All candidates need a campaign strategy. In this video, seven key questions to ask when you are designing yours.

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One of the reasons good candidates lose elections is because they copycat. They look at what worked for somebody else in a different year, in a different jurisdiction, and then assume the campaign strategy that worked for someone else will work for them.

It won’t and it doesn’t, for every race requires a unique campaign message, a unique plan to execute the message, and a unique campaign strategy.

As you devise your campaign message, and your campaign strategy, start by answering 7 questions:

  1. What are you running for? Because that profoundly affects the issues you talk about.
  2. When is the election? Because turnout varies election by election, and that affects the number of people you need to reach.
  3. What are the rules and who gets to vote? Because that profoundly affects the tools you will use to reach your target audience.
  4. What are the demographics, partisan affiliation and voting history of your jurisdiction and how are they trending? Because that affects who you target and how you reach them.
  5. What is the current political environment? Because the headwinds of political discourse are constantly shifting, and that affects your message.
  6. What are your resources? Because advertising costs money and you can buy only what you can afford.
  7. Who is or who are your opponents? Because that affects almost everything you say and do.

    The answers to these questions determine your campaign message, how you will execute it, and your campaign strategy. Anybody advising you on these without first knowing the answers is wasting your time, for no one can design an intelligent campaign strategy without this information.

    For these reasons. No two jurisdictions are the same. No two election years are the same. No other jurisdiction has the same demographic profile as yours. Nobody has the same opponent that you do. Nobody has your voice, your biography, or your story.

    Stay tuned for more on this subject in the coming weeks.

Political consultant Jay Townsend works with smart, passionate candidates who want to run for office, win elections and make a difference. He has successfully helped candidates learn how to run for the U.S. Senate, how to run for Congress, how to run for Mayor and develop a winning campaign marketing strategy.

How to win an election:

Running for office and knowing how to win an election is a challenge, especially for first time political candidates just learning how to run for office. Discerning the fine points of how to campaign, raise political contributions, and execute a political campaign strategy often requires the help of someone who has served as a political strategist or who has experience as a political consultant.

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