Episode 3: Strategic Planning for Your Local Party
It’s a new year! In this episode we discuss planning and setting goals for your local Republican party or other conservative group.
I recommend you get together and do this as a group using a method outlined in the excellent book:
Your Best Year Yet by Jenny Ditzler (Amazon Affiliate Link)
The Best Year Yet method has you answer a series of questions to set your goals.
1. What did your party accomplish?
Look back over the last year and make a list of everything you accomplished. For example:
- Did you elect new candidates?
- Did you open a headquarters?
- Did you host a great fundraising event?
- Did you start using Twitter or Facebook to promote your party?
Try to make a complete list of all the things you did and that you feel good about accomplishing. It is important to give yourself some credit. Politics is hard business and it is easy to get discouraged, especially if you lost a few campaigns.
2. What were your biggest disappointments?
Looking back over the last year what were the biggest disappointments your group had? What didn’t go so well? What did wish you had done better? Don’t be surprised if your negative list is longer than your positive list. This list will help you identify areas for improvement and give you closure to acknowledge your problems and move on.
3. What did you learn?
Looking back at the year, try to identify some things you and your group learned about politics and campaigning. Try to identify both positive and negative lessons
4. How do you limit yourselves and how can you stop?
If you are going to get better you have to change your behavior and our tactics. There are some behaviors you are doing now that are not working or are holding you back. What are they? Try to listen to those messages that you tell yourselves. (There is always at least one person saying, “That will never work because…”)
5. What are our values?
What are the values and issues that are important to your organization? These are the values and issues that will motivate your members to show up and work for your organization. These are the values that your members believe are important and they will act accordingly.
6. What Roles Does Your Organization Play?
Have you ever thought about the different roles that your organization must fulfill?
- Candidate Recruitment
- Volunteer Management
- Campaign Events
- Precinct Captains
- Media Relations
Try to make a comprehensive listing of different roles that must be accomplished in your org. Each of these roles will have specific goals and tasks that need to be accomplished. These roles also present a good opportunity to assign as responsibility to specific individuals or committees.
7. Which Role Will be our Major Focus?
Looking back at your accomplishments and disappointments you identified earlier, you should be able to identify a role that you would like to see improved. Or maybe as you look ahead, you can identify certain roles will be very important in the upcoming election cycle.
8. What are our goals for each role?
This the fun part. Begin to brainstorm goals for each of your identified roles. At this point, no goals is to outrageous or mundane. Just throw those ideas out on the table and get them recorded. After you have the ideas captured, go back through and identify the better goals for each role. You likely won’t be able to focus on all the possible goals you have identified, so try to combine and limit your list to around 5 to 6 for each role.
Also make sure your goals are written using the SMART acronym. A good goal is Specific, Measurable, Action Oriented, Relevant, and Time Limited
9. Identify your top 10 goals for your organization.
You can only do so much. you are more likely to have success if you focus in on just a few most important goals. Even 10 goals may be too many for a volunteer organization. You may want to pick 3 top goals that you want to communicate to all your members and the public at large. As a political organization, there are certain goals that you may want to keep confidential.
10. Plan to accomplish your goals.
Now that you have identified your most important goals you can start planning to accomplish them. Assign responsibility for each goal and begin planning out the steps that are required to accomplish that goal.