Running for Office? What Every Candidate Should Know About Political Phone Banking

Whether you are organizing a run for an important local or state office, or feel that you are ready to take on politics at the national level, you already know that winning will require delivering a consistent message to the constituents you want to serve.

Before the digital age where news happens in real time, candidates for public office were able to get their message out by simply crafting direct mail ads, purchasing some commercial air time, and making stump speeches in the areas where most of their voters resided. Now, however, the process has become much more complicated with social media, political bloggers, and the media instantly dissecting every word you speak. If you are planning a run for office, political phone banking is one tool that can help ensure that your campaign message is successful.

Two options for political phone banking

Contacting voters by phone has become a favorite way for candidates to track the opinions and concerns of the voters they want to target and there are two types of calls commonly used for this purpose. One is a pre-recorded message, often called a robocall, used with an auto-dialing system that asks a series of questions and offers call recipients the opportunity to choose from a list of multiple choice answers. While doing this can be effective in getting basic information from these voters, it does not allow them to speak candidly or expound on the reasons for the views they are sharing with the candidate during the phone call. 

A better option is to utilize political phone banking with a staff of trained volunteers. Because these volunteers already believe in your message, they will be able to effectively and enthusiastically speak with each constituent they reach by phone.  

Training your political phone banking staff

When using volunteers to man your political phone banking efforts, it is critically important to make sure they have undergone adequate training to make them more effective. This training should include: 

  • a deep understanding of the candidates platform, including their views on any hot button issues that will affect the voters
  • training in basic telephone etiquette
  • becoming familiar with a basic script that the caller can use as a loose guide as they conduct each call
  • a plan for handling difficult calls by skillfully escalating them to a specific volunteer 

While phone bank volunteers will likely be supportive of your political platform and views, it is vitally important that they are able to maintain a more neutral tone when making calls on your behalf. Voters who support your opposition will be more likely to spend their valuable time on the phone with a volunteer who speaks to them in a pleasant, neutral tone while allowing them to fully explain the reasons they are not currently supporting you as a candidate. Political candidates and their strategists can use these calls to get valuable insight into the campaign of their opposition and use it to hone their own message for a broader appeal. 

Staying within the law 

Before implementing any phone banking strategy, campaigns must make sure that both they and their volunteers understand the existing laws regarding making unsolicited calls. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has specific rules for calling both wireless and landline numbers, as well as stiff penalties for not following these rules. Since even volunteers can be fined or penalized for breaking these rules, candidates will want to make sure that all call center personnel know and follow these laws. 

To learn more about the effectiveness of political phone banking for your campaign, contact a reputable company in your area that specializes in providing this type of marketing service. They will be able to assist you with setting up and maintaining a political phone banking operation than can help you reach more voters and build or broaden a more dynamic base. 

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