I was just interviewed today by the Redding Rancheria Tribal Council. They are endorsing me!
I have written before about endorsements. I thought it would be helpful if I added a few more thoughts about this process.
If you are politically astute, you know that receiving endorsements is very important. If gives you some measure of credibility with the members of the greater public who may not otherwise know much about you. It also gives you an opportunity to meet the executive committee of the groups that are very involved with our community and the citizens that live here.
I think it is very important to understand that receiving a groups endorsement takes work and effort on your part. Understand that these groups do not decide to support you on their own. YOU must make contact. YOU must request to be interviewed. YOU must make the effort.
What happens during an interview? First, I suggest arriving several minutes before your scheduled appointment. Case in point: I arrived at an interview last week about 20 minutes early. As a result of this, I was the first to be seen and interviewed. Being first gives you the opportunity to be remembered! Arriving early, being ready to go, dressing professionally, all these things can go a long way towards your goal of making a good impression and getting the endorsement!
Be prepared. In addition to arriving early, I suggest you research the company or group you are interviewing with. It is very helpful to know what they are currently working on or struggling with. Knowing your current events and understanding how that affects the group or association will lend you additional credibility.
Many times, the group will introduce you and let you talk a bit about yourself. Do not talk too much! Tell them who you are, what you have done, and what you wish to accomplish. Touch on your top three most important topics. Let them ask questions. This is very important. Have the respect to answer as concisely and honestly as possible.
Once you are done they will ask you to step out of the room. The committee will take a vote, usually right then. That is why they ask you to step out. Do not leave! You will probably get your answer right away.
You should decide ahead of time what it is you are asking for. These groups usually do all, or some form of three things. They will endorse, they will donate, and they will assist with some other form of ‘in-kind’ contribution (placing signage up, assistance with phone banking, photo copies, etc.). Some do all, some only endorse, some will do a combination. If they do not offer the information, it is entirely appropriate to ask. Some of the larger groups and Union’s will put your name and vital information in their annual voters guide! Talk about free publicity!
Remember, you must take an active approach to this effort. If you want this office or position bad enough then you must work for it!
Keep in mind that you are going to be scrutinized. It is important that you know exactly what you wish to accomplish. They want to know that they are backing someone that can win!