The Truth about Phone Banking
The Truth About Phone Banking and Block Walking
Are you uncomfortable with the idea of calling strangers for a couple of hours or spending a morning knocking on strangers’ doors? Do you get twisted in knots thinking about trying to convince a stranger to vote for or give money to your candidate? Worried someone will ask you a question about a candidate’s positions that you can’t answer?
You’re not alone!
Lots of folks out there are dying to help campaign for Democratic candidates this year so long as it doesn’t involve phone calling or door knocking. But for most of those people, that aversion is based on misunderstandings of how we are doing phone banks and block walks this year … and the way we’re doing it is not very scary!
Block walking and phone banking are by far the two most effective activities anyone can do to increase our chances of winning in 2014, so before you decide you’re not comfortable doing either, be sure you know what you’re saying “no” to!
If you’re That Person, here are four things you need to know about our 2014 phone banks and block walks:
1. We’re not trying to convert anyone!
Texas consistently ranks in the bottom 3 states for voter turnout of citizens eligible to vote. Studies tell us that Texas is not Red; we just don’t vote! If the majority of those eligible to vote actually register and vote, Texas will turn Blue! (As a matter of fact, the August 2014 Rasmussen Report’s Gubernatorial Scorecard changed Texas’s status from “Safe Republican” to “Leans Republican”.)
Our phone banking and block walking focuses on getting Democrats and and those likely to vote Democrat registered and to the polls, not converting Republicans.
2. We’re not contacting random strangers!
We use the Texas Democratic Party’s sophisticated database to identify and target Democrats, likely Democrats, and Independents who are likely to vote Democrat in 2014. We know a lot about who we’re calling on the phone, and we selectively choose the doors we knock on, even if that means we skip more houses than we knock on.
For that reason, the folks we contact are rarely rude, and if and when they are, we just thank them for their time and either hang up the phone or walk away with a smile!
3. We’re not asking for money!
We have different goals for various events, from recruiting volunteers to encouraging voting-eligible folks to register, but we do not use our phone banks or block walks to ask for money. Period.
4. We do provide all sorts of support!
At each event, you will be given some type of “script” to use in talking to people, so you won’t have to figure out what to say. The scripts are geared towards our goal for that event, whether it be recruiting volunteers, asking people to commit to registering to vote, or, as we get closer to Election Day, ensuring that registered voters get to the polls.
Each event also has at least one team leader, who will explain the process to you, answer questions, and help in any way she or he can.
We are also working on a set of tips and best practices to help you if you do encounter an unexpected situation. For example, if someone asks you a question to which you don’t know the answer, a great response is: “That’s a great question, but I’m not sure what the answer is. I will find out and be sure that someone gets back to you with an answer soon.”
Still not sure?
Come hang out with us at a phone bank or be a driver on a block walk (between the weather and our rural neighborhoods, our block “walks” are sometimes more like block drives) and make up your mind for yourself!
Block walking and phone banking are the two most effective activities anyone can do to increase our chances of winning in 2014, so before you decide you’re not comfortable doing either, be sure you know what you’re saying “no” to!
We need you!