Corporations utilize a simple model to develop strategic initiatives. This model encourages an organization to envision the future first, then go back to the current realities of the present, determine solutions, and prioritize. Using their approach, let’s map out your campaign’s strategy; it’s as simple as ABCD:
Awareness: What defines success for your organization, and is everyone on the same page with that definition? This is more nuanced than “win the election” (although ain’t that the dream?). Awareness of your vision is critical to the organization achieving a common goal.
Understand what this election means for your organization, for individuals, and other stakeholders.
Take a zoomed-out approach to see your campaign’s organizational culture, the energy of your volunteers, and what your target audience is telling you.
Baseline assessment: Many campaigns conduct a gap analysis between today (i.e. current reality) and election day (i.e. vision), whether through polling, IVR surveys, and/or focus groups. This is a good time for your organization to benchmark: visit your overall budget, and resources.
Are there competing strategies?
Is there a clear vision for how to communicate with your universe?
Creative solutions: Explore innovative solutions. This is where the campaign planning process begins with coordinating mailers, IVR surveys, door-to-door canvassing, and volunteer phone banking. And yep, bumper stickers, yard signs, and shirts are included here.
Align your messaging so that there is a multi-touch approach across multiple mediums.
Determine the decision life cycle of each voter: if they are an early voter, persuasion messaging should come earlier than election day voters, for example.
Devise a plan: What do we need to do, and when should we do it? Limited in resources and/or time, prioritize the “low hanging fruit.”
For example, do you have a large group of volunteers? Schedule shifts of phone banking.
Chase mail drops with timed phone calls – and reference those in your phone script.
Convert those couch seats into votes: share the voter’s polling location, hours, and state’s requirements. Offer resources and solutions for getting to and from the polls, and what their rights are if they are in line after polls close.