This past General Elections provided me first hand, on the different roles that are crucial to the success of any candidate or party. Let me break it down for you in terms of the roles and responsibilities:
The right hand man of the candidate. The election agent plays an extremely crucial role and you need to have the following:
– GOOD ORGANISATIONAL SKILLS
– GOOD COORDINATION SKILLS
– GOOD INTERPERSONAL SKILLS
– GOOD ADMINISTRATION SKILLS
Your job is basically to manage all expenses of the candidate which needs to be kept properly. To help organise the schedule as well as plans for the candidate. To coordinate the schedule that has been planned. To manage people that the candidate needs to be in touch with such as media. To be adept at finding resources and be good at negotiating to get the best deal out of it.
PRINCIPAL ELECTION AGENT
Same as above but this person is the OVERALL IN-CHARGE of ALL THE ELECTION AGENTS in the team. In the case of Singapore, we have the GRC. So, the Principal Election Agent’s job is to manage the other Election Agents and ensure things run smoothly and according to what has been planned.
Besides the ELECTON AGENT and PRINCIPAL ELECTION AGENT, the other roles which will go towards the success of the candidate and help ease the candidate’s stress level, as well as help the candidate conserve and focus his energy on the campaign are the following roles.
Each candidate should preferably have a media manager. It is basically someone who will help to manage the media for the candidate. This person should help the candidate receive as much media coverage as possible and to ensure content on released by the concerned media is favourable to the candidate. Media forms include mainstream media as well as social media.
Preferably someone with experience from the media industry with friendly connections.
Each candidate should also have a personal photographer tagged with him. The job of the photographer is to take photos that the media would have otherwise missed as well as to ensure that photos uploaded to social media pages of the candidate are favourable and provides an alternative to photos that other media outlets may upload that may jeopardise the candidate.
The candidate is busy campaigning during the day and may not have time to prepare his own speeches. The speechwriter helps the candidate by going through the news first thing in the morning, updating the candidate on the news that may be of concern and preparing the speech that the candidate needs to deliver at the rallies that will address issues highlighted in the news by the opposing candidate or information highlighted by residents/constituents.
Each candidate should preferably have at least 2 runners. The job of the runner is basically to assist in any other duties that is required by the Election Agent or the candidate. This could be as simple as buying meals or being the advance party in block visits, to prepare constituents to meet the candidate.
With all these that is required for a candidate. Where does one learn and hone his skills in being an ORGANISER, COORDINATOR, MEDIA PERSON, SPEECH WRITER, RUNNER?
That’s where being in Grassroots Committee helps you hone the skills.
Being in Grassroots, you’d need to learn to be a runner, you’d also need to learn how to coordinate and organise events and if you’re really good with people and with words, you get to hone your skills to manage the media and be in the contact with the media frequently.
If you’re good with language, very likely you’ll get to the opportunity to write Press Releases and this is where you get to hone your skills as speech writer as well. Well, not exactly, but at the very least, you’ll know what kind of information the media needs and the knowledge to craft proper words is important as well.
And the photographer?
Well, the more events you’re used to, the more you’ll know how and when to position yourself to take those good shots that could tell the story for the candidate without any need for words.
So, when someone says preparation for the next elections begins now, it really does begin now. If you’re really keen to get started and prepared for the next elections in any of these roles, let me know!