VRL's roadmap to successful political communications is simple to follow.

First, tap into your heart and why you are running for office. Then, start to get a handle on your values: what do you feel strongly about, what do you need to learn more about and what does the community value? Do this a few times! Next, craft your “first round message” then test your message against the “7 C’s of Campaign Messaging.”

Then, get ready for the fun part: turning your experiences into your expertise and telling your story. Since voters resonate more with our personal story more than our political platform, being able to tell a good story during your political speeches will get you further than any 5-point plan! (Quick Tip: Find someone who you think tells a good story…or a few people. Ask yourself, what makes them resonate with you and then emulate them!)

Of course, you must Practice! Practice! Practice! Tape yourself. It works. Get a trusted colleague (not a friend) to give you sound feedback and prepare to provide some great sound bites during every conversation.

When you are comfortable with your message, and can explain what sets you apart from your opponent, it’s time to get the word out and use the media to your best advantage.

Finally, be aware of how reporters often treat women candidates and get advice from experts and female public servants on how to deal with sexism and break stereotypes out on the campaign trail.

Ready to get started? Take the next step:

Fill out your "Why am I running" worksheet

To continue building your political leadership skills and learning how to run for office at your own pace, access our resource library.