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Do You Have What It Takes to Be A Guerilla-Style Campaign Manager?

April 15, 2010

This post was supposed to be entitled “Practical Tips to Gordon’s Budding Campaign Managers”. But I kinda figured anyone who gets hold of this can just remove Gordon’s name and replace it with their candidate’s name. Not a biggie – hindi ako madamot.

Situation Analysis ala Barbero

It is less than a month before people take to the polls on May 10. Various parties are raising the specter of failure of elections – INSTEAD OF ENSURING ITS SUCCESS. Ang Pinoy nga naman – kahit sa pagconduct ng election – kanya-kanya pa rin. Each of the political camps raise the bogey of Arroyo’s extension – instead of getting their shi*t together and ensure a smooth and peaceful transition of authority. But we know all that sh*t – and this post isn’t about the emo-laden voters who vacillate between Erap-Villar-Aquino as if the three were the only candidates in the running. Is it me or are this people in a state of hypnosis induced by repetitive exposure to toilet humor, telenovelas, and 3rd rate blue movies filled with fair-skinned tisoy and tisay? Analysis of the Philippine electoral situation? Quite normal – all effed up.

Operational Requirements

Running a political campaign for your candidate need not be expensive and high profile. There are activities which are doable and are probably within the sphere of the average Juan de la Cruz’ capabilities. As the election draws near, it will be to the campaigner’s, to your advantage, to have a toolkit of tactics and activities which can be combined at will, into a cost-effective plan for generating awareness, interest, and desire to elect Gordon or the candidate of your choice.

Look at this way, there is a science behind political campaigns. Know the science so you can take control of the agenda – efficiently, at minimal cost, and the greatest impact. As a campaign team leader or member you are in a position to make things happen – and your role is one of the most important roles in the campaign.

Create Your Own Breaks and Seize the Moment

At this point of the timeline leading to the election, the issues are pretty much laid out and the work is cut out for the heavy lifting come crunch time. My take is that while Aquino and his Yellow Mob are coming up with alibis for failure, seize the initiative and demonstrate the loser-mentality posturing of the Aquino camp. Note how the once smug candidate has degenerated into a whining toddler upon seeing lackluster polling trends.

With more reason for Gordon partisans to chip at the edges. Ask harmless questions – stupid questions even – like, if Teodoro becomes President, why should he hand over control to Arroyo? Come to think of it, the canard then was that Arroyo will be an FVR puppet – she wasn’t.

Review of Tactics, Methods, Approaches

This post is a compilation of practical tips from a Professional Political Campaign Manager. I have compiled the video blogs into one easy point of access for our Transformer Campaign Teams.

How to Run for Office: Political Campaign Tips : How to Plan a Political Campaign
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omsiCfdJYBQ

How to Run for Office: Political Campaign Tips : How to Staff a Political Campaign
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=trQLgl6ncmk

How to Run for Office: Political Campaign Tips : How to Choose a Candidate for a Political Campaign
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTzKGo7cXQ0

How to Run for Office: Political Campaign Tips : How to Find Volunteers for a Political Campaign
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Nhoi1jfDbY

How to Run for Office: Political Campaign Tips : How to Set Up Office for a Political Campaign
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_05he0OxHs

How to Run for Office: Political Campaign Tips : Using House Parties for Political Campaigns
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERnYvxojeu0

How to Run for Office: Political Campaign Tips : Using Advocacy Groups for a Political Campaign
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwsB4UzWnH4

How to Run for Office: Political Campaign Tips : How to Find Free Media for Political Campaigns
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12niasFPRTE

How to Run for Office: Political Campaign Tips : Printing Needs for a Political Campaign
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_LOeHItKsKI

Tom Jensen on running a local campaign
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JobUAR2n8uw

* * *

Nurturing the Targets – From Awareness to Action

Clearly, political campaigning is not just an angst-laden emo-fuelled activity. It becomes so by design of the campaign managers of the respective camps. To negate or to trump the oligarch media-fuelled campaign of Noynoy, Villar, and Estrada – Gordon’s campaign managers need to be more creative and proactive. A family/community-centric Gordon campaign also provides a stark contrast to the 4Gs of trapo politics, Kris Aquino, ABS-CBN dancers and talents.

House parties, cookouts, picnics, potlucks, family-centric activities can disrupt the formation of mobs – that’s the first step.

Next is to cut off the constant stream of media ads.

Once the targets have been isolated and prevented from forming mobs (meaning you are all in the kitchen) – deliver the payload.

