Finding The Top Political Consulting Firms
May 8th, 2019
By HUNTER LAMIRANDE
The political consultant industry has thousands of individuals and firms that claim to be able to get you elected. Established consultants and firms are great at what they do, but will any of them be able to keep their word and actually push you toward a win? We recommend that you do your research before making the decision to work with a specific political strategist or one of the top political consulting firms.
Here are some key things to think about when looking for your political consultant:
Know What You Are Looking For
Many consultants and firms offer a variety of different services. When you begin your search for a political consultant, make sure that you know what it is you’re looking for. Is it direct mail, telecommunications, digital advertising, web design, or something completely different? Check to see if the consultant or firm you’re in contact with even offers those services to begin with! It would be a shame to hire a firm for your campaign to find out that they don’t in fact offer the services you need in-house. This only means they will need to outsource that service, and raise the prices to cover their costs for your campaign.
Make Sure The Firm Can Reach Your Voters On More Than One Channel
Voter outreach is the backbone to any campaign. Without the support and awareness from voters, you will have no one to vote for you. Make sure that the political consulting firms you are talking with can reach your voters in a multitude of ways. If a firm tells you that they can only reach voters by e-mail, that would be a huge red flag. Email campaigns can definitely be important to a voter outreach project, but the effectiveness of it will exponentially rise when you add in other channels of outreach such as telecommunications, digital geo/IP advertising, direct mail and knocking door to door. A firm that can handle all aspects of your outreach campaign is a firm worth looking further into.
Understand What They Actually Are Going To Do For You
Political strategy has gotten very complex over the past few years. Knowing the lingo and understanding all of the concepts can be quite difficult if this is your first time running for office… it’s even difficult if being a politician is something you’re seasoned in. Make sure the political consultant you’re hiring can explain to you in lament terms what it is they’re going to do for you. Being able to understand the services offered will put your mind at ease, and allow you to know what is going on and how it’s happening. Understanding the strategy will allow you to supplement it locally with your team.
Get A Second Opinion
John Heywood once wrote, “Two heads are better than one,” and we believe that theory can be applied here. If you’re unsure about the firm you’re about to work with, have a team member or campaign manager talk to the firm with you to develop a 2nd opinion. Talk to candidates who have used the firm in the past as well – many firms will provide a list of their past clients. It may be worth going through that list to find out what their past clients liked and disliked about the firm. Make sure you and your whole team can come together, be on board, and trust in the consulting firm you are hiring.
Watch Out For Pricing Schemes
The way that political consulting firms bill you can sometimes be a bit questionable. Some firms will try to get a percentage of your budget, rather than giving you a firm price on the services they are offering to you and your campaign. Stay way from a pitch along the lines of, “our cost will be 10% of your total budget toward political outreach and advertising.” Make sure you know exactly how much your expenditures will look like with each company, and don’t like the firm hide any hidden fees from you.
Hiring a political consulting firm can be a real challenge, but also the best thing for your campaign in terms of saving time and resources. A top firm can allow you to free up your volunteers and save your team a great deal of time on managing these types of projects.
Don’t go looking for the answers you want to hear, and don’t hire everyone you can think of. If a consultant has a different view on things than you, it doesn’t mean they are bad at what they do. A different perspective can be such a great thing to your campaign, and it’ll keep you from running a short-sighted campaign. Stick to one consulting firm, when you have too many hands in the pot it can create more problems than solutions.
If you stick to these rules and do your research, you’re likely to find the right political consulting firm for your campaign.