In most any serious political endeavor, one of the first things that you (and those working with you) need to do is to start making lists.
Whether you’re just a budding activist with a burr in your britches about something, or a potential candidate for office, you won’t have much success without knowing who could help out and then making an effort to get them involved.
Remember, politics is all about people. But taken further, successful politics means organizing people…and it’s hard to organize people if you don’t have a good idea “who” to organize, “where” they are, “how” to get in touch with them, “what” they care about and what resources they could bring to the table.
That’s what political list building is for.
Look for people who think like you do. Who’s upset about the things that you are? If you’re running for office (or helping someone), who could support the campaign in any possible way? In election campaigns, this can also help identify the people needed to form an actual “campaign committee” that may be required in your state.
Political List Building Ideas:
- Family and friends (for obvious reasons)
- Fellow conservatives who care about your cause or campaign
- Possible volunteers (who’s willing to work?)
- Possible donors (who has money and might support the effort?)
- Grassroots organizers (who is well organized and good with people?)
- People who have big networks and credibility (who can help you connect with others that you don’t already know?)
- Business associates (they know your reputation)
- Church members (a great place to find fellow conservatives)
- Pastors (they know who the political junkies are in their churches)
- Social networks (aka, social media friends who can help you get viral exposure)
- Helpful political officials (past and present…who know they system and are well connected)
These are just some ideas, but you get the picture. As you are listing people, categorize them based on what other types of lists they could eventually be added to. Some people will obviously fit into several categories. Make a note of it.
After you have filled up a few sheets on a legal pad, you can take the next step and organize it on a spreadsheet (maybe even adding a new tab for each list)… eventually adding their contact information to make it easy to import into your own contact lists, an email program or other more sophisticated database (if necessary…but not usually). Spreadsheets are also formats that are easily shared with others that you may be working with.
What you are doing is building your “activism database”. Without fellow activists, you’re just a Lone Ranger. And even he needed Tonto.
Get out a pen and paper and start writing.