President Donald Trump has been in office for over a month now and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a little over a year, but the talk about whose going to run for office next has already been in full swing. Similarly, it seems that everywhere you turn there is a new enthusiasm for grassroots political, labour, and community organizing in the political realm.
Whether entering politics never occurred to you before reading this article, or you are a seasoned candidate, below we offer some tips on how to run and hold office in 2020.
First and foremost, please forget any self-doubt you have. One cannot run for office without confidence. Forget about what makes you the least qualified, what degrees you do not possess, who has more experience than you etc and focus on what you do have. There are many kinds of politicians that are needed in today’s world, and diversity is becoming best represented in provincial and local governments. Once you got the confidence, check the qualifications for the office (more at the end of this article). At a minimum, this usually means that you must be a registered voter in the geographical area in which you are running for, but there are usually also be age and/or residency qualifications.
After you have given yourself the confidence to begin your political career and have confirmed that you are legally able to run, it is crucial that you develop a clear, simple strategy and stick with it. With that being said, you need to do the same with your message- make sure it is strong and consistent. Do not be afraid to rely on consultants or even experts that you know; if your message resonates with them, they may even donate their services and talents for free.
Next, we recommend that you review the election laws in the place you wish to run and begin collecting seed money. Unless you are very independently wealthy, you will need to set up contribution websites and other fundraising efforts to start collecting donations and a campaign team. More so than monetary gains, start asking people for their support. To do so you have to go directly to the people you are campaigning for and let them know you are standing up for something that matters- them. Listen to them. And thank them…often! You will be relying heavily on the people around you and in a sense, you are not going to be running for office alone. It is very important to involve those people who will be working on your campaign in the decision-making processes. The people in your campaign will test your enthusiasm to represent their wishes and expect you to answer their questions without hesitation. While this may seem daunting, you will want this. Building their trust and support will get you far.
Throughout the entire process, it is very important to practice your public speaking. No one will want to listen to you, if they feel that you have nothing to say or worse- that you cannot convey what you wish to say. You should be able to discuss relevant issues intelligently and in detail and always be ready to discuss them in in 30 second, three minute, and 10 minute
versions. While you will be saying the same thing over and over and over again, practice makes perfect. This is also why it is so important to have a strong, simple and clear message.
With the changing technological climate, social media analytics are also a requirement to run and hold office in 2020. The tools of the world’s largest social media networks (i.e: Facebook, Twitter) are continuously advancing and for campaigners who learn how to effectively analyze such data, the potential is almost endless. Let’s take Facebook for example. Last year, it provided a way to send targeted messages to lists of people, that could be uploaded to their sites. At present, it allows campaigners to reach those who “like” political content. Advanced social media analyzing tools, such as the KI SOCIAL can monitor social media (i.e.: Twitter and Facebook) and other internet platforms (i.e.: blogs, forums and media sharing websites) and provide actionable steps. For example, the tool can allow you to identify key people or up and coming figures who can help you advance your campaign and draw national attention. Having the right people on your team is crucial. Further, such social media analyzing tools can benchmark and track the performance of your social media accounts to identify which content is driving engagement and understand whether those conversations are positive or negative, who’s getting involved, and more. With KI SOCIAL, you can track competitors too, giving you a complete view of your evolving social landscape.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, do not let the tough days get you down. It would be virtually impossible to get every last vote casted for you. In all likelihood, many will probably tell you that they will be voting for your opponent. Do not get angry or discouraged.
If you believe that your voice must be heard and your talents will create change, we urge you to stop sitting on the sidelines and, well, run.
If you are seriously interested in running for office, consider visiting: http://www.elections.ca/content.aspx?section=pol&dir=can/bck&document=index&lang=e for Canadians, or http://www.fec.gov/ans/answers_candidate.shtml for Americans.