In 2011, we worked on a Delegate race in Virginia that was the very competitive. We needed to do everything right and then get lucky to have a shot at winning.
The campaign manager was the perfect person for the race. She knew the candidate well and was willing to try new approaches and in a competitive race, going outside the box if necessary. Stones’ Phones loves these kinds of managers.
We did a Live ID program where we asked voters if they were supporting our candidate, our opponent or were undecided– a common service we offer to campaigns. This particular campaign followed up unanswered field calls and invited them to a Telephone Town Hall.
Telephone Town Halls are one of the best tools for targeting those undecided voters during the last stretch of the campaign, spurring cautious audiences into action. Simple but effective, a message like, “stay on the line to ask your questions directly to the candidate before you vote on Election Day,” is quite powerful. During this event, listeners will learn about the candidate and the issues of the campaign. We can also use polling questions during the event to remind listeners of Election Day, with the candidate asking: “Can I count on your support in November’s election? If I can, press 1. If you’re not there yet and need more information, press 2.”
In addition to getting answers to their last minute policy questions, the Telephone Town Hall can also be used to help callers find their polling location or request a ride to the polls. Throughout the event, poll questions can guide listeners to plan out when and how they’ll vote on Election Day, increasing turnout.
Telephone Town Hall participants walk away from the event feeling like they’ve had a one-on-one conversation with the candidate, a feeling that will stick with as they head to the polls on Election Day.
After a Telephone Town Hall event, the campaign’s field team can then follow up with those who didn’t go live on the air to make sure that voter was reached and their questions answered. Data from the Telephone Town Hall can also be used by the campaign to sharpen their GOTV lists to increase turnout.
Working with this particular campaign, we did a series of 7 Telephone Town Halls to ensure we reached as many as potential voters as possible and give them an opportunity to listen in to help make their decision.
Utilizing the Telephone Town Hall (using the same list of people as we called in the Live IDs), we were able to help our candidate pick up an additional 10% of identified supporters. We were able to reach a block of undecided or uncommitted voters who wouldn’t answer their phone with a call from a campaign volunteer, but working with the campaign, we were able to advertise the Telephone Town Hall to them with direct mail and Internet advertisements. A large portion of uncommitted voters participated throughout the series of Telephone Town Halls.
We know that door knocking and volunteer phone calls are essential and the base of a good campaign. But Telephone Town Halls are becoming a new campaign tactic to help reach the last block of voters and should be a part of your field plan to make sure every supporter votes.