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Creating your campaign

Developing your campaign

Start by deciding which issues you will focus on in your campaign. This will help inform your candidate statement, which should set out your position on issues that are important to you, and which you will use in your campaign materials and communication.

Use the following questions to guide your campaign position:

  • What are the key issues that are important to you?
  • What is your position on these issues?
  • What actions have you taken so far on these issues?
  • What will you do over the course of the campaign?
  • What will you do once you are on council, to advance these issues?

If you need help or have questions as you develop your campaign, get in touch with a peer support or mentoring network.

Starting your campaign

Once you’ve developed your campaign platform, it’s time to get your name out there.

Follow Local Government Victoria’s Safe Campaign Guidelines. Focus on online networks, using social media and community groups to connect with people in your areas and build connections. Let these people know who you are and what you stand for. Your networks and community groups can advocate on your behalf and make sure your name is heard. During COVID-19, focus on using social media channels of these groups to engage with a wider community.

Consider whether the following community groups are likely to support you as a candidate:

  • Parents groups
  • Online community groups, such as ‘Good Karma Network’ and other issues-focused groups (i.e. environmental groups) on Facebook
  • Traders and business associations
  • Lions and Rotary clubs
  • Ratepayers’ associations
  • Sporting clubs

Time management and budgeting

Managing your time wisely is crucial to running a successful campaign and to being an effective councillor.

To manage your time effectively:

  • Set yourself some campaign goals that are ‘SMART’: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely
  • Create a list of daily or weekly tasks, and work through them in order of priority
  • Set yourself a time limit to complete each task
  • Take a break or reward yourself when you finish each task
  • Try and delegate to your campaign team, where possible.

Whether you’re running a big campaign or a small one, your campaign requires planning, budgeting and fundraising. You do not need a large budget – elected councillors have reported spending as little as $500 on their campaign. Firstly, think about what you are prepared to spend, and how much you expect to raise through fundraising and donations. Common campaign costs include photography, additional phones, design of flyers and digital advertising.

Make sure you keep track of your budget as you have to report on your election spending after the elections, whether you are elected or not.

Choosing your campaign team

Find a team of people to help and support you through the campaign. Your team will help keep you focused, motivate and give you more time to engage directly with voters.

Start by finding a campaign manager to lead your team, who will help support and coordinate your campaign activities. An ideal campaign manager will bring political experience and know-how, and is someone you can trust.

Your campaign team needs to align with your values and be committed to helping you succeed.  You do not need a large campaign team. Instead, focus on ensuring you have a team of people with a range of skills, knowledge and experience to help support you. During these elections, it will be particularly helpful to have the support of someone with strong digital skills to help you to post on social media and connect with your online supporters.

See Your Campaign Toolkit (Victorian Local Governance Association, 2020) for comprehensive guidance on campaigning.

Campaign Playbook

A guide to campaigning in the Victorian council elections.

PDF | 2.1MB
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