This post by Nick Mildebrath originally ran as a column at Campaigns & Elections.
As a candidate, hiring a campaign manager will be one of the most important decisions you make. It can make the difference between a successful campaign and one that languishes, and, ultimately, loses. When considering a prospective manager, many candidates focus on technical qualifications or professional reputation, but by doing this, they’re missing a key element of a successful candidate/manager relationship.
Again and again, we’ve worked with candidates who are frustrated that their managers are “too demanding” or “not proactive enough,” when in fact, their managers don’t clearly understand their candidate’s expectations. This disconnect doesn’t just lead to personal frustration — it leads to budgeting and scheduling mistakes, embarrassing messaging missteps, and bogged-down processes that will affect your campaign’s smooth operation and eat up your valuable time.
The most frustrating aspect of this phenomenon is that it’s completely avoidable. There are many different models for a successful relationship between a candidate, a manager, and a consulting team, but the common ingredient in all of them is a clearly defined, mutually agreed-upon definition of the manager’s role, and the right time to clarify the role of the campaign manager is before you hire them. Continue reading “The Conversation You Need To Have With Your Campaign Manager”