How To Prepare For an Elected Office Run

How to run for office – When you want to get into politics as an elected official, you first need to make a run for office. Whether you are just starting your career or have held many elected posts in the past, there are five key things that you need to do to prepare for an office run; choosing which office, build a winning platform, hiring staff, networking with the public and proving your leadership skills.

run for office

Choosing an Office

The office you choose to run for will determine the size of your staff, the platform you need and even where you will need to canvas. If you choose to run against an incumbent, for instance, then you will be facing an uphill battle. It is important to see which geographical areas are encompassed by the office you want because it can affect how much support you already have as well as how extensive your canvassing will need to be.

It is also important to look at your relevant experience, especially if you are new to politics. Does your teaching background give you an advantage on a school board position over your opponents? Has the public in the district seen how well you can organize charity events? You will need to convince voters that what you have done in the past can have a positive effect on their lives through the office.

Building a Platform

Building a political platform is more about what the public wants done through that office than what you want to do, but both are important. This means you need to develop your listening skills and talk to concerned individuals around you. A good way to do this is by finding fifty people you know who are in the district and ask how the duties of the office affect them. For instance, when running for mayor, you will want to talk to family and friends who live there and see what they would want you to change or keep if elected. You can then take those talking points, build plans around them, and hold community events to discuss those plans.

Staffing a Run

Some key staff you need to run for office include campaign, budget and communications managers as well as a coordinator for volunteers. You should choose people who are familiar with you, support your platform and have worked with you in the past. Hiring people who have worked on past campaigns is a big help because they will understand how you want this one to run as well as have already developed some key contacts. It is important to invest in the right technologies to coordinate your staff, budget and schedule so you can stay informed on the process and avoid miscommunication.

Networking an Audience

Networking with voters is about more than just announcing your run and having a website. You will want to actively engage with the public both online and in person. Town Halls, rallies and fundraising events are good ways to meet people, listen to their concerns and build trust. It is a good idea to print out more business cards than you have constituents and pass them out whenever possible. Include your campaign headquarters contact information, social media accounts and website on the cards to let people know that they can get ahold of you with questions, concerns or support.

Leading a Constituency

Leadership skills are one of the most important things you can have as an elected official. This means knowing when to delegate tasks, practicing active listening and leading by example as well as other skills. How you lead your campaign will give voters an idea of how you will lead the government and your staff while in office. If your campaign staff has a high turnover rate or if you seem to take on too much yourself, then the public will lose confidence in you.

Running for elected office is a good way to make the changes you want to see in the world, but it is not easy and requires a lot of preparation. Once you know which office you will run for and what kind of platform you need, you can gather staff and supporters and lead them to the ballot box.

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Article Author Details

Kevin Gardner

Kevin Gardner loves writing about technology and the impact it has on our lives, especially within businesses.