Benefits of phone banking
- 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.
- Builds community and makes groups stronger.
- Anyone can do it from home without having to travel.
Watch the 6-minute video You Can Swing the Election! to see why concerned Americans are volunteering for phone banks to defeat Trump and other Republicans in November 2020. Our democracy and the values we cherish are on the line!
If phone banking in Wisconsin, you can also watch this video Why Wisconsin?
Below are tips for volunteers new to phone banking. Organizers should refer to the guide Phone Best Practices: Recruitment and Retention.
Information for new phone bankers
How it works
You will use Hub Dialer or Virtual Phone Bank technology and access the virtual phone bank using your computer. These are cloud-based systems that allow properly logged-in users a way to access scripts and the list of people to call. Most often your phone number, name and location will be anonymous. 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.
Finding your phone bank
Visit the Together for 2020 page and navigate to Take Action: Take Action by Tactic: Phone for a list of phone banks you can join.
You will need a fully charged phone, a laptop/tablet, and if possible, headphones.
There are several different platforms that are being used: HubDialer, OpenVPB or Action Network, which 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 you begin making calls. Note where you need to record responses. Typically there is a drop-down menu with options.
- Use the script as a guide, but find your own rhythm and pace. Listen and engage.
- 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 that even when you talk to someone who is not a supporter, you are gathering important data that allows for better targeting of important resources.