Austin Trip, Day 3: Christian Bionat (June 2, 2012)

We began this morning’s NPF session with Boot camp mentors Parag Mehta and Jessica Colón and a discussion of voting, polling, fundraising, and messaging. I learned that it is important to frame your message to target voters, the elements of a good message, and the principles of good communication.

Soon after, Pasha Moore, from the Holland Taucher Consulting Group, discussed campaign financing and how to ask for contributions. Fellow boot camper and long-time best friend, Andy Bell, from Schreiner University, acted as the campaign donor during Ms. Moore’s role-playing discussion. Ms. Moore illustrated different methods of obtaining campaign contributions and how to go about and creating a fundraising plan. Regardless of the fact that we were running a mock state representative campaign, I found this quite intriguing as fundraising is one of the most difficult aspects for any organization.

Following lunch we discussed targeting voters and social media. With the technology surge from the early 2000’s, the use of social media has continued to grow. Mr. Vincent Harris from Harris Media, LLC, discussed the ramifications of these trends, and argued that digital media is an undervalued resource in Get Out The Vote (GOTV) campaigns and introducing new candidates.

Following our afternoon seminars we met all met with our campaign teams (I was assigned to a Democratic challenger in a U.S. House) and discussed campaign strategy. I assumed the role of Deputy Campaign Manager, charged with tracking the actions of the directors, and I report directly to the Campaign Manager. We spent the rest of the evening meeting within the staff positions and creating the most effective way to increase voter turn-out and executing our campaign strategy.

After three and a half long hours of vigorous deliberation and discussion, my team had a working model to defeat our opponent.

I am looking forward to the presentations tomorrow. May the best campaign win!



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