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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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Need to work on your ground game?

Posted By Patrick Burgwinkle, Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A good field operation can make the difference in tight races. Volunteers knocking on doors and having face-to-face conversations with their neighbors is a tried-and-true method of voter contact. A GOTV push that turns out your supporters on Election Day and gives you the margin of victory you need is a goal of every campaign. Campaigns need to track their data: volunteers, supporters, contact rates, lawn sign locations. These are the components of a winning field program.

VAN’s Votebuilder tool helps campaigns do all of these things.

Planning a door knocking day of action? Votebuilder will help you create walks routes and allow your volunteers to easily track the results of their canvass on printed sheets, their smart phone or tablet.

Time to GOTV? Votebuilder tracks supporters and how you contacted them to help you craft effective and efficient GOTV plans.

Votebuilder also allows you to assign activist codes, track responses to survey questions, and refine the universe of voters your campaign is targeting. It’s one of the most popular platforms available for Democratic campaigns that need to manage their voter file.

Democratic GAIN and VAN are teaming up for a Votebuilder Toolset Training on Tuesday, October 18th. Learn how to run a successful field operation using VAN’s Votebuilder software, improve your Votebuilder proficiency, and jump onto a campaign as a Field Organizer in 2012. This is a training you won’t want to miss.

Sign up today!

Tags:  2012  Field  Field Organizer  Toolset Training  VAN 

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