Update > A Number of Aspects of A Campaign Organization

A Number of Aspects of A Campaign Organization


Campaign coordination/management

The campaign manager (or coordinator) has a central role in the campaign organization. This is the person responsible for the implementation of the campaign, whose main task is making sure everybody sticks to the campaign plan. This is done in collaboration with other members of the campaign team, each of whom have clearly defined duties. Campaign managers are the link between the campaign team, the MPs and the party leadership. They chair the campaign team meetings and evaluate the campaign after the elections have taken place.

Campaign research and strategy

Before every good campaign, it is necessary to conduct thorough research. In this research, campaign teams find out everything they need to know to determine the campaign strategy, like the available media, the available talent among the members, the party’s network, the issues that will be important during the campaign and how both the party and its opponents have performed during the past term. The campaign research is part of the preparation before drawing up a campaign plan.

Monitoring the competition

One unit within the team compiles as much information as possible about the opponents. Public statements, plans, voting behaviour, election programmes, interviews, websites, everything should be taken into account. Campaign teams should search through this information for material that can help them corner their opponent in a debate and make well informed criticisms of their views and positions. In addition, campaign teams have to anticipate anything their opponent might find about their candidate, in order to know what kind of attacks to expect during the campaign.

Rapid response and media monitoring

This is a unit within the team that monitors what happens in the media. All public statements made by opponents should immediately be noted and responded to where appropriate. The people in this unit listen to the radio 24 hours a day, they read all the papers and search the internet for news. This unit, too, should find material that helps them beat opponents in a debate and make well-informed criticisms of their points of view.

Press liaison

A campaign’s success depends on the party’s media image. Voters are swayed not only by the views expressed in the election programme, but also by the way those views are brought to their attention. A campaign’s media image should inspire trust, it should clearly communicate what it stands for. Also it is important that the campaign’s message is clear and that the media image shows that the party is open to ordinary citizens’ opinions. The party’s image is created in large part by the media. To keep some control over this, it is important for campaign teams to thoroughly consider their position and present a united position to the media, even at times of crisis or internal conflicts. That is why the campaign team should assign one individual the task of liaising with the press, or at least coordinating other party members’ contacts with the press.

Communication means

A good campaign needs message carriers. These can be hand-outs like summaries of the election programme, but also the campaign newsletter, questionnaires and the website. Appoint one person to take care of all communications, in order to preserve a uniform look and consistency of message during the entire campaign. This person will have to take stock of all the various communication means to be used, design a uniform style, and supervise the production of folders, election programmes, the website and radio commercials.

New media

Internet, text messaging, podcasts, Social Websites like Facebook, You-Tube, blogs, etc.: all of these are new ways for a party to communicate its message. This is a whole different ballgame from the traditional means of communication, so creating a special unit for new media is definitely worth considering.

Activities and events

During the election campaign various activities and events are organized. This can vary from having a stall at a market somewhere to staging a major political rally. One campaign member is responsible for the coordination of these activities and events. The actual organization is done by volunteers. The activities coordinator tries to invent new events and themes, coordinates their organization, liaises between volunteers, local politicians and the campaign team, and discusses how best to publicize the events with the campaign member responsible for communication. Budgeting the events, obtaining licenses for events and persuading politicians to appear at them are also part of his or her duties.

Target groups

Parts of a campaign can be aimed at very specific target groups, like young people, pensioners or ethnic minorities. The campaign team can appoint one member to oversee a target group campaign. This may be – but does not have to be – a member of the target group concerned. This campaign member closely collaborates with the activities coordinator and the campaign member responsible for communication material. If certain target groups require special attention, he or she makes sure that hand-out material is written specially for that target group, activities are organized, election candidates are involved and important organizations or representatives of these target groups are contacted.


Campaign teams should try to mobilize as many supporters as they can. A good way of doing this is through a national network of volunteers. Campaign teams should make sure they have visible contact persons, such as local coordinators who can mobilize local volunteers and provide feedback to the campaign team.


Campaigning without funds is impossible. Even the most basic campaign costs money. The planning of the campaign is largely dependent on the available means. That is why one campaign team member will need to be the budget supervisor (van den Boomen 2012: 74-77).


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