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So you want to work in field...

Posted By Patrick Burgwinkle, Monday, November 7, 2011

Field wins close races.

It’s as simple as that. That one extra round of door knockers you sent out or that extra hour of phone banking can make the difference when a race is coming down to a couple hundred votes.

At its most basic, field strategy is simple: identify the people who will vote for you and then make sure those people show up to vote on Election Day. At its best though, Field is about empowering people to bring your candidates message directly to their neighbors. It’s about inspiring people to give some their time and energy for a cause they believe in.

If you want to work as a Field Organizer or Field Director on a campaign, you need to be a people person. You need to be able to work with volunteers and manage volunteers. It can be delicate balance between effectively managing people and respecting the time they’re giving to your campaign.

Marlon Marshall is currently Deputy National Field Director for President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign. Here is what he had to say about Field organizing:

"Organizing is about building and maintaining connections between people and your campaign. Whether volunteers are making phone calls, holding signs, or knocking on doors, they’re making those connections to voters and the community. Going door-to-door works because it’s personal—one person talking to another, neighbor to neighbor. Online organizing was key in 2008 because friends reached out to friends over email or on Facebook, helping build that personal connection to the campaign. Those online and offline personal connections are what make the difference on Election Day.”

Field work is an excellent way to break into the Political Campaign world. It requires long hours and lots of patience. You’ll be spending a lot of time organizing door knocking shifts, phone banks, recruiting volunteers, and managing data – lots of data.

Contact rates, Positive IDs, ID rates, turf, and call lists are all a part of the Field worker’s daily routine. Successful data management is the foundation of any good GOTV program. You have to know who your voters are and where they are if you are planning on turning them out to vote on Election Day.

Check out the 2011 Democratic GAIN Career Fair for opportunities to work in Field and Organizing in 2012!

Tags:  2012  Career Fair  Field Director  Field Organizer 

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