Campaign Planning - Online Programme for the Chilean Party Evópoli
Before scheduling the online meeting sessions for campaign planning to foster and train members of the Chilean party Evópoli on a local level, we were a bit excited. It was our first opportunity to embrace the online version of our popular international visiting programmes. Usually, the programmes live by the personal exchange at the meetings themselves and in the after work hours. It is a win-win situation: The foundation is bonding to their partners abroad and on the other hand the German interlocutors profit from the intense exchange on a high level. Furthermore, the delegation learns a lot about Germany and its approach to various topics within a very compressed time.
"Very good instance to share experiences in politics."
It seemed inconceivable that an online programme can replace such an intensive visit. However, due to the upcoming elections in Chile, there was no time to postpone our plan any further. Instead, we extended the programme to almost two weeks every morning from 8 o’clock for the Chilean participants. This way they could start into a productive working day.
Evópoli is an active member of the foundation network RELIAL. They are part of the Chilean government. Apart from that the party is, after the reorganisation of the cabinet in October 2019, in charge of three ministries. Local elections will be held in Chile in October 2020 and parliamentary and presidential elections in 2021.
We started our programme in the middle of June. Some of the participants had little experience with election campaigns, because they are new members of the Evópoli party, as is the party itself. Therefore, we provided a general overview on local politics and elections in Germany first. For this purpose, we engaged an expert in her field: Dr. Monika Ballin-Meyer-Ahrens. Dr. Ballin runs for mayor in Leverkusen and knows best about election campaign strategies in municipalities. As an asset, she also speaks Spanish, which encouraged a vivid discussion also in the chat. Nevertheless, we had two excellent interpreters for the whole programme, who let us forget we did not speak the same language.
After an introductory seminar weekend with Dr. Ballin, the group met the general director of the Association of Liberal Local Politicians, Joachim vom Berg, who shared his knowledge on the possibilities of networking of local politicians. To get an overview about preparation of an election, they exchanged ideas with Thorsten Anders, the managing director of the Liberal Party state association of North Rhine-Westphalia. He introduced the election campaign tools of his party at state level. These tools inspired the Evópoli group to organise themselves and join forces.
"It seems to me that these activities will be increasingly necessary, especially in the current context of quarantine and confinement. I congratulate you on innovating in this way."
The advertising agency “heimat” held a wonderful, colourful presentation on their effort for the campaign of the Liberal Party in 2017 and their current work on a local level in North Rhine-Westphalia, which visually was a welcoming change in the programme.
The Liberal Party candidates for mayor in Solingen and Lüdenscheid, Raoul Brattig and Jens Holzrichter delivered a vivid example for campaign planning. They gave a deep insight on how their campaigns are planned and conducted. Raoul Brattig talked about his public image and appropriate ways of addressing possible future voters. Mr. Holzrichter emphasized that they should focus on certain groups of voters and gave best practises for self-marketing. Naturally, a campaign in Chile still must be conducted differently than in Germany. The participants wished them the best of luck.
To talk about the bigger picture and get an overview on German-Chilean relations, the delegation got the chance to speak to a Liberal Member of the German Federal Parliament, Ulrich Lechte, who was very interested in the current situation in Chile.
Prof. Dr. Straubhaar could round off the exchange by sharing his economic perspective on the political developments worldwide. Besides, as a member of the board of trustees of the foundation, he could link the project office’s work to the general foundation’s tasks.
"A very nice group and ideal in quantity to be able to interact."
Overall, having spent only a few digital hours together at their homes, the participants as well as our foundation’s staff enjoyed the open-minded atmosphere and connection to each other. As a result, this was the best possible outcome for us and hopefully for them personally and for their future campaigns.