Processes in election campaign
In a political campaign one should emphasize the effects of previous work and convey his message to the constituency in a way that ensures his commitment to the party or candidate. In every successful political campaign, if one aims to achieve positive result he has to respect a series of processes based on theory and experience.
1. Organization of campaign staff
Basic requirement of every successful campaign is a well selected, independent and professional campaign staff. Previous experience showed that the best results are achieved by campaign staff combined from professionals and political activists from the party. The most efficient were functionally organised campaign staff where everyone has his concrete assignment.
2. Analysis – internal and external
Every campaign has to begin with qualitative and quantitative analysis (SWOT). Procedure entails both internal and external analysis.
3. Evaluation / Targeting
Processes closely related with analysis – evaluation and identification – are filtering all the results of analysis, determine priority levels of important elements, establish hierarchy of priorities. According to this hierarchy basic steps in the processes of setting a goal and preparing campaign strategies are being defined.
4. Defining ultimate goal
Key element of successful campaign is defining your goal. This process is based solely on premises established from two previous processes. Poorly defined goals automatically lead to campaign failure.
5. Establishing campaign strategy
Campaign strategy represents the means of achieving the defined goal. The clearer the strategy, the higher possibility of goal achievement. Precise and clear strategy shortens the time of decision making significantly, it eliminates elements that can cause conflicts, it directs every campaign participant, it helps to use resources more effectively and efficiently.
6. Campaign planning
In a beginning phase of the political campaign, the basic dynamics of selecting and forming of campaign staff is defined by the plan, but also the basic dates in the campaign and deadlines for implementing specific activities in order to achieve the best result in the campaign. Since the campaign is a dynamic and interactive process, it can be expected that elements of the campaign plan have a fluctuating character.
7. Political strategy
Political strategy is a process by which range and priority level of political issues representing the party’s programmes is being defined. The key topics of the campaign are chosen on the basis of data obtained in the process of analysis, evaluation and identification.
8. Field operations strategy
Operations strategy is „executive dimension“ of every political campaign. The task of the field work is to convey all elements of political strategy to the constituency directly. This type of direct marketing is characterised by the greatest level of efficiency as has been proven that the best results in marketing are achieved by direct contact.
9. Campaign political image
In defining the campaign political image it is important to determine the exact structure of candidates from the party who will be the representatives of fundamental political activities in prelection and election processes. Defining of the structure depends from the election type. This process of defining the concept is crucial for choice of appropriate political image of the campaign and party.
10. Media strategy
Media strategy of a campaign is defined on the basis of all elements described above. The strategy has to determine which media, in which format and in which way will be used in prelection and election process.
11. Crisis communication plan
Crisis communication plan represents a reaction is a case of unforeseen and crisis situations. Most often the CCP is being created simultaneously with planning of every single aspect of the political campaign. It is important to emphasize that CCP represents a series of activities and measures in a process of damage control of political opponents’ negative campaign, as well as of a damage caused by different participant in the campaign didn’t follow all elements according to plan.
12. Internet campaign
The role of Internet campaign is to promote programmes and goals of the campaign and to turn indecisive voters into supporters. Other roles: to report about all activities of the campaign, to enable communication among other supporters, to enable accessibility of all PR materials and to adjust the Internet webpage to all the requirements of a campaign.
13. The campaign structure
The campaign structure is easiest to explain as an algorithm of realisation of a set goal. Every step of algorithm has its' on functional goal. The span of algorithm depends from the structure of political party organisation, as well as of the functional goals which have to be realized during a campaign. Level of algorithm depends from different categories: duration of campaign, campaign type, campaign positioning, planning and strategy.
14. Campaign mechanisms
In campaign mechanisms we can include all practical ways by which campaign staff is conveying its information to his constituency.
15. Analytics and postproduction – Call centre
The goal of analytics during the campaign is: confirm, deepen and multiply the effects of work done by teams in charge of different elements of prelection campaign. The process of analytics needs to define knowledge and advantages which are obtained during the campaign management. The importance of this process is best seen from the example of safe votes.
16. Organization of activities on day of election silence
Despite most people's assumption, during the election silence activities of campaign staff are most extensive. In that period good planning and setting up campaign concept, together with good organisation and task completion, need to ensure good final result for the party.
17. Organisation of Election Day activities
Election Day is a test for the party, for the campaign staff and for the campaign in general. A complete activity of central and local campaign staff headquarters is essential. Actions which are implemented that day are directed solely towards increase of votes in favour of the party. Well executed Election Day demands previously established organisation, increasing constituency’s turnout, and reminding, field visits...
18. Closing press conference
Press conference after the final votes and after data acquisition and analysis needs to end the election campaign. Depending from the results the press conference can have more or less affirmative tone. It is important to close this whole process positively, because the end of a campaign represents the beginning of a new one.