The team at CHQ recently hosted a webinar – How to Effectively Communicate During a Pandemic. I wanted to share some of the information with you, hopefully it’s useful for you and your team.
We have posted the full Webinar on YouTube, in case you missed it or want to go back and reference a few points. But I also posted a few short clips below to check out.
I wanted to provide you with a brief recap, starting with the Four Ways to Make the Most of the Opportunity.
1. Build a grassroots army now that you can mobilize later. Telephone petition drives are great for this – call voters, ask them to add their name to a petition. For those who agree, we collect their email address and ask them to volunteer. Right now, you have people’s attention and you can capture their information to build your supporters. (Watch short webinar clip here).
2. Introduce yourself. The best way to do this is through is peer to peer text, where you can have a two-way conversation with a voter at their convenience. You can also push a 20 second TV commercial directly to the voter’s phone, giving them a better glimpse of who you are. (Watch short webinar clip here).
Peer-to-Peer texting can help you safely collect enough signatures to get your name on the ballot.
3. Survey your audience. Use automated surveys (which are inexpensive and fast) to gather critical data on your audience. You can weed out disconnected phones and make the most of your volunteers’ time when it’s time to start doing campaign calls.
4. Have a Conversation. Telephone Townhalls create a large audience and are always a great resource when trying to update your voters on quickly changing information.
Give me a call or drop me a line if you have any questions or we can get to work on a project for you today. 1-888-722-4704 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your voters and donors WANT to hear from you. But you must communicate in the right way. Thanks to Iowa Field Report for letting me share in this article.
Schlinger says that she was initially hesitant about advising her candidates to continue fundraising, however, after monitoring the current environment over several days, she realized that campaigns need to stay engaged rather than go into hibernation.
“They [Campaigns & Candidates] need to be sensitive to the situation, but they should be engaged. People are at home, and they’re following the situation closely. Voters want to be involved. They do not want to be shut out” said Schlinger.
As Americans enter week two of COVID-19 lockdown, what seemed like a new adventure last week has turned into impatience and unrest. Posts of happy parents working alongside their kids have been replaced with angry rants about lack of toilet paper.
At this moment, your audience is thinking about what kind of world they expect and demand when this is over.
Do you want them to form these opinions while reading dubious posts on social media, or while hearing straight from you?
With door-knocking and in-person events off the table, here are four ways you can make a difference right now …
Telephone Petition Drives
Want to enter the post-COVID-19 era with an army of brand new supporters, ready to get out of the house and take action? Then a telephone petition drive is for you! We invite people to add their name to your petition in support or opposed to a particular policy. This works best with issues that provoke a strong response, like an increase to the gas tax. People who agree to lend their name are asked for their email address and to volunteer for your organization in the future.
Patch Through Calls
Any time a government body is meeting, you can influence them with patch through calls from the voting public. Senators, governors, state lawmakers, and even mayors, county, and city officials have changed their vote based on grassroots pressure. Even in times of crisis, it’s important to remember that politicians work for the people and not the other way around. Since your army of supporters cannot meet with lawmakers in person, you can make sure they are heard.
Petitions to Get On the Ballot
While some states have pushed back their primary election, not all have extended the deadline to return ballot access petitions. So how do you collect physical signatures in the time of social distancing? Ask likely petition signers by text and phone call to sign your petition to get on the ballot. When they agree, offer to send a volunteer to their door to (safely) deliver and collect the signatures, or share a link with instructions to download the petition, sign and return it by mail. Don’t let COVID-19 keep your name off the ballot!
Introduce yourself via MMS Video
This may be your best chance to capture the attention of young voters, women voters, and swing voters. You can introduce yourself or share your vision in a 20 second video we deliver via conTEXT (peer-to-peer texting) and ask each person to watch your video and share their opinions. Remember, the value of peer to peer texting is that a real human being is making a connection with another. Make sure whoever is doing your texting promises to read and respond to every reply.
While it’s important to be respectful of the fears and uncertainty Americans are facing, what we’ve learned in the last week is that people desire connection, they want information, and they most certainly do NOT want to have their voices silenced.
You may never have an audience more available, more willing to listen, and more eager to share their opinions than right now.
Seize the moment!
We are here to help. Call (888) 722-4704, or email me at email@example.com.
As social distancing and self-quarantining become the new normal, Americans want to hear from elected leaders more than ever. Battling the COVID-19 virus has ground community events, campaign rallies, small meetings, and door-to-door canvassing to a halt. But that doesn’t mean you should halt your communications with constituents, voters or members of your advocacy group. You can still safely communicate with a large audience using a telephone town hall. With sports, school, and church events cancelled, people are at home, available, and ready to take your call.
Step One: Spread the Word (Not Your Germs!)
Lawmakers using a telephone town hall for official business may dial out to a large audience of both landlines and cell phones. Campaigns and issues organizations may only dial out to landline phones or those with cellphones who have opt-ed in.
But the most active and involved participants in any telephone town hall are those who proactively dial in to your event so; focus on getting the word to people who will be interested.
Send peer-to-peer text messages, including your toll-free phone number that participants can click to join. Consider an MMS, using an image or GIF to draw focus and attention.
Email your list 48 hours in advance, and again the morning of your event.
Post on social media several times in advance and 10 minutes before the event begins. Ask your followers to post and share.
Send an automated call to the people who will be receiving your outbound dial to join your event. Let them know all they need to do is simply wait by the phone and answer when you call.
Step Two: Have an interesting, worthwhile conversation
Successful lawmakers and elected leaders approach their telephone townhall with the same level of preparation as they would any in-person event.
We can help you to ensure you hold your audience with a conversation WORTH having:
A line-by-line, including notes for your opening remarks, will help guide the conversation and cover important topics. It helps to have a moderator open the call, who can instruct people on how to participate, and call on members of the audience for you.
Keep the conversation fast and lively. Have responses ready for questions you think are likely to come up. Your responses to each question or comment should be no longer than 2-3 minutes.
Give your audience several ways to participate. You can ask your audience their opinion with a poll question and gather email addresses.
Step Three: After the event, keep sharing!
After your successful event, where you spoke with thousands of constituents, shared valuable information, and answered questions, we can help you take it to the next level.
Now is the time to take the most valuable segments of your interactive conversation and share them with an even larger audience. Here’s how:
Use the recording of your event and a static image to create 60 second MP4 videos that you can post to your YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter pages. Encourage your followers to post, share, and ReTweet.
Send peer-to-peer text messages of your video, along with a link to listen to the entire event. Ask people to reply to your text to let you know what they think.
Email your supporters a synopsis along with a link to listen to the entire event or pertinent clips.
Remember, this is a unique moment in history. You’re speaking to folks who aren’t used to being sequestered at home, who may be irritated, bored, confused or scared.
This is your chance to build a meaningful connection that will last much, much longer than any virus.