HOW WE WORK
POINT 1. AGREEMENT ON AND DRAWING UP OF THE RULES OF THE GAME BETWEEN THE CLIENT AND THE CONSULTANT.
A verbal agreement, the drawing up in fine details of the rules of the game between the client and the consultant, with all agreements, objectives, tasks, assignment of time, logistics, work plan and economic conditions being defined in an explicit way. The signing of a contract or written agreement where the conditions of the client-consultant relations are set out.
It is essential that we get down to work only after having come to a clear, precise agreement, in which each party’s expectations of the other are spelt out, and where, in plain terms, we state the method of work, objectives, means of assessing the scope of those objectives, use of the consultant’s time, general plan of activities and all the practical details of the consultation.
POINT 2. INITIAL STAGE OF THE CAMPAIGN CONSULTATION WORK.
The first task that we carry out is a Socio-Political Diagnostic (SPD) of the context in which we are going to work. This diagnostic is performed with the aid of qualitative and quantitative opinion polls, in addition to a statistical analysis of all data available, the results of previous elections and so on.
We do not carry out public opinion polls, although we do look directly at the development of qualitative opinion studies, focus groups and others. We rely on local partners to create a large-scale study of grass-roots opinion, covering a large number of cases, with which we can reach valid conclusions, cross-check variables and make in-depth statistical analysis.
From the qualitative studies, from the quantitative (grass-roots) survey, from the statistical analysis of the available data, and from a campaign-view analysis of this data we draw up an initial, general diagnostic (SPD). And on the basis of this diagnostic we will later build up the general campaign strategy.
POINT 3. THE CAMPAIGN’S CORE: STRATEGY.
After producing a socio-political diagnostic of voters we design a campaign strategy. This strategy is going to provide us with a set of definitions and will form the guidelines for our actions in four areas. We are going to define the Message (in its dimensions of argument and image), we are going to define which are the Target Groups we will aim at in each stage of the campaign, we also define which Media we will use and, finally, we assign the use of Time, in which moments of the campaign we will use each of the contents. This strategy is written down. We use it to direct and construct the election campaign. It is our road map, our flight plan, our compass.
POINT 4. PUTTING OUR STRATEGY INTO PRACTICE.
Strategy is brought down to working terms on various levels, and these should be backed up by a good Organization plan.
Firstly there is a Production area. Here is where we produce campaign materials. The printed material, posters, candidate’s campaign picture, logos and graphic identity, the slogan, jingle, radio and television spots. This is the area which was traditionally occupied by an advertising agency.
We do not work with advertising agencies but with production companies. We define the concepts of communication based on strategy, directs the photos of the candidate, supervises and coordinates graphic creation, and together with the creative artists thinks up the text and images to be used in the radio and television spots.
We build up the production of the message based on image and argument. We give the candidate media coaching, advise him or her on their media presentations and bring up talking points for their radio or television performances. We put together the concepts lying behind the candidate’s speeches and frequently write them.
Our Press section puts together a press team and hands out roles and functions. We also create a “war room” of tactical evaluation meetings for monitoring the campaign, in order to take swift decisions and to communicate with and operate in the press in a highly efficient manner. Information relevant to the campaign is gathered here, both the information regarding our side and that which refers to our opponents.
POINT 5. THE ORGANIZATION.
The organization should supposedly be a resource to be developed independently from the consultant’s work. There is, however, a store-house of practical knowledge held by the consultant that can enhance the efficiency of a party’s organization.
We organize training conferences on campaign tactics that can be useful for increasing the efficiency of members of a political organization during an election campaign. We also offer guidelines on how to organize rallies, stands, miscellaneous technical support, the structure of teams for the candidate’s tours and so on.