What is a Political Campaign Manager?

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  • Written By: Cassie L. Damewood
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 17 September 2017
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A political campaign manager is the person whose main job function is to make sure the candidate for whom she works is elected. She is in charge of all election efforts, from the announcement of the candidacy through the acceptance speech. The campaign may be for the election of a local leader of a small town, for the president of a country or a middle level politician. The manager may work for a set fee or donate her services.

The scope of her responsibility is large, and she normally coordinates and supervises multiple functions and volunteers. A political campaign manager typically serves as the key media spokesperson for the candidate. She is often the contact person for all campaign functions. The candidate traditionally reviews all platform announcements and speeches with her before they are presented to the public.

Since political campaigns heavily rely on monetary contributions to be successful, the first and often most important job of a political campaign manager is fundraising. She typically has a list of ideas to raise funds in place before she is officially hired. To be profitable, these functions generally need to cover a wide demographic. This strategy ensures campaign donations are received in small to large sums and reflect the candidate’s wide appeal and support.

Other crucial areas in which the political campaign manager plays a major role are polling, increasing the pool of supporters through public outreach and advertising. A person in this position is ordinarily required to head up all three of these efforts with equal energy and dedication.

Polling is akin to feeling the pulse of the voters. Properly conducted, it can predict how the electorate is leaning on any given day. Voters are traditionally asked how they will vote and why in informal atmospheres that encourage candid communications. This diagnostic technique can be used at any time during the campaign and is often repeated at predetermined intervals.

A good campaign manager can analyze the voters’ inclinations with a strong degree of accuracy. Her analysis takes into account the geographic and socio-economic climate of each voting segment. She typically has strategies in place to counter negative opinions that may hurt her candidate’s chances of begin elected. Knowing the opponent’s views and policies is helpful in developing tactics and responses.

Advertising is a key part of a political campaign. A political campaign manager generally repeatedly confers with the candidate on how the advertising budget should be allocated. Popular advertising venues include television and radio spots, billboards and newspaper ads.

There are no educational requirements for this position. The job candidate is generally required to have good public relations and communication skills. Successful background in management and solid ties to the community in which the candidate is seeking office are desirable. A degree in marketing or political science may give an aspiring campaign manager an edge over other candidates.

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