Basic Campaign Checklist
October 27 2021
October 27 2021
I made this campaign checklist of things you need to do from before a campaign starts to the very end when I was on the board of an organization that asks women to run and I don't think it ever got used. So I am sharing it now with some updates!
This is a very general but comprehensive list of things I recommend doing if you want to run. This list applies to any level of government but keep in mind that I made it specifically for those running for council, before Covid was ever part of our vocabulary and that there are some things you should do in the order in which they are listed that you should start and finish with but there are others you can do in any order.
- Research and decide what position you are running for.
- Start attending or watching meetings.
- Know exactly why you are running and be able to explain it to someone else in 30 seconds.
- Talk with those close to you about your plans and get their input/feedback.
- Decide how much time you will be able to commit to running.
- Decide who you need on your team and ask them to commit - the most important positions are campaign manager, official agent, communications, volunteer coordinator and signs.
- Register as a candidate.
- Research past campaign budgets, create a budget and start fundraising.
- Recruit volunteers.
- Understand the issues of the community you are running in.
- Follow the news so you are aware of what's going on.
- Do some basic media training so you are prepared in advance of being interviewed.
- Create a website and social media accounts with your campaign branding.
- Go through your social media history and identify posts that are inappropriate.
- Decide if you will have a campaign office - maybe it's a mobile office!
- Decide when to start door knocking and create a brochure or postcard on yourself, platform and contact information.
- Research municipal and provincial bylaws for running and things like lawn sign placement.
- Create a plan for identifying your supporters in addition to door knocking - online ads. events etc.
- Network with community associations, local influencers and currently elected leaders.
- Create a database or decide what platform to use for the information you capture from door knocking.
- Research your competitors - know what issues they are running on and why.
- Plan your GOTV (get out the vote) for advance voting and election days.
- Door knock, door knock, door knock and more door knocking.
- Plan an election night party (win or lose) - make sure you thank your volunteers.
- Have a plan to take down sign.
- Thank your volunteers again.
- File any and all campaign finance information by the deadlines.
- Start planning your next campaign.