There are many ways to skin this election – if you don’t have money, at the very least use your creativity, your ability, and reach out to family and community. This is your moment to rage against the oligarch machinery, vote with your remote, take control of the debate.

Dare to engage in political struggle, dare to lose, dare to win, dare to take action, dare to campaign, GO GORDON!

From → Politics

15 Comments
  1. What’s proven to work in US at least stays in US for now.

    What the candidates should have done early is to let his campaign manager dissect the winning formula of recent unlikely candidate who eventually won – FVR.

    Gordon choice of Fernando was a political campaign suicide. No significant number of people know him that much apart from the constants wranglings with road/traffic violations with MMDA of which the people in the south may associate with those violators rather than the disciplinarian.

    Gordon should have cherry picked a famous but fairly strong Visayan running mate.
    The same for Gibo.

    It wasn’t GMA who killed Gibo’s chance. Neither it wasn’t the dumb voters failed to raise him up early in the survey.

    Both candidates has taken a poisonous potion of themselves. It’s hard to find an antidote to their mistake.

  2. This is a very dumb point of view towards picking a running mate, implying that a VP candidate is only good for marketing material. Ask John McCain how well that worked out. There is something to be said for playing the campaign game properly, I’ll agree with that, but that is done with communication, not by ‘cherry-picking’ the fundamental components. Along those lines, a “famous but fairly strong Visayan running mate” (I’m sensing you’re broadcasting a little of your own regional bias in that suggestion) risks alienating Luzon voters as much as a candidate from the NCR handicaps a campaign in the Visayas. What’s the difference? There are a significantly higher number of voters in Luzon, that’s what. Lesser of two evils, if you want to look at it that way.

    I disagree entirely; a running mate should be chosen on the basis of qualifications and quality, and in that respect, Gordon made a good choice and Gibo made a very poor one IMO. Then, having selected (in the presidential candidate’s own judgment, or that of his party) the best possible running mate, the job of marketing that combined product begins.

    What you say about Fernando and the impression voters outside of the limited area where he is well-known is probably true, which is why it requires a good PR program of communicating the qualifications, achievements, and plans of both members of the campaign tandem. And yes, it does require the candidate to get down in the dirt a little bit, produce a little bit of the dog-and-pony show, make a little pandering entertainment out of the whole thing — in short, use the existing (silly) framework for campaigns in the Philippines to take care of priority number one first, which is to actually get into office. Read Shirer’s history of the rise of the Nazis; even they understood that they had to play the game to get into power, and that once they had it, they could change the rules to suit themselves.

    I respect both Gordon and Teodoro for their reluctance to campaign the same way everyone else does, and their obvious wish to rise above the silliness. But it’s not a very practical point of view, and as a consequence, the chances of either of them getting elected are unfortunately slim to none. And as I pointed out the other day in my own space (shameless plug), it might actually be better if neither of them wins, anyway, because if they do they will just represent yummy chocolate frosting on a cupcake made of turds — there are very few, if any, Gordons or Teodoros running for office in the lower ranks around the country, meaning that no matter who’s sitting in the big chair, things are still going to look pretty much the same. I’d much rather Gordon be president — but if he is, I want him to be able to be effective in the office, and I’m not at all certain that can happen with the same bunch of loutish trapos occupying the Legislature and all the local offices.

  3. I thought the concept of marketing was to know your buyers better rather than foolhardly selling a product no one else is interested to buy.

    It was actually brilliant blueprint for winning as it has at least proven at once. And I suspect that was Ramos plan B when he failed to get the nod of LPD party then. He could have done also consolidation of his influence having invested to the Osmena’s who werehighly regarded in Cebu then and up to this day.

    To counter the vote-rich Western Visayas of Defensor, Ramos did the posturing in Cebu, a place where export processing zones sprouted like mushrooms thus they have at least some “intelligence” education-wise.

    The choice of Visayan candidate can serve as good vehicle for Mindaoans which majority speaks the dialect.

    Performance alone no matter how attractive to educated people, at this stage of Pinoy mindset, still doesn’t sit well. Candidates must have know this better.

  4. “Performance alone no matter how attractive to educated people, at this stage of Pinoy mindset, still doesn’t sit well. Candidates must have know this better.”

    Agree with that much, to a point at least. I also think it is unrealistic and impractical to expect to be able to educate in one sweeping blow the entire mass of voters to make quality, objective choices. But if you work at it as the people here at AP have, along with some others, you will indeed educate some of them; so in that case, you do have to provide choices worth making, or else they’ll become disillusioned and any progress that has been made — however small — will be lost.

