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So you want to manage a campaign...

Posted By Patrick Burgwinkle, Monday, November 14, 2011

Do you think you have what it takes to manage a campaign?

Every campaign, from State Representative to President, needs a manager. The campaign manager is responsible for writing the campaign plan, creating the campaign budget, and hiring staff that will execute the campaign plan.

Being a campaign manager requires you to manage relationships. The relationship between campaign manager and candidate is the most important relationship that a campaign manager has to cultivate. The candidate is your boss, but the candidate also relies on you to make decisions about how they should spend their time. This is where "managing up” comes in. You have to be able to disagree with your candidate when they want to deviate from the campaign plan. You have to be willing to tell them that call time needs to take priority over marching in a parade this week or that, no matter the outcome of past elections, ordering more campaign t-shirts is not the best use of the campaign’s money.

Simone Ward is the President of Democratic GAIN’s Board of Directors and managed Sen. Barbara Mikulski’s 2010 reelection campaign. Here is what she had to say about managing a campaign:

"Managing a campaign means you have to be a jack of all trades. You need to understand what your consultants, staff, and candidate are thinking and doing. You’re in charge of the campaign’s budget, too. It’s your job to set the overall strategy for the campaign and then manage the people and relationships that will help your campaign follow that strategy to victory. It is also means managing up. The candidate is your boss, but it’s your responsibility to get the candidate to stick with the campaign plan. That sometimes means telling the candidate, ‘No.’”

As campaign manager, you are the nexus for internal communication. It’s your job to keep your staff and consultants on the same page when executing the campaign plan. There will be a number of people who will be more than happy to tell you how your campaign should be run and how you should be doing things. That’s why writing and sticking to a campaign plan is so important.

A campaign manager at their best runs an operation where the different components of the campaign – field, finance, communication, consultants – are working in concert. You set the goals for each department that will help the campaign achieve its overall goal: winning the election. You need to make sure field is knocking on the right number of doors and that finance is raising the amount of money they need to. If anyone is falling behind, the campaign manager has to step in and help them get back on track because the campaign manager is responsible for every decision, success, and shortfall on a campaign.

Think you’re up to the challenge? Come to the Democratic GAIN career fair and meet with the professionals and organizations that are staffing up for 2012!

See you in December!

Tags:  2012  Campaign Manger  Campaigns  Career Fair 

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Membership Discounts: Paychex

Posted By Patrick Burgwinkle, Friday, October 7, 2011

Campaigns are hectic. Phones are always ringing, walks sheets and call lists are everywhere, and people walk in and out of the office all day long.

With all of that going on, setting up an HR department can be pretty daunting. It’s precisely this problem that led Democratic GAIN to Paychex.

Paychex is a recognized leader in the payroll and human resource industry, serving over a half million businesses nationwide. Paychex offers an ever-growing variety of payroll and human resource products and services that will help campaigns do what they do best — win elections.

From calculating payroll and filing tax payments, Paychex gives its clients relief from administrative hassles so they can focus on what matters. Organizational GAIN members receive access to a dedicated, local Payroll Specialist to help get you set up and a 15% discount on payroll processing!

Click here to access your discount!

Tags:  Campaigns  HR  Member Discounts  Membership  Paychex  Payroll 

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Wellstone Action! Advanced Campaign Management School

Posted By Patrick Burgwinkle, Friday, September 23, 2011

"The future will not belong to those who sit on the sidelines. The future will not belong to the cynics. The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” – Paul Wellstone

Wellstone Action! is a national center for training and leadership development in the progressive movement. Their mission is to honor the legacies of Paul and Sheila Wellstone by training, educating, mobilizing, and organizing a network of progressive individuals and organizations that will fight for change in our country. That’s where the Advanced Campaign Management School comes in.

The Advanced Campaign Management School at Wellstone Action! is geared toward people with past electoral experience who want to take their skills to the next level. This intensive five-day training is designed for individuals with a high level of past electoral experience who will be playing leadership roles in the 2012 elections. The Advanced Campaign Management School is an investment in the future of the progressive movement and will teach participants the skills and fundamentals of winning campaigns.

Learn what it takes to run an organized and effective voter contact program. Work with the team at Wellstone Action! to learn how to craft a winning message. Find out how paid and earned media can most effectively help your campaign deliver its message to voters.

Democratic GAIN members are able to receive 10% their tuition for the Wellstone Action! Advanced Campaign Management School. The next training will be held in Baltimore, MD on December 3-7, 2011.

Click here to get off the sidelines and get into the fight!

Tags:  2012  Baltimore  Campaign Manager  Campaigns  Paul Wellstone 

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YouTube Campaign Bootcamp

Posted By Patrick Burgwinkle, GAIN Intern, Wednesday, September 7, 2011
The perfect YouTube moment is something all campaigns are searching for. The flawless, on message exchange with a voter. The devastating one liner delivered during a debate. The catchy and engaging short video that sticks in a voter’s mind until Election Day. Or maybe your campaign’s tracker will catch your opponent brewing a cup of tea that is a little too strong for the average voter.

Do you want to learn how to make your candidate’s YouTube channel pop, create the next smash video and engage with supporters in a meaningful way in the next election cycle? The YouTube Campaign Bootcamp next Wednesday at the Newseum in Washington, DC is where you need to be!

This free one-day training will get your campaign up to speed on the platform and tools you need to find donors, sign up volunteers, and persuade voters.

Click here to register.

Tags:  Campaigns  learn from pros  networking event  skills building  training  Youtube 

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GAIN is coming to Boston!

Posted By Patrick Burgwinkle, GAIN Intern, Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Need to scratch that campaign itch in 2012? Well, if you’re in the Boston area, GAIN is going to be in town for a resume drop next Thursday, September 8th.

If you are interested in working on a campaign during the 2012 election cycle and want to find out what kinds of jobs are available, this is the perfect opportunity to get all your questions answered. If you want to get your resume into the right hands in Washington, this is the event for you.

GAIN’s Development Director Kari Lundstad-Vogt will be there to collect resumes. If you’re going to be in Boston next Thursday, stop by and pass your resume along to the people who can help you get out on the campaign trail in 2012!

Register to reserve a spot!

Tags:  2012  Boston  Campaigns  resume drop  resumes 

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