Surviving 70+ days of an election campaign

Executive Director of MLP and strategist extraordinare

Staying upbeat on the campaign trail is easier when surrounded by friends

It’s not easy to survive over 70 days of election campaigning. Not only are you working under extremely stressful circumstances, which would be taxing in itself, but you’re also being pulled in multiple directions.

You can have anywhere from 5 – 25 core people working on a local campaign. Try to think of your campaign team like a sports team; a number of people, with different strengths, united in the one goal of electing your candidate. It’s helpful to remember that as it should guide all your decisions.

Here are some other tips that I’ve picked up over the years:

  • Get rest where you can. When people are running on empty, tempers can sometimes flare up.
  • Try to eat something ‘green’ (re: healthy produce) each day. I was extremely excited when one of our volunteers brought in apples today.
  • On the food topic, campaign offices aren’t necessarily known as the healthiest. Try to stay away from the chocolate (as much as possible) and choose water over pop.
  • Try to unplug for an hour every day. Put your phone on silent, don’t check your email, and for social media staff – turn off the twitter machine. The world will not end if you check out for an hour at the end of the day.
  • If there’s a disagreement or conflict, think about whether it’s something that is truly worth your time or if your efforts are better used elsewhere. A quote I like is this: “Is this the hill you want to die on?”
  • Take time for yourself – pockets of time – when you can. Don’t neglect your family and friends.
  • Try to think big picture – not every decision needs to be made instantaneously. In fact, the more important the decision the less instantly it should be made. Always have someone else to bounce ideas off or look over your work.
  • Put effort in the activities that will garner the biggest gain. Meaning social media at the riding level should take a back seat to getting out the vote. The biggest impact of social media? If you screw up, not if you do it well. Although, this tweet from today made me smile:
  • And finally, get out and be active every day, even if it’s just walking around the campaign office. Of course, door knocking is the best way to stay in shape.

Anything you’d add?

PS: did you know there’s only 7 more sleeps until Election Day?!


About Dani K

Passionate young professional with a commitment to positive change. Partisan politico. Sometimes runner.
This entry was posted in Diary Of A Campaign Volunteer and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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