Running an Effective Phone Bank
Phone banks are a critical element to the political program. It is one of the most inexpensive and effective ways of contacting our membership. Although few people like receiving these calls, they are absolutely necessary. Without a massive phone bank operation, we cannot deliver our message or victory.
During the course of an election cycle or project, five principal types of phone calls will be made: ID/Sandwich, persuasion, event, recruitment and GOTV. Each phone call should be used to deliver a specific message and elicit a specific response. The key components of a "good" phone call, regardless of the specific genre, are coherent message delivery and being conversational. Effective utilization of those two elements will elicit a higher percentage of voter persuasion.
ID calls are used to identify a voter’s position on an issue or a candidate. A typical ID call consists of the delivery of a short message, and then asking the voter if they support the message.
Sandwich calls are similar to ID calls, with the exception of asking the voter about their position. These calls are purely informational.
Persuasion calls are designed to convince the voter to accept an idea or vote for a candidate. Persuasion calls generally use more forceful language and include point/counter-point information to answer voter concerns.
Event calls are used to inform people of an event and build a crowd. Specific information regarding the purpose of the event, who will be attending (speakers, special guests), as well as the time, date and location of the event should be included. Ask the person if they will attend, as opposed to simply informing them of the event.
Volunteer Recruitment Calls
Volunteers are the heart-and-soul of every winning campaign. The political plan cannot be executed without volunteers. Recruitment calls should specifically mention how important the person’s help is, what type of help is needed as well as when and where the person is needed. If the person agrees to help, make sure s/he tells you the specific time and place that fits his/her schedule.
Get Out the Vote calls are designed to encourage voter participation. A GOTV call should ask the voter if they will vote for your candidate, indicate the election day date, what time the polls are, open and where the voter can cast a ballot.
A phone bank check list and example scripts are included in the following pages.