    Beyond that, you could also just as well say of marketing that the concept is to generate demand for the product you’ve got — especially if you know it’s superior to the one your competitor is offering. There would be nothing wrong at all with doing what everyone else does to attract attention, but do it for the sake of a good product. Picking a crappy product (like, say, Edu Manzano) is the easy way out. And doesn’t have all that great a chance of working, again I point to the example of John McCain and his choice of that hick pop-tart.

    Think about it: what’s a better option, a good candidate like Dick Gordon putting on a show of pandering to emotions, or a bring-nothing-else-to-the-table type like Abnoy?

  5. J.B., I think your point was based on the candies wanting to win, so the choice of VP should have been someone “winnable,” that’s what I think you’re saying. While Bayani is not a good choice in that basis, I still agree he was the right choice because with Gordon, he makes up a very good product. Not easy to sell, but the product’s top of the class. Very often, what makes sales is not a good product, but good marketing and public image tinkering – or you can use the word lies. But in the end, the customer will complain when the poor quality product breaks down. Thus, in elections, one should go for the good product, because buying the bad product due to the nice marketing (Like Aquino basing things on his “brand name” alone) will result in the ultimate but most foolish kind of product complaint – “people power.”😉

  6. I disagree that Gordon choice of Fernando is suicide.

    It is “suicide” if one looks at the terrain from the angle of winnability – that same tired framework which led the Philippines to this hell hole. Erap was winnable, GMA was winnable, Noynoy is winnable – same winnability framework – same end game – a LOSING PHILIPPINES.

    If one were to look at the front runner’s choice of running mate as an indicator of thinking – I’d say Teodoro made a monumental boo-boo in his choice of Edu Manzano. So while Gibo’s talk was still aboveboard, his choice of Edu just didn’t sit too well with me. What it signaled to me was that Teodoro is not yet ready to take on the job.

    Fernando is a strong executive in the mold of Gordon. If Gordon is no longer able to serve the remainder of his term, Fernando will provide the continuity.

    ***

    What’s proven to work in US at least stays in US for now.

    It doesn’t have to stay in the US for now.

    Come to think of it – all the candidates are doing a copy cat of the Obama campaign (w/c is a US approach) – rather poorly. Consider this:

    * Facebook pages for the candidates
    * Tweets of candidates activities
    * Email distribution lists
    * Blogs

    It ALREADY IS the US.

    The bozos paint the trappings of a grassroots campaign – which is totally unfounded considering that the Aquino campaign isn’t grassroots-centric – but pedigree-centric (mommy and daddy ko si Ninoy at Cory).

    What the post does is to raise the ante – to go beyond the usual tweets, blogs, emails – and venture into heavy liftingactual mobilization of people:

    – getting people to come and listen to a presentation about Gordon without having to go to a rally or concert
    – negating the influence of MSM
    – disrupting the supply lines of MSM communication flow
    – exposing the ideological and ethical bankruptcy of the Estrada-Villar-Aquino cliques
    – empowering individuals and volunteers to come up with a sustained doable plan which they can execute with minimal costs

    Thus, instead of organizing a rally with an estimated 300 people.

    Reconfigure your plan to have 15 Gordon house parties, with at least 20 people per house party – that’s 300 people.

    If you have recruited a team of at least 5 volunteers, each volunteer hosting 15 parties of 20 people each – that’s like a rally of 1500 organized by three volunteers ONLY.

    And since you have the party attendee’s attention all to yourself – the absorption of the message is more effective and sales objections are also handled on the spot to generate a “buy”.

  7. UP nn grad permalink

    An intelligent Pinoy-in-Pinas has a good chance to winning Malacanang-2022 if he starts
    laying the groundwork now. Number one, has to be committed to being in Pilipinas.
    Doing a “Patricio” enunciating words of quitting Pilipinas, or even a “Nick/Voices” saying
    “I love Pilipinas” from the comfort of life in USA — that’s being “dead in water”.
    Doing a deQuiros demonstrating that he is committed to Pilipinas even if half the country
    wishes that he is gone — that’s a good thing.

    The next is obvious — do something good. And do a lot of good!! Being active in one charity
    organization is good, but being active in five is better (soup kitchens or headstart-programs for kids —
    one in Bulacan, another in Calabarzon, one each in Baguio or Albay, the other in Cebu or Davao
    should work). Of course, you have to earn a living, and it better be clean (like selling shoes for
    Nike versus running a cockfighting arena or worse, running a jueteng operations). Then, be active
    in non-controversial politics like global warming. Also, “chicken” is good — stay away from
    farmers’ rights and condoms-issues.

