Details for this year's CSM election period are released. So it's time to spin up the political machine and talk about this year's field.
First, preparation is key. And as we have been fond of saying on CapStable/CSM Watch, the best time to start a campaign is at the end of a cycle. If you are just now considering your CSM 11 run, understand that you are already late to the race. I'd still advocate running, but rather as kickoff for CSM 12 than really expecting to make it into CSM 11. For those that have spent 2015 preparing their run and building their name, the final stretch is upon us!
Build a Team
Just like IRL politics, candidates do not run 100% on their own. The best thing any candidate can do is build a small team to help double-check their work. When Ashterothi ran for CSM 10, he called on myself, Phyridean, and a few other close corp mates to help hone his campaign. Through constant communication, he was able to air his first-draft ideas before a close panel where we could better tune the message.
Also, find someone who will talk you out of fights. Again, being politic season, there will be mud, and the mark of a good candidate will be to resist the base urge to roll with the pigs. Despite an urge to do otherwise, there is power in quiet; standing above the mud slung.
Beware The Mud
In American politics, there is a story about Lyndon B Johnson where he wants to start a rumor that his opponent is a "pig-fucker". The object of the completely fabricated libel: to make his opponent deny it. By giving the rumor airtime from the victims side, you're empowering the attacker's side. Rather than letting it die as tinfoil, you give credence to a completely fabricated story.
A stunning example of this cycle was at the end of CSM 9 and into CSM 10. Where FunkyBacon/Xander were accused of breaking NDA by Sion. Xander took every bait to a fight to defend himself. Despite it being completely backwards logic to assume "what is he hiding?", the story stuck to Xander for the whole campaign. Though there is a time and place to fight accusations, it takes an adept touch to craft the message and remain on top despite attacks.
CSM != Mini-Dev
Though it's an asset to bring mechanical expertise to the table, CSM is not an avenue to supercharge your F&I threads. Much like student council, you're not going to have the ability to outlaw homework.
Instead, CSM is an opportunity to build a constituency and bring the group's opinions to the table. Rather than just airing your own armchair-development, be able to mobilize your favorite professions. Get to know the other key players in that meta and work with them to be their representative. All the independent candidates can point to a constituency they represent, and they know key members to call, and can be reached by the people they represent.
Get Your Name Out There
This can be particularly difficult for the newer candidates, but make sure to use every opportunity to be heard and have your name on people's tongues. Besides Jita Park, make sure you're in CapStable's interview list. Schedule a AMA on /r/eve. Reach out to podcasts in your meta for interview/guest spots. Approach the news sites about publishing editorials. Arrange open roams with open comms. Anything to make your name and ideas known.
The next 2-3 months need to be spent socializing with your constituents and other metas close to yours. Don't worry about not being the perfect WH candidate if you're not running in that meta, there are 14 seats to fill and a lot are up for grabs this year.