The Campaign Consultant Deconstructed by Dotty LeMieux

By at March 16, 2015 | 12:11 pm | Print

The Campaign Consultant Deconstructed by Dotty LeMieux

Dotty LeMieux 2013

What is a campaign consultant? Is it the person who will hand you a brilliant strategy to win your race? Is it someone who pulls amazing slogans out the air or who creates stunning TV ads that you look as though you walk on water?

Or is it the person who guides you through grueling debates that allow you to excoriate your opponent and come off like a charming, friendly, tough but compassionate political whiz?

Your consultant is a little bit of all of these, but more than anything else, she is an interpreter.

She helps interpret your values, goals and message for the voters to understand. She helps you express yourself to the average person on the street so that you, not the consultant, are perceived as someone the voters trust with the business of government.

You may be the most capable person in the world, up to speed on all the issues, with great progressive values, and ideas for helping the common person. But if you cannot get those ideas out to the voters, you  don’t stand a chance of ever getting in to the position of putting your ideas into action.

Why? Because you need to get your ideas across to the voters. Most will not attend debates, even if you are a skilled orator. They will not learn of your policies, unless your opponent is telling them about you in less than flattering terms with the help of his own consultant. You need to make sure the voters see and understand your message.

And for that you need a consultant, to help you on the unfamiliar back roads of your campaign, finding your way and communicating with those you meet. You need to translate your ideas into visual aids that will inform the voter, mail, door hangers, TV ads, as well as make sure they understand the importance of you, and not the other guy, being on the school board, on the city council or in the State Assembly, whatever office it is you are running for.

So think of your consultant as your interpreter and your tour guide. Conducting a campaign is like a trip to a foreign land, one where you don’t know the language but need desperately to communicate with the locals. Choose wisely when picking someone to help guide you on the way and provide the tools to allow you to engage in valuable two-way conversations with the people you meet.

Dotty E. LeMieux runs GreenDog Campaigns, a full service consulting firm in northern California.  Dotty’s advice has taken women and first time candidates to victory in tough elections.   She also gives training seminars to candidates and their staffs and is available for consultations with groups and campaign teams. Dotty has taught a course in Practical Politics at the College of Marin and trained activists for groups such as The Sierra Club, Democratic Party, National Women’s Political Caucus, Emerge California and others.  She has been called a “grassroots maven” by Christine Pelosi, author of Campaign Boot Camp and Campaign Boot Camp 2.0 and is quoted extensively in those popular “how to” campaign books.

See her new blog for recipes for success on the campaign trail!  The Campaign Cookbook

Green Dog Campaigns           8 Willow Street         San Rafael, CA 94901




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