Ben Franklin famously said: “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
And proper preparation includes having a written campaign plan that includes a clear understanding of your ultimate goal and makes sure everything in your plan is focused on achieving it.
For the vast majority of campaigns, the ultimate goal is, of course, to win.
To that end, avoid including strategies just because others suggest them or because you want to emulate other campaigns. Only implement tactics that will help you reach your goal and stop doing anything that doesn’t support it.
When setting goals, be ambitious but not to the point where they are unachievable. Your plans should be challenging enough to motivate your team but not so overwhelming that they become discouraged and burn out.
A goal of knocking on ten doors a day is piece of cake. Knocking on 50 doors a day might be a bridge too far. So a goal of 25 might be the sweet spot.
Always plan for escalation. Campaigns are not static.
Things change on a day-to-day basis, and things will really heat up in the closing weeks before election day. So avoid the mistake of planning as if things will remain the same, which can be demotivating for staff, donors, and volunteers.
And don’t be constrained by past mistakes when creating new plans. Learn from past errors and use each new plan as an opportunity to correct them and create new opportunities for your campaign.
Remember what Gen. Patton said: “A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.”
If you haven’t written a campaign plan yet – or if you’ve never even seen one – check out this free example to use as a guide: CampaignDoctor.com/plan