Campaign Staff: Roles and Responsibilities

As you organize your campaign and build your staff, it’s important to have a clear picture of who you need on board. From managers to volunteer coordinators, there are a significant number of moving parts.

As you organize your campaign and build your staff, it’s important to have a clear picture of who you need on board. From managers to volunteer coordinators, there are a significant number of moving parts. 

As you organize your campaign and build your staff, it’s important to have a clear picture of who you need on board. From managers to volunteer coordinators, there are a significant number of moving parts. 

Depending on the scope of your campaign, one person may hold several of these roles—and many may be volunteers. The outline below covers some of the more common campaign staff roles and their responsibilities on your team. 

Campaign Manager

Often the most recognizable role on staff, your campaign manager coordinates all elements of your campaign from staffing to budget management. This often outwards-facing role is responsible for hiring, driving fundraising efforts, and handling high-level day-to-day operations. 

In order to balance all of these tasks and maintain positive public optics, your campaign manager must be highly organized, responsible, non-reactive under pressure, and have top-tier interpersonal skills. Above all, your campaign manager must be trustworthy as well as confident when discussing fundraising. 

Treasurer

In order to begin taking contributions or utilizing your campaign funds, your campaign must have a treasurer. This person manages all financial aspects of the campaign, including fundraising, reporting, and accounting. They maintain your records and are ultimately responsible for compliance with the election board overseeing your race. 

They must have accounting experience and above all, be trustworthy. Other than the candidate, this is the only member of your staff whose name is likely to be filed with an election authority. 

Press Secretary

Sometimes also called your communications director, this person is responsible for all of your campaign’s public and media messaging. Your press secretary builds positive working relationships and networks with the press, speaking as your campaign's key spokesperson. They work to identify possible opportunities and coordinate interviews and conferences accordingly.

Depending on the scope of your campaign, they may either write or supervise your writing team in the creation of your speeches as well as any web or campaign copy. 

Your ideal press secretary will have prior experience managing a media team, excellent spoken and written verbal skills, and working relationships with your target press organizations. 

Political Director

Your political director, sometimes called your constituency organizer, is responsible for networking with various constituencies in your target audience. This individual is a key decision maker when it comes to setting the agenda at varying regional and national levels based upon work with these groups. 

Examples of constituency groups could include immigrants, veterans, communities of color, labor unions and more. Your political director will build relationships with organizers acting as spokespeople within these different groups and build a plan to make sure they all feel served and seen. 

Field Director

Your field director, or voter contact, manages all canvassing and voter outreach efforts to speak directly to voters. Their responsibilities include building a field plan informed by research, managing and building your outreach team, and creating open communication with voters. 

In the course of this work, your field director may develop a canvassing plan that includes phone banking, petitions, or door-to-door efforts. If you want to coordinate voter registration efforts, your field director will typically also manage those. This highly energetic and organized person must have lots of energy and charisma, as well as experience handling large volunteer teams with dense data intake. 

Working in your field team under this individual, many larger campaigns also have a GOTV Coordinator, Phone Bank Coordinator, and Canvass Director. 

Volunteer Coordinator 

Working directly with the field director, your volunteer coordinator is responsible for recruiting and managing your volunteer team. Volunteers are a vital asset for your campaign—from spreading the word through canvassing to helping out at rallies, these “boots on the ground” are the backbone of your campaign. Your volunteer coordinator will work with them and identify their skills to help ensure optimized volunteer placement. 

Your volunteer coordinator should be an enthusiastic and patient individual with top-tier interpersonal skills. Volunteers come from many walks of life and have different strengths and abilities—and a good volunteer coordinator is key to working with them.

Scheduler

As the name states, your scheduler does exactly what you may expect. They act upon all invitations and accept or decline based on the strategies they discuss with your campaign manager, political director, and others. They also seek out events that appear to be a good fit and serve as a point of contact for scheduling purposes.

The scheduler assembles the candidates schedule, briefs them on their upcoming events, and makes sure that everyone has proper contact information, times, and directions. 

A good scheduler is assertive and meticulous, as well as confident when enforcing call-times and voter contacts for the candidate. 

Technology Manager

In an ever increasing digital landscape, having a strong lead on your technology team is a must for successful campaigns. Your tech managers coordinate all of your digital infrastructure including the website, database, computer maintenance, internal platforms, and more. 

Your technology manager should have experience working in IT and managing an IT team—they’ll also be a point of contact when things go wrong. They must have strong problem solving skills and adequate time to dedicate to fielding “IT support” situations on the fly. 

Office Manager

A key role not just for campaigns, but for any business with an office, your office manager handles the practical, administrative aspects of your campaign. This individual is responsible for maintaining your headquarters—from making sure that the copier has paper to ensuring that policies and procedures are followed. 

Common responsibilities include staff management, office inventory management, and other “as needed” administrative tasks that may arise throughout the course of your campaign. Your office manager should have a high-level understanding of your campaign and operations in order to problem solve issues as they crop up. 

Legal Advisor

A legal advisor is an indispensable member of your campaign staff. Even if you cannot afford to keep a full-time lawyer, it’s important to seek legal counsel periodically from a lawyer well-versed in campaign finance and election law for your area. Should you run into trouble, having a working relationship with your legal advisor will help speed the process of resolving the issue.

Other Roles

In larger campaigns, there will be many other roles on your campaign staff. You’ll likely have a research director, who assesses your campaign’s success and provides insight based on political data. Many also have policy directors, new media directors, fundraising ambassadors, and others. 

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