    Repeat every year, and in the process get yourself elected as congressman. You’ll also need money
    to give away, at least P75,000 every year e.g. be sure to have three twenty thousand-pesos “kitty” to
    distribute during floods. Forget floods in Mindanao — no photo ops. Distribute the “investment” kitty only
    when cameras are rolling, which means Manila proper, Calabarzon and maybe Baguio or Pampanga. Get
    your picture taken and have yourself interviewed at least three times each year (two floods, then Christmas).

    Repeat over and over and you’ll have a good chance to go for President 2022.

  8. UP nn grad permalink

    ***fighting arena was for roosters-fighting, in case you were wondering.

  9. Exactly, thus the approach.

    1. Your “electorate/buyer” is family-centric – values the family more than community. Therefore:

    a) Retool the message to make it family-centric. For example, kung ang naging padre de pamilya mo ay si Noynoy – busog ka ba o gutom? kung ang naging padre de pamilya mo ay si Gordon – hindi ka lang busog, pati kapitbahay mo busog, mamamayan ay busog.

    b) Redefine the AOR – (Area of Responsibility). Chop humongous communities into more manageable blocks of family-sized units.

    c) Redefine the rules of engagement – instead of opting for huge crowds, create situations for one-on-one discussions that generate a “sale”. It’s like going for the hottie who happens to be with her crew. You can deal with the crew and ignore the hottie, or you can send your crew to take care of the hottie’s crew, while you introduce yourself to the hottie.

    2. Recent marketing trends show that network marketing tactics are gaining adherents in the Philippines. Thus, it is a matter of seeing the methodology and applying it to another seemingly unrelated arena – politics. But is it really? Change? Tupperware? Same marketing, same target – why not use proven cost-effective approaches used by peak sales performers? Don’t you get tired with the rallies? Paano yan – everytime you want to gain adherents, have a rally – people will be fatigued in no time.

  10. Wow, what a great political campaign strategy article! Thanks for taking the time to write. Although the specifics of campaigning might differ from country to country, the general rules for running an effective campaign are the same no matter where you live. Keep up the good posting!

  11. I applauded your initiatives on this BongV.

    Nevertheless, I would like to point out that any candidate with very strong resume has to court first the biggest stumbling block of his acceptability — that he is not one THEM.

    Who are THEM?

    These were elected officials with excellent records (albeit on paper, the laude’s in uni, the bar top top) who for decades lied to the people who promised of a paradise but never delivered results.

    These were elected officials who for decades lied to the people by fronting businesses on many progressive places known to be as milking cows.

    For example, places like Davao Oriental, Surigao del Norte are constant breadbasket for either congressman or senator who came from as far as Manila. How the common tao know them? They work for them.

    This lie fell in the face for the poor people for ages. Candidates should know about this in advance prior to filing their candidacy that they have to make themselves not one of them.

    Candidates can also capitalize on prevailing heroes among them.
    For example,
    Many people found Cory mediocre but the people of Davao Oriental can never forget she’s the only one who succeeded in concreting their roads from Davao del Norte up to Mati area.

    Nonoy is bullish on surveys because he never had an image problem. That he was not One of THEM.

  12. It was actually a good thing to start and BongV again should be given credit for making such a great effort.

    With telecommunications and internet making so much headway in the Philippines, few years from now I believe this sort of information dissemination and strategic applications may not be as hard as it is today. the 2022 mentioned by UP nn grad may be too long.

    Internet permeates well into Pinoy mindset. They longed for something to “hambog” (pad their egos). Internet has that but it is in itself a poison apple — eventually telling them their pride is worthless.

  13. J.B.

    Voters get the government they deserve. When people vote for “THEM”, they get the government they deserve. They have to do something they haven’t done before – vote for someone who is not “THEM”.

    ***

    Gordon can easily outdo Cory Aquino – as a former Tourism Secretary he understands Davao Oriental’s potential for ecotourism. The waves in Dahican are gorgeous! The Menzi pomelo farms.

    Unknown to Davao Oriental, a lot of its products for export could have been processed in Subic ecozones, or flown out of Subic – guess who started it?

  14. Bong, I agree.

    I wonder how come Gordon did not sell himself that early, albeit in a subtle way. (Campaigning ‘boldly’ is illegal btw). Perhaps he hadn’t thought of it that early.

    I kinda suspect that FVR protected and massage his name for very long time in posturing his dream to become at least an admirable president someday. In fact, I find it amazing how he managed to protect his name being once headed the dreaded and abusive Philippine Constabulary.

    My view of upcoming election results is more on the image. The candidates should have spent before strategically to improve their image first ala Macapagal doing nothing but campaigning subtly years before the election.

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