Thursday, September 4, 2014

Everyone has an opinion on how to run YOUR campaign

Invariably. in any campaign, your best friend, your cousin Al, your neighbor's uncle's barber, will tell you what you're doing wrong in your campaign and how to fix it.

If you are an inexperienced campaigner, or even a little bit insecure, you may listen to these people, even if you have hired a consultant for the purpose of listening to her advice. I can't count the number of times a candidate has called or emailed me in a panic, saying "People are complaining that I don't have a picture of the City Hall steps on my brochure. They say no one will know what I'm running for if I don't have it!" or "I have to do a completely separate handout for Republicans."

Relax. When I ask who "everybody" is, it's usually one or two people several steps removed from the campaign, who think they know better, or just want to be involved.

Of course you do need some trusted advisers in your area who know the issues and the players. Whose opinion you value and who can work well with others. We often ask the candidate to choose one or at most two people to share an ad or a mailer with before it goes to the printer, just for an other pair of trusted eyes, closer to the campaign. But that's it, when you start running everything past a committee or all your friends and neighbors, it gets muddled, time is lost and your consultants pull out their hair. (if not yours!)