KEY RULES FOR SUCCESSFUL CAMPAIGN PLANNING
Rule #1: The most important rule about a campaign plan is that it be written down.
When you are ready to run, the plan should be written and shared with your close advisors, who may also help you develop and implement the plan. Too often, the plan is in someone's head, which does not help in a crisis, nor does it help build credibility either with community groups who might support you or the party leadership who is deciding whether to invest resources in your campaign.
Rule #2: The most valuable resources –– time, people, money –– will always be scarce.
There will be too little time, not enough people to do the work and never enough money to do all that you hope to do. Campaign planning helps target these limited resources effectively.
Rule #3: A good plan is based on knowing your win number and organizing your campaign to achieve that number.
You have to know where you need to end up, before you start to plan.
Rule #4: Things take longer than they should (or you think they should) and will cost more than you think they should.
The campaign plan must not be integrated with budget and fundraising plans. It is important to write this plan with some sort of cushion for the inevitable hiccup or unforeseen event.
Rule #5: Anticipate the unexpected.
Good planning considers contingencies and builds in room to address the unexpected.
Rule #6: It is vital for your campaign, candidate and staff to know the rules and laws that govern your campaign.
Every detail matters, for two reasons.
The first is you want to maximize every opportunity within the rules and laws of your campaign so full advantage is taken.
Second, if you are running a campaign, one small mistake, whether intentional or not, can give the opposition an excuse to end the campaign with what they say is the law on their side.