- Written by Erik Kritter
Data is the life blood of any political campaign. The ability to capture, store, retrieve, sort, analyze, and work with your data in an organized, distributed fashion is a must.
Do it or ...... LOSE!
A constituent relationship manager is almost exactly like a client relationship manager but it is set up very differently. It's purpose is to help you get votes not orders.
A properly set up political CRM will do the following:
- capture data in an organized, disciplined fashion
- organize data on issues (for or against)
- organize data on relationships between individuals and groups
- track activity
- make the data available from many different sources in the same format (have you ever tried to collate data on spreadsheets set up by 10 different people)
- track huge amounts of data over time
- collect information on donations and potential donation sources
- collect information on locality specific issues
- be available in real time to people in many different locations
- work quickly (if it is not fast people will not use it)
- generate call lists and track feedback
- generate walk lists and track feedback
- generate mailing lists and track feedback
- aggregate polling data in a usable format
- It must be simple enough for great grandma to use
I have done it with pen and paper. I have done it with spreadsheets. I have done it with databases. I have done it with several different web based CRMs. I have built web based CRMs for campaigns.
I have worked on campaigns & political organizations for years. I have been a key campaign guy on big races in Virginia. I've learned the hard way. Please believe me when I say this.....
All campaigns need a web based CRM. They have to collect data in an organized disciplined fashion and the only way to do that is with a web based CRM. If you decide to save the money from the CRM and spend it elsewhere .... you will . You will waste it on data collation, bad mailings due to mail sort errors, non-householded mailings sending 2 or more identical mailers to every househole, irritated constituents because 4 volunteers decided to make phone calls from the same list and somehow they all managed to call every household within five minutes of each other..... Get the best web based CRM you can afford! It will save you money in the long run.
Oh and if you do not instantly understand what I just said. You had better hire a campaign guy who does.