STRATEGIC PLANING & PLAN IMPLEMENTATION
The heart of any campaign is its strategy. All decisions in the campaign, from messages to scheduling to resource allocation, stem from the core plan that lays out the route to victory. Our foremost role in any campaign is to help clients develop this strategy and to provide concrete and actionable strategic recommendations until Election Day.
We develop the strategic plan based on a comprehensive benchmark poll and an extensive audit of the client’s needs and capabilities. The plan covers the most vital areas of the campaign:
- Overall campaign theme and specific related messages
- Defining and targeting persuadable voter groups
- Anticipated attacks and the most effective rebuttals
- Analysis of opponents and best ways to challenge them
- Communications strategy that integrates free press, advertising and field operations
- Disciplined media and rapid response operation
- Field infrastructure to organize volunteers and ensure the client’s voters turn out on Election Day
Developing an effective plan is essential, but equally important is proper implementation. That’s why we spend time on the ground throughout the campaign, ensuring that the strategic plan is implemented and that the campaign stays on message and achieves its goals.
ADVANCED POLLING TECHNIQUES
While strategy is the most important aspect of a campaign, effective polling is the centerpiece of a winning strategy. At Machiavelli Strategies, we take political polling to a new level. Rather than relying on traditional polling, which describes the current political landscape and what has already happened, our “smart polling” approach provides clients with a strategic action plan to change the political landscape and shape future events in our client’s favor. Simply put, we provide answers and recommendations, not numbers.
IDENTIFYING & SEGMENTING VOTER GROUPS
Acampaign needs to know which voters are on their sides, which are most easilypersuadable, which are undecided, and which will never support its candidates. Our segmentation methods go far beyond traditional geographic and basic demographic divisionby segmenting with a combination of demographics, geography, psychographics and lifestyles.
Unlike other firms, we do not simply test issues, but also the tone, theme, and mode of delivery of the messages so that each can reach its full potential. We provide an overall positioning analysis as well as specific messages for defined target groups. This maximizes the messages’ impact and minimizes resources wasted on ineffective communication.
We know that in the real-world, a message must compete against others to be effective. That’s why we identify various scenarios and test messages competitively. The goal isn’t just to choose the best message, but to choose a message that beats those of opponents by being effective, drawing on the campaign’s strengths, and highlighting the weaknesses of others. The process begins with an extensive benchmark study that measures the public mood in great detail. The benchmark is followed by situational polls throughout the campaign to test the strategy on an ongoing basis, inform the campaign on how to react to opponents, and identify which voters are in play and how best to reach them
CAMPAIGN TACTICS & STRATEGY
A winning campaign requires the right message, but also the right infrastructure, flawless coordination and strong execution. That’s why we at Machiavelli strategies place a great emphasis on creating the most effective campaign structures and integrating overall strategy and positioning with communications efforts, field organization and other aspects of the campaign.
Below are areas that, in addition to the overall strategy and polling, are critical to a winning campaign:
Afield operation is a system for identifying a campaign’s potential supporters in a specific area and reaching them with the most persuasive messages. It relies on campaign volunteers and one of its most important tasks is to ensure that those who support the candidate show up on Election Day.
Your opponents will inevitably attack you and try to obscure your message during the campaign. In the age of online journalism, a campaign must be able to detect and respond to attacks with concise and targeted rebuttals conveyed through the appropriate channels within hours.
The internet and other new media have become essential parts of modern campaigns. It is vital that a campaign make good use of these modes of communications, from social networking, blog outreach and online advertising to email and SMS campaigns. As the central place for supporters to get involved and for voters to find information, it’s critical that a campaign website is created or updated with the overall Internet strategy in mind.
Our experts have worked online strategies for Prime Minister of Slovenia Borut Pahor during the election campaign in 2008, Referendum June, 2010, and recently working with Social Democrats for the local elections scheduled for October 2010. We offer to our clients a comprehensive set of online products and services custom-tailored for each campaign.
ADVANCE DEBATE PREPARATION
Whenever a candidate speaks there is the potential to communicate a message to the broad public. To best use these opportunities, our experts work with the campaign team to ensure that the right messages are delivered and that major events throughout the campaign are visually effective. Additionally, we have extensive expertise preparing world leaders for major television debates that take place during the crucial last weeks of campaigns.
Advertising is essential, but it should complement other means of communication to be truly effective. Machiavelli strategies makes sure ad content, form and distribution always work with the overall communication strategy and positioning. We can write and design any form of advertisements with our own advertising agency, or work with a local ad agency. Either way, we want to ensure that our clients’ advertising gives them a clear advantage over competitors.