Writing Your Campaign Plan
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Writing Your Campaign Plan

Hey, this is Kate Catherall,
I’m a co-founder and partner with The Arena and I’m
here to talk with you about writing your campaign plan. This video will cover three things. First, why you should
write a campaign plan. Second, what goes into it and third, a few guiding principles for success. So first things first,
why should you write a campaign plan? Think of it this way, if
you were an entrepreneur starting a company, you
wouldn’t sit down on day one and just start calling
investors asking them for money. You would do your due diligence first. You’d probably do a market
analysis, you would definitely write a business case. The same logic applies here. When you build a campaign,
you’re essentially launching a startup. The difference is that you
have to raise all the money and spend all the money by election day. So the stakes are a little bit higher. Writing a campaign plan
will not only help you be incredibly intentional
and strategic about how you’re gonna reach
your goals it will also help you align with your
campaign team to make sure that everybody’s playing
from the same playbook. And most importantly,
writing a campaign plan will allow you to be proactive. Once you write the plan, it’s
not written in stone forever but it gives you a north star and it helps you focus your resources. Next question is what
goes into a campaign plan? Now when you take a look
at the campaign plan template that we’ve
created, you’ll notice that it is not short. There are a lot of questions that we want you to think through. So I’m not gonna cover
everything right now, I’m just gonna give you a quick overview of the major components. The first step in writing
your campaign plan is going to be identifying the end result that you’re working toward. In most cases, this is gonna
be a quantifiable vocal. Your vocal is your best
guess at the number of votes you believe you need to win. If you are looking for
support in calculating that win number, check
out The Arena snapshot, we’ve got a tool for you. Once you’ve identified
what that number is, the rest of your campaign
plan is really about getting specific on how
you’re going to bridge that vote gap so how are you
gonna find those votes that get you to 50 percent, plus one. There are three main
ways that campaigns think about allocating resources
when it comes to how they engage voters to get to that vocal. The first is persuasion. And when we talk about
persuasion what we mean is engaging voters who are
somewhat likely to turn out to vote and it’s just a
question of who they vote for, they’re undecided. The second is turnout. When we refer to turnout
programs, we’re talking about engaging voters who are only
somewhat likely to turn out. Maybe they have a spotty
vote history but they’re also somewhat likely to be
supportive of our candidate so our goal with those voters is really just to nudge them to the polls. And then the third way in
which campaigns get to that vote number, that win number
is to engage unregistered voters and help convert them into voters and then bring them along
on that journey all the way to the voting booth so persuasion,
turnout and registration. This really boils down to
your strategy so when you’re thinking about answering that question, what is our strategy, it’s two parts. It’s how are we going to register persuade and turnout voters? Thinking about the math
and who those people are and what is our message for them? How are we going to engage them? This is where your tactics come in. So we define tactics as
the specific actions your campaign will take as part
of that overarching strategy. This is everything from
what you’re doing online with your website and
email and social media to what you’re doing on
the ground, door knocking, phone calls, text
messages, house meetings, to what you’re doing in
the media and the press, how you use video, how
you’re talking to reporters and generating earned media. This is gonna be the bulk
of your campaign plan, fleshing those tactics
out into specific programs that are bound to a timeline. And once you’ve got all that figured out, make sure that you’re
accompanying your campaign plan with a budget that goes month
by month and week by week. We have a template for
that to so check out The Arena campaign budget template if you need a little help there. Before I go, I wanna leave
you with a few guiding principles for writing your campaign plan. The first and probably the
most important is to remember that everything your campaign
does is about building relationships and garnering
the trust of voters. On election day when
voters cast their ballots, they will every time vote
for the candidate who they feel connected to
over the candidate who they agree with on every single issue. So really be thoughtful when you’re writing your voter contact scripts, when you’re thinking about the story that you wanna tell in
the media and when you’re having conversations in your community, how can I make this an
opportunity to build relationship and connect on shared
experience and shared values. The second guiding principle
is to set SMART goals. And when we say smart, we
mean that as a mnemonic. Smart is an acronym that
stands for specific, measurable, actionable,
realistic and time bound. Use this as a gut check
as you’re thinking about the goals you’re setting for your programs and finally, try not to get overwhelmed. This campaign plan document
is long, it is not a short template but this is a
living, breathing document that you’ll return to
time and time again over the course of the campaign. Hopefully your strategy
won’t change but the tactics and the message very well might. A lot can change in the
course of just one new cycle. So don’t be daunted by this. This is a project worth
investing in and you have everything you need to
make this a success. Good luck! We’ll see you on the campaign trail.

About Ralph Robinson

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