By Nicole Schlinger
When you are trying to influence a Member of Congress or Senator to take action…
Are all constituent contacts created equal? According to Capitol Hill staffers, the answer is a most resounding, “NO!” From the New York Times article, “Here’s why you should call, not email your legislators:”
Activists of all political stripes recommend calling legislators, not just emailing — and certainly not just venting on social media….A phone call from a constituent can, indeed, hold more weight than an email, and far outweighs a Facebook post or a tweet.
You can generate these all-important telephone contacts with a smartly run patch through campaign.
Patch through calls empower YOU to identify like-minded people, educate them about your issue, and transfer them directly to their lawmaker’s office to make their voice heard.
To run an effective patch through campaign, keep the following three things in mind:
1. Target the Fence Sitters
When choosing which lawmakers you want to target, focus on those who are on the fence or whose support could waver in the face of a tough vote. There’s no need to waste limited resources on someone who is solidly in your camp or firmly against you. However, it can be helpful to send a few positive patches into an office to give backup to someone taking a tough vote on your behalf.
2. Keep It Conversational
Keep your script simple and straight to the point. Remember, the constituents you are calling are not immersed in the unique language of your industry. They want to know what the issue is, how it affects them, and how they can make a difference. Avoid industry jargon. Read your script aloud.
3. Coordinate Your Efforts
Patch through calls are a powerful tool, but they are even better when coordinated with your ongoing advocacy efforts. If you have a meeting set with a particular lawmaker or his/her staff, imagine the impact you can have with 50 patch through calls the hour before you arrive! You can let that elected official know all they need to is sign on to your issue, and you can make the calls stop.
I’m often asked why patch through campaigns are so effective. The answer is simple. The one thing politicians fear most is losing re-election. Hearing from one constituent after another on a particular issue strikes at the very heart of this fear. Most elected officials are good people who want to do right by their constituents. When a loud and clear message is delivered, they will respond accordingly.
When you are ready to get your patch through telephone campaign running, please give us a call here at CampaignHQ. Our two-time Pollie Award winning team will make sure your message is heard.
Nicole Schlinger is president of CampaignHQ, which is available in the CrimsonMarket.