To win big in Swing Districts, we need to build a massive movement. We started by coming together online, but meeting in real life—in our living rooms and at our voter-contact events—is what builds the connections that fuel this movement.
Recruitment is simple: It starts with just inviting a few friends and then asking them to invite a few more. You’ll be surprised how quickly you can fill a room or canvass caravan.
Here are a few tips on how you can get started:
- Write a list of friends, family, neighbors and colleagues. Don’t limit your list to people who you think are involved in politics. This is a great opportunity to invite new people into activism, and lots of people are getting involved right now for the first time. Pro tip: About half of the people who say ‘yes’ will actually show up, so invite a few more people than you think you want to participate.
- Use multiple channels to recruit. Don’t rely on one method of communication. Send emails and text messages, post on Facebook and Twitter, distribute flyers, pick up the phone, knock on your neighbors' doors. Think of other creative ways to get the word out about your event. The more outreach the better! + Action Network has a number of useful recruitment features built into it that will help your template your emails and social posts. To check them out, log into your Action Network dashboard, scroll down to Actions, and click Manage next to your event.
- Email. When you click on "Manage," you will see a tab that says “Sharing Features.” There you will see a share link that you can copy and paste directly into an email (see image below). You also will find sample text that you can use for your email (“Email a friend”), which also includes the RSVP link to your specific event.
- Social Media. In Action Network you will also see a "Like on Facebook" option. This will allow you to post your event to Facebook, which can be a good way to get the word out as well. Pro tip: When you share on Facebook, you can “tag” the friends you want to invite by typing @ and then their name into the message ([here is a youtube video that demos how to do this] (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHYMMuWqWyk)).
- Pick up the phone. The most effective way to recruit is by sending an email and then following up with a quick phone call. Again, the more methods you use, the better.
Communicating with RSVPs
Recruitment does not stop at the initial invitation. You’ll need to follow up at least once with everyone who RSVPs to confirm their participation. Both emailing and calling all of your attendees a day or two ahead to confirm will significantly increase the likelihood that they actually show up on the day of your event.
Reminder calls are also a great opportunity to clarify the logistics and ask your attendees to take on some additional responsibility like bringing snacks or other materials. Asking your attendees to own a task is another great way to solidify their commitment to come, since knowing they have a specific role to play will lead to them feeling ownership over the success of the event itself.
There are a few different methods by which you can communicate with your guests before the event:
- Post on the Action Network Discussion Board. Anything you post on this board will be emailed to everyone who signed up for your event. You can find it by clicking on the "Discussion" tab of your event management page.
- Download RSVPs off Action Network and send a personal email. Even though Action Network will email attendees to remind them when the event is coming up, it is alway good to send a personal reminder yourself. Sending a personal email or making a call yourself will increase the chances that your guests will show up for the event. Emails from Action Network sometimes get stuck in spam boxes so your guests might miss the message. You should see the "Download RSVPs" button when you log into Action Network, under “Manage Event”. When you click “Download RSVP”, you will get an email with a csv. file (or excel) that has a list of all the registered guests.
- Invite guests to join your District Slack Team or your District Google Group so you can chat with them, and coordinate with other hosts.
Promoting on Social Media
Don’t forget to use social media to share updates during and after your events! Promoting your events will help you recruit for future activities and will inspire new people to get involved in our fight to take back the House.
Share a group picture, video, or story on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook (or all three!) and make sure to include #swingleft and your district (e.g. #NJ-07) so that Swing Left can retweet/repost.
Remember to stay positive on social media. There’s enough bad stuff in the news—this is an opportunity to inspire people to get involved by showing them how much fun you are having.