Louisiana Core Team Member Don P. of New Orleans shares insight on how to host a successful Phone Bank. Standing close by is Lynda W., the team's Neighborhood Team Leader who is leading her team to many successes in the areas of voter contact activities and volunteer recruitment.
Here is what Don has to say about hosting a phonebank:
Realize the inherent value of the calls you are making. Every time you speak to a potential voter....that conversation is as close as you may ever get to them. In relation to building a relationship, that is closer than advertising, closer than brochures or a pamphlet. You're making a lasting impression. And by and large, they are often times impressed that a volunteer has reached out to them. It lets voters know that the campaign is active, involved, and cares. It also eliminates inaccurate contact information etc, so when it's time to GOTV , Get Out The Vote, we have well qualified lists.
It may take some time to get in a groove. Be patient. And we realize that not everyone is cut out for phones. There is something for everyone to do so make sure you have the right teams in place.
Feedback is extremely valuable. Volunteers want to know how much they contributed, and that they are appreciated!
"If you're the phonebank leader, set the tone and the pace. Catching up on personal news, campaign chatter, etc. is important. But when it's time to hit the phones and hit them hard set the example. More than anything, your team is looking for your organizational skills and leadership to get them in, be productive, and on their way home. Have your lists and phones ready to go at the start of the phone bank.
Try to accommodate your phone banks to the volunteer preferences. Some people like hard copies, some like virtual phone bank.
Test your lists before you give them to a volunteer. You may have made errors in inclusions or exclusions etc, so spot check individuals to make sure you didn't call them last week, or you are lacking phone numbers etc.
Make sure the environment is conducive to good conversations. Too much background noise will frustrate everyone. Walk around, find a quiet corner, go outside....whatever it takes so that your communication with the potential voter is heard, and your concentration is solely on them.
Thank the potential voter for their support, and make sure you tell them it's a team effort, and it will take all of us working together to get this done. It's motivating to them and to you. Always, Always thank everyone for volunteering, have a way of tracking their progress and remember to make the ask to attend the next scheduled phoneback." --Don P., Phone Bank Core Team Member, Team Blue Dat, New Orleans.