When it comes to marketing political campaigns or political candidates it is very important that we have the right set of people if we want to win the election. Below are the political marketing jobs that are crucial for every successful team. Without these professionals, candidates will never win elections. The list includes jobs that have held a significant level of importance in passing decades and jobs that have become crucial in the last years with the development of social networks. For smaller political campaigns it is often the case that one person holds multiple roles.
Here is a list of people that will help a candidate succeed:
The campaign manager is responsible for campaign operations in general. As a manager, he is organising the campaign team and managing the campaign budget. When it comes to the campaign manager, organisational skills are very important.
The chief strategist is someone that designs strategy for the campaign. Examples are people like Karl Rove (the chief strategist for George Bush Junior’s presidential campaign) and David Axelrod (the chief strategist for Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns). Besides chief strategist, it is becoming increasingly essential to have the separate specialised position of a digital strategist (or social media strategist). The digital strategist is responsible for the digital aspects of the campaign’s strategy, working closely with the chief strategist. When it comes to political strategy, it is important to remember that, while the core of the strategy may remain rigid, all other elements are changeable, such that the campaign may adapt and evolve with the current trends and occurrences.
The spin doctor is responsible for ensuring that all media coverage for the campaign is positive, or, at the very least, not negative. This may require the spin doctor to be able to take any potentially negative media coverage and then ‘spin’ the story such that the campaign is not negatively affected by it. One example of a spin doctor would be Kellyanne Conway, who was Donald’s Trump spin doctor (is her career, she also had other roles, e.g. campaign manager,…).
The pollster is either a person or a research company responsible for gauging the voting market’s opinions on matters that pertain to the political candidate or campaign. Data that pollster gathers is then turned into a strategy. The pollster must, therefore, work closely with the chief strategist.
The Media Relations/Press office is responsible for portraying a political campaign to the general public, speaking on behalf of the candidate and preparing press releases. Bigger campaigns also have a communications director who manages all activities regarding media relations.
The fundraising director is in control of forming the best fundraising strategy, in order to raise the necessary funds for the campaign. He or she works closely with the campaign manager and the candidate.
The Graphic designer and creativity advisers are responsible for creating the logos, images and other graphical elements of the campaign. Logos and other visuals should be based on political strategy and not vice versa. They should be created only after there is a clear strategy.
The field director and local field directors are responsible for convincing people to go out and vote on the Election Day. In other words, the director needs to turn support into votes. This means going door-to-door and phoning potential voters. The role relies on the help of local field directors and volunteers.
The volunteer coordinator is someone who works closely with the field director and volunteers. He or she is the link between volunteers and the field director. The job requires the recruitment of volunteers, coordinating and motivating them. High organisational and motivational skills are necessary for a good volunteer coordinator.
The volunteers are the link between the candidate and the voters. Their task is to convince the electorate to vote for their candidate on the Election Day. Volunteers play a large role contributing to events, making phone calls, writing emails and distributing brochures on behalf of the campaign.
The campaign treasurer is responsible for the financial side of the campaign. He oversees the donations and expenses. Having prior experience in financing, accounting and law are necessary for this kind of position.
Web designers are responsible for managing the website, especially the technical part. They work closely with content development and social media experts.
IT support is responsible for providing phones, computers, software and network connection for all those that need it. IT support needs to have all the necessary knowledge about technology in order to answer all the questions regarding IT issues that might occur.
Data experts, experts in data mining, database coordinators, web analytics experts and social monitoring experts are professionals that gather and analyse information. They work closely with the pollster. They need to analyse all available data and present it in a useful way. As campaign strategy must be flexible enough to evolve while maintaining a clear and unchanging, the information produced by the data experts can then be used by the chief strategists to modify strategy accordingly.
The legal advisor is responsible for providing legal advice to all personnel involved in the campaign. He or she needs a broad knowledge of campaign law and finances. Political campaigns can have a legal advisor, or they can outsource this role to law firms.
The public speaker coach works closely with the candidate to improve his or her public speaking skills.
The scheduler is responsible for organising the candidate’s schedule and providing information about the events. If necessary, the scheduler needs to be proactive and search for events that could be suitable for the candidate to attend.
One of the most important things to remember is that what lies at the heart of every successful campaign is teamwork. Every successful campaign needs to have a team!
written by Tadej Zupan (co-founder of ICPM) on 2.4.2019