Door-to-door Canvassing Guide – Campaign Manager
As there are no two identical snowflakes, there are no two identical canvassing campaigns. Some of the campaigns can offer positions for campaign staff/managers. Moreover, these positions can be paid or offered on a volunteer basis. Once you sign up for the position of campaign staff/manager, you should clarify with the campaign owner whether the position is paid or unpaid.
Being a campaign staff/manager means that often you have no alternative but to personally do door-to-door or person-to-person canvassing. If the manager is being rewarded for doing door-to-door canvassing, it does not mean that all his or her efforts should be performed prior to elections at the registered voter's address. Alternatively, a campaign manager can be sent to gather signatures door-to-door to clarify to get on the ballot.
A campaign manager can find this convenient to set the price for the campaign owner six months before he or she settles down the general election procedures. In addition, performing canvassing door-to-door six months prior to the election helps to guarantee the votes of primary supporters as well as gather their names and information to offer them volunteer positions or place signs later in the campaign.
Moreover, as a campaign manager, you can participate in random canvassing on the streets using postal address geocoding tool or public events as long as you acknowledge to obtain double the amount needed.
Another aspect to consider is that campaign managers are either employed or appointed. Consequently, campaign managers take full responsibility for the campaign activities and will be accountable if anything goes wrong over the course of the campaign. There is only a 50 percent chance that a campaign manager will manage to retain his or her position after the election takes place.
Campaign Manager’s Responsibilities
Oversee the campaign
During door-to-door canvassing, campaign managers are responsible for supervising the campaign and providing a friendly and calm environment before, during, and after the canvassing campaign. Campaign managers do not focus on the number of residences to visit. Notwithstanding, if they engage in canvassing, they usually operate more reluctantly and are less passionate than the volunteers supporting a candidate or cause.
Train new members
Campaign managers work closely with other team members of the canvassing campaign. They typically organize pre-event training exercises and meetings. During the meetings, the campaign managers examine the steps of the campaign, as well as let the participants recite and execute them.
Nevertheless, not always campaigns allow or require such comprehensive work. Instead, campaign managers learn about their volunteers 15 minutes before they begin canvassing, which leaves them with distributing some information about the campaign or letting the campaign owner deliver a speech.
When all the prerequisites for a canvassing campaign are met, often canvassing starts without a plan. Ordinarily, experienced campaign managers draft the campaign plan, keeping in mind the tiniest details, and when the canvassing campaign begins, not only does it look professional, but also the participants do not waste their time or the time of the voters.
If the managers of a campaign do not have the necessary competence to delegate, they might ruin a canvassing event. In case both campaign managers and staffers are present at the same canvassing event, the campaign manager can take the lead while his or her staffers follow.
Write a list of do’s and do not’s
The roles of a campaign manager include emphasizing what is permitted and what is not to do. Before beginning door-to-door canvassing, be certain that you create a list of do’s and not and remind the staff to avoid such actions as:
- Asking for or gathering cash donations at the voters’ doors
- Making commitments to voters using the name of the campaign owner
- Using vocabulary not suitable for professional conduct
- Spending more than two minutes at every location
- Forgetting to write down notes after visiting doors, for campaign owners or staffers to follow up later in the campaign
- Being disrespectful to the voters who behave disrespectfully. They are in their home and canvassing staff must treat them with respect
Work closely with your team
Campaign managers must do their best to work closely with their team. Conversely, they should not look at their volunteers from above but instead offer help and assistance with anything their volunteers might need. If you want the number of volunteers to remain the same or become larger the following week, try to create a bond between the team members, as this will encourage them to work together in the future.
When a canvassing team is attending an event, be certain that you input effort to arrange the events as pleasurable as possible, no matter what the weather outside or the political climate between the candidates. As a manager, remain at the canvassing event until your last volunteer comes back or until they give you a call and report back to you that the event concluded. Being a campaign manager means taking responsibility for the well-being of your staffers, making sure they are safe and all the data is collected. We will discuss these points in detail in future articles.
Keep your team together throughout the stages of the door-to-door canvassing campaign. If team members decide to divide into groups or canvass individually, it can create difficulties for the campaign. The division within the team should be approved by the manager of a canvassing campaign, and individual canvassers must not visit more houses than the campaign manager planned for them to visit.
Know your voters
Apart from knowing his or her team well, a campaign manager must do research on the mood of the general voting population. Apart from knowing the technicalities of the campaign, the manager also must pay attention to the characters and personalities. This aspect of a canvassing campaign is perhaps a difficult part of being a campaign manager, since during a canvassing campaign you will be meeting volunteers as well as potential voters.
Overall, being a campaign manager means taking a very responsible position. Since the campaign manager is the second most important person in a campaign after the campaign’s owner, he or she takes upon multiple important tasks in a door-to-door canvassing campaign. Taking the position of a campaign manager means taking full responsibility for everything that goes wrong with the campaign, and it requires experience and confidence to remain in this position after the election is over. However, it is a rewarding job, since you gain significant experience in management, planning, and communication.
Do not forget that every canvassing door-to-door walk list starts with calculating the geolocations using batch geocoder.