Political Campaign Jobs
Every political campaign has the same essential needs, and its staff will reflect those needs. Its candidate needs to meet as many people as possible. It needs to spread its message to reach large sectors of the population. It needs to raise money and keep track of that money. It needs to develop strategies to gain consensus for ideas and maximize its volunteer labor.
The campaign manager functions as the executive of operations and staff. It is the campaign manager’s job to ensure that a schedule of events is adhered to, research is conducted on issues, and that volunteers and donations are being put into action.
Campaign managers in smaller local campaigns will often perform functions which replace other staff positions, and may be paid or unpaid. Salaries are usually in line with those of other project managers such as general contractors, advertising sales managers or media managers.
The fundraiser is responsible for raising the capital needed to cover costs associated with the campaign. This job also involves drawing up projections for funding goals and expected receipts. The fundraiser needs to cultivate relationships with business leaders, contributors and political organizations to solicit donations to the campaign.
Fundraisers are usually paid a small stipend plus a commission of total funds raised. Generally this commission is 5 to 10 percent of total fundraising.
The treasurer has the responsibility of record keeping for donations and reports to authorities on financial matters. This position is responsible for the campaign’s bank account and paying any bills.
Common qualifications for a treasurer are accounting and bookkeeping skills, business management experience, and the ability to prioritize expenditures. Pay is usually equivalent to that of an accounting professional, but may be less and sometimes is unpaid in smaller campaigns.
The field manager is the person who develops public support for stances on particular issues and researches the opposition to exploit weaknesses. This person helps the volunteer coordinator by providing rationales and talking points for volunteers to use in recruiting and persuasion. The field manager is responsible for a network of teams operating in multiple locations and coordinating them simultaneously. Field managers are either paid or unpaid, with pay at about the same rate as local factory or labor supervisors.
The volunteer coordinator is responsible for building the army of unpaid volunteers that make a campaign successful. They must recruit, inspire and supervise the volunteers in the day to day grind that makes for an effective campaign. Someone has to do the grunt work. The volunteer coordinator makes sure it gets done.
Volunteer coordinators are paid at about the same rate as labor supervisors in the general market.
Strategy and other Consultants
Strategists and consultants perform analysis of strengths and weaknesses in a campaign and in the opposition, and prepare strategies to deal with these strengths and weaknesses. Other consultants which might be used on a campaign are experts at media messaging, style and image, public speaking coaches, polling professionals to gauge support and speechwriters who create the campaign message or catch phrases to promote the campaign.
Pay for strategists and consultants varies widely. In some cases these individuals are volunteers who work without pay because of their belief in the campaign. In others they receive set fees for each consulting session or report. Some are paid a salary, usually based on a percentage of fundraising.
The press secretary is responsible for issuing press releases, conducting sessions with the press and obtaining publicity through social networking, interviews and other dealings with the media.
In larger campaigns it is common for the press secretary to be paid a weekly or monthly salary, which is in line with those paid to advertising sales managers and public relations professionals. In many cases the press secretary is a volunteer and performs without pay or for a small fee.
As you can see, there are lots of different jobs you can have on a political campaign. Depending on the position and the size of the campaign, these may be part time volunteer gigs, or 80 hour per week highly paid careers. Find a job that is right for you and get involved in our beautiful political system!