All political campaigns seek to persuade the public to vote for a candidate by managing the message that is communicated to the electorate through the media. The core message of any campaign is comprised of more than words and pictures. It is one component of a larger campaign game plan that seeks to coherently combine images, emotions, and logic to position people and ideas convincingly. During a campaign, external developments and attacks by other candidates require campaign managers to spin the news and the debates back to certain core messages in order to massage the particular segments of the audience that are required for the campaign to be successful (Stockwell, 4). In the first democracies, speakers could look directly at their constituents to gauge how their audience was reacting to their message or to campaign events and tailor their arguments accordingly. In this age of mass media and instant publicity, campaigns are an exact science that demands attention to detail. Campaigns must come up with a strategic plan, a coherent message, and must constantly research their particular audience in order to understand the electorate's ever changing wants and interests (Stockwell, 5)
This paper will examine the most effective mechanisms for running a successful campaign. First, we will examine all the elements that must be considered before a campaign can begin. These elements must be spelled out in a strategic plan that should be formulated before the campaign begins. Second, we will examine the importance of the campaign's message and the methods that must be used to disseminate the message. Lastly, we will examine the field plan that must be created and implemented effectively for the campaign to succeed.
One of the first things a campaign manager must do is to create a strategic plan for the campaign. The main elements of a strategic plan include the following:
Message, Voter Communication, and Field