So you’ve got Reach up and running on your campaign, and you’re ready to roll it out! Now what?
No organizing tool is a silver bullet that will win your campaign for you while you sip cocktails on the beach. Reach, like every other tool out there, is only as effective as the organizers using it so we want to make you the most effective Reach organizers possible.
What we have seen on campaigns all across the country who have used Reach successfully in a wide range of communities is that there are some tactics that have proven successful over and over again. Broadly, campaigns that have the most success are the ones who really incorporate it deeply into their organizing strategy. Reach is most effective when you get massive numbers of volunteers using it to collect data every day. Making this happen is the same as any other organizing goal: it’s about persistent and meaningful outreach and follow-up.
Some concrete tactics that we have seen work very well:
- Consistent On-boarding: Make sure every volunteer who walks into the office or shows up at an event downloads the app and gets trained. Use the invite codes feature to help folks join quickly.
- Frequent Training Opportunities: Hold online group trainings every so often where people can join a zoom call or hangout meet or something where you talk through using the app.
- Smart Training: Focus your training less on how to use the app and which buttons to press (it’s super each to figure out and use and we provide a knowledge base!) and more on when to use the app and guidance about the human interaction you want to encourage when canvassing. After a training session. a user should know what it’s going to feel like to successfully reach someone.
- Turning 1s into Volunteers: Every time a volunteer meets someone who is excited about the campaign, the next question should be “Do you want to help identify voters who are supporters? Can I get you setup on his same app I’m using?” We have a feature that allows you to add a user right from their voter profile screen if you’ve collected a phone number.
- Holler at your folks: Spread the word via email and chats. Send a mass email to your in/near district list announcing that you’re using the app and giving them some basic instructions, a link to download it, and an invite code. Pin a message about it in a Slack channel or Whatsapp Group or whatever you’re using to communicate internally.
- Friendly Competition: Share a screenshot of the leaderboard every day, congratulating the people who are at the top. Ideally have the candidate send these congrats messages for max social pressure/capital.
- Reach Goals and Rewards: Set daily or weekly “Reach Goals” of how many voters someone needs to reach to some free swag or other incentives.
- Reach Shifts: Schedule specific Reaching events at high-traffic in-district events where you assign a few people to cover the event talking to everyone they see and using Reach to collect IDs.
- Retroactive Reaching: If you have some volunteers who do not feel comfortable using technology or you want to canvass in areas that have no internet connectivity, consider using old fashioned paper in the moment and using Reach retroactively. Campaigns have made signup sheets that have spots for all the survey questions they have built in Reach. Give these sