The Big Question: WHY DO YOU WANT TO RUN FOR OFFICE?
Political office is not a source of making fast money, building mansions, and affording luxurious things, this is where most people misconstrue things, thereby forgetting the sole aim of running. Before you contest for any political office these are the questions you should ask yourself; what are my values and vision? What am I going to do differently? What development have I brought to my community before now? Before contesting against my opponent is there anything he/she is not doing right that has inspired you to contest against him?
What Next?: ELIGIBILITY TO RUN FOR OFFICE
It is pivotal to know about the eligibility of running for office, before taking the BOLD STEP!
Do you desire to run for political office? If yes, Here are some questions you may need to know before planning your campaign:
1. What is the type of election, and what are the rules?
2. What has happened in past elections?
3. What are the main factors affecting this election?
4. What are the characteristics of the constituency?
5. What are the characteristics of the voters?
6. What are the strengths and weaknesses of all the viable opponents?
7. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
What Leadership Qualities do you have?
What qualities do voters most want to see in their leaders? Are they looking for stable, experienced leadership, or do they want someone young and dynamic who will shake up the establishment? Would they prefer leaders from the intelligentsia, or do they want leaders who can relate to the concerns of the common person?
Developing your campaign message: WHAT IS YOUR MESSAGE?
Once you have decided who your target audience is, you need to decide what you will say to persuade them to vote for you. This is your campaign message. It tells the voters why you are running for this particular office and why they should choose you over your opponents for the same office. Your voters should not be confused with the message, a simple statement that will be repeated over and over throughout the campaign to persuade your target voters.
THE MESSAGE BOX
Before you draft your campaign message I want you to use the “Message Box.” The message box requires candidates not only to determine what they will be saying during the campaign but also how they will respond to their opponent’s attacks.
On a large piece of paper or a chalkboard, draw the following graph:
|What We Say About Us Write here||What We Say About Them Write here|
|What They Say About Us Write here||What They Say About Them Write here|
Now fill in each box with as much information as possible.
MAKE YOUR MESSAGE SHORT!
Voters have very little patience for listening to long-winded politicians. If you cannot effectively deliver your message to a voter in less than one minute, then you will surely lose that voter’s attention and probably their vote.
GET OUT THE VOTE
It does no good to have spent weeks persuading your target audience that you are the best candidate if they do not go to the polls on Election Day and vote for you. Individual voters often feel that their one single vote does not matter. They need to know that they are part of something bigger and that their support for you is important. Often a simple reminder – either a phone call or a piece of literature – can be enough to ensure that they vote.
CAMPAIGN BUDGETING (MONEY 1)
Everything you do in the campaign will cost something. Make an estimate of how much each of the tasks will cost, and develop an overall budget for the entire campaign. Your campaign budget should not be a wish list, but a realistic list of what will be needed to implement your campaign plan.
Answer the following questions to determine the demographic targeting for your campaign:
1. What are the demographic profiles (age, gender, profession, education, etc.) of all the viable candidates, including your candidate?
2. What demographic groups should support your candidate?
3. Are there enough votes within these groups to win the election?
4. Where do these demographic groups gather? How do they get their information?
5. Are there other candidates appealing to the same demographic groups?
6. What demographic groups will you concede to your opponents?
7. What collateral groups might you appeal to if need be?
Lastly, I want to use this medium to appreciate the EPLF team for giving me this golden opportunity.
Written by: Zakariyya Haruna Liman