Some believe the key to a successful grassroots movement is through stakes in the ground—yard signs.
Yard signs are an excellent way to build name recognition, excite your supporters, provide ‘free’ publicity and can get your neighbors talking.
However we also know that yard sign wars can get messy…
During Loretta Sanchez’s Congressional campaign in 1996, a nasty yard sign war broke out between Sanchez and the incumbent’s campaigns. At the conflict’s climax, Loretta Sanchez’s husband, Stephen, was caught removing her opponent’s yards signs and he was placed under citizen’s arrest. John Shallman and the rest of the Sanchez team had to act quickly since reports of Stephen’s arrest were making their way to the press. The Sanchez campaign insisted that Loretta’s husband was driven crazy by the terrible attack ads the Congressman had distributed of his wife, and the news outlets ran with it! Although Congresswoman Sanchez was ultimately triumphant, the yard sign war was an unnecessary headache.
At Stones’ Phones we believe conversations build momentous support and bring voters out to the polls; however we have some helpful tips if you would like to make yard sign asks over the phone.
1) Ask for a specific person in the household. Specifying who we speak to will help you keep track of who exactly in the household has requested a yard sign.
2) Collect or verify their address. Double checking the address you have on file is an easy way to update your voter file and ensure you deliver the yard sign to the correct household. Voter file addresses aren’t always 100% accurate and you do not want to put the sign in the wrong yard.
3) Tell them to let everyone in the household know. This is important. A major problem with a yard sign ask is what happens after the call. The supporter may request a sign and forget to mention it to other members of the household. The miscommunication can cause confusion when a volunteer tries to deliver the sign, and they may be rebuffed. Remind the supporter to tell the household a yard sign will be arriving in the next few days.
4) Place a note on the back of the sign. You want to be absolutely positive you are placing the sign in a yard that wants it there. On the note say:
“If you do not want this yard sign, or you feel there has been a mistake, please contact [insert the campaign phone number] and we will remove it for you.”
Bonus tip: Always report stolen yard signs to the police. It can give you an added bump in the media, since many news outlets follow police blotters.
We believe the foundation of a great grassroots campaign begins with people and the conversations they have. If you would like to spark the conversation and get neighborhoods talking about your candidate’s yard signs, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.