- After door to door canvassing, it’s the most effective way to connect with people.
- Allows us to gather critical data that campaigns can use to target their resources.
- Critical for getting out the vote.
- It builds community and makes your group stronger.
- Anyone can do it from home without having to travel.
How they work
You will use Hub Dialer or Virtual Phone Bank technology. You access the virtual phone bank using your computer. These are systems that are cloud based and allow properly logged in users a way to access scripts and the list of people to be called. Once you log in to your campaign, a script will pop up with the name of the first person you are to call. The scripts are tailored to the people you are calling.
Organizing your phone bank
- From the www.indivisible-ma.org website, Choose a campaign.
- Check the information about hosting a phone bank for that campaign.
- Check calling times.
- Set the date for your phone bank and follow instructions to get links and scripts.
- Several days before, reach out to 20-30 people who might be interested; the more personal your invitation, the more likely they are to come. Use your groups social media.
- Two days before, run a test yourself of accessing the script and dialer. Read the script. Make sure you know from the Indivisible-MA website who to contact for support.
- One day before, get or write a short description (1 page) of the candidate, their opponents, and the district. Email the 1 pager, and the script to the callers with a reminder about the phone bank day, time and address. Provide your phone number.
A Good Phone Bank Includes…
- Room for people to spread out and make phone calls without all being on top of each other
- Good WiFi/internet connection
- Good cell coverage
- Refreshments for everyone
- Instructions on using the dialer, FAQ’s & profile of the candidate
The Technical Details…
Each person will need:
- A fully charged phone, a laptop/tablet, and if possible head phones.
- To log in to the WIFI of the home hosting the phone bank.
- The virtual phone bank. Once you have that, you can log in.
There are several different platforms that are being used: HubDialer, Openvbp or Action Network. However they all work similarly. You will need an account in order to access the information. If you have one already, log in to your account. If this is your first time, you will be asked to create an ID when you click the link. Look for a verification email with a link to verify your account.
Once you log into your account, you will receive the instructions for accessing the dialer and the script. Now you will see the script and the name and phone number of the first person you are to call.
Tips for Calling
- Run through the script before beginning to make calls. Note where you need to record responses. Typically there is a drop down menu with options. An answering machine is recorded as a “not home.” Do not leave a message.
- Hosts: before training/hosting people, please make a few calls on the system to learn the ins and outs yourself. Look at the script. Each script is different. Most will provide information about who you are calling.
- Make a “hard ask” of that very important question: “Can we count on your support for XXXX in November?” If we don’t ask directly, we will never know!
- Use the script as a guide but find your own rhythm and pace. Listen and engage.
Remind your Callers…
- Be friendly, upbeat and courteous.
- Don’t waste time by engaging with someone who doesn’t support the candidate. Thank them for their time and move on.
- When you get a message machine, record it as a “not home” and do not leave a message.
- Try to reach everyone listed at that address.
- Set realistic expectations: many people will not answer; you may make 20 calls to actually speak to 3-4 people.
Capture the Information
- Each phone bank will have a script and each script will show you how to record the information for each call.
- Remember even when you talk to someone who is not a supporter you are gathering important data that allows for better targeting of important resources.
When you are done
- Gather together for 5 minutes.
- Make sure everyone takes a few minutes to debrief and share their experiences.
- Ask what could go better next time?
- Thank everyone for participating in building the blue wave – call by call, door by door!
- Think about making the phone bank happen on the same evening each week.