Textbanking

How Texting to Voters Works

Texting is a great way to mobilize voters. Don’t worry, nobody will see your actual phone number! New texting platforms have emerged in recent years to enable volunteers to engage huge numbers of people relatively easily. The way they work is similar however.

Groups are using a few different peer-to-peer texting platforms to support campaigns. These platforms enable volunteers to send out scripted text messages to a huge number of people, and when individuals respond volunteers get the response and engage in a personalized one-to-one conversation.  All of this can be done on a computer, tablet, or phone.

Some Terminology:

Texting Provider/Sponsor

An organization that manages texting for various campaign.  We include MoveOn, Resistance Labs and Red 2 Blue

Platform

The tool used for texting.  There are several of these: Spoke. Hustle and Relay are three of these which are used by the above providers.  They work similarly with some variations.  However, you will need a separate account for each platform.  Moveon uses Spoke, Resistance Labs uses Hustle and Red 2 Blue uses Relay.

Slack

The communication platform used by all of these groups as a means to communicate the Calendar, training, tips etc.  In order to text you will need to join the chosen Provider’s Slack Team.  Slack is bit like texting or What’s App.  It’s pretty easy to get the hang of.

Texting Step-by-Step

Step 1 – Select which provider you want to use

Step 2 – Sign Up to join their slack channel – you will receive instructions and links to training

Step 3 – Take basic training to get familiar with the platform and texting

Step 4 – check which campaigns have texting going on

Step 5 – sign up via a slack message to for specific number of texts

Step 6 – text and reply

Groups offering remote texting for campaigns

A handful of groups are coordinating remote texting for various midterm candidates and campaigns. Each of these groups is doing similar work to build the Blue Wave so pick one to get started and see how it works. After you click the link below, you will see detailed instructions from that group on everything you need to know about texting from start to finish. Follow the instructions carefully. After you have done some texting on your own and you understand how it works, then you can organize a text bank for your local group! First, choose one of the groups below to get started.

Organizing your texting party

  • After you have engaged one of the groups above and practiced texting by using their system, organize a texting party! A texting party, sometimes called a “text bank”, is an event where a group of volunteers come together in person to do remote texting together. Can you host a weekly texting party? How many people can you recruit to participate with you?
  • The groups above that offer texting use Slack to communicate and coordinate with volunteers. They also usually have a specific person on hand to offer support. Contact the person offering assistance and ask them about when you can organize a texting party.
  • Determine a date/time/location for your texting party that works for you and the group you’re working with.
  • Visit the “Create an Event” page on this site to organize your texting party. Name your event “Texting for [Name of campaign] with [Name of your group]”. Copy the RSVP link provided to you by Action Network through our site.
  • Send an e-mail to your networks inviting people to join your text bank! Include the RSVP link and remind people to click the link to RSVP.
  • Send individual emails, text messages, and facebook messages to the people who RSVP’d (and anyone else you are still trying to recruit) to confirm that they will join you.
  • Follow the instructions provided to you by the group above that you’re working with, and make sure that your participants are all clear on how it works.
  • Have fun!
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