Exploring this Job
There are many ways to gain experience as a campaign worker. You might help one of your friends run for student council, or even run for office yourself. You might also consider volunteering at the campaign office of a candidate who is running for local, state, or national office. Good workers are always needed to answer phones, prepare mailings, or perform general clerical duties. You may consider joining the local youth chapters of the political party of your choice. Contact the Democratic or Republican National Committees for more information. You might also consider learning more about the Green Party, which has a platform focusing on environmentalism, nonviolence, and social justice. Another political party in the United States is the Libertarian party, with a platform emphasizing civil liberties, free markets with little or no government involvement, and a noninterventionist foreign policy.
If you have ever run for student council or for an office with an organization, you have already walked on the campaign trail. Maybe you have even volunteered at the campaign headquarters of a candidate for government office. If so, then you have seen that a good campaign requires much more than a good candidate—it must also have devoted volunteers and an organized manager. Colorful buttons with catchy slogans, brochures outlining the candidate's strengths, posters on walls, and signs in yards—all these things contribute to drawing the voter's attention to your candidate.
Campaign workers help develop campaign tactics, prepare speeches and press releases, and arrange for the candidate to shake hands, kiss babies, and generally connect with the public. Depending on the importance of the office their candidate is pursuing and whether it is on the local, state, or national level, the campaign is composed of workers taking on different responsibilities. Every campaign should have a manager who will organize the talents of all those working on a campaign: volunteers, media and political consultants, pollsters, and others.
Campaign managers oversee fund-raising efforts, budgets, and expenses. Together with the consultants, they determine the public's interests and needs by analyzing public opinion polls and demographics. Then they produce ads and Web pages and arrange for media coverage that will allow their candidate to speak to those needs. They advise their candidates on how to use social media, such as Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, to best advantage. Campaign managers also direct volunteers in putting together mailers, making phone calls, and distributing signs and fliers. The savvy campaign manager uses the resources of the computer and Internet to construct huge databases in order to solicit donations.