strategy
- Chapter 7: Leading and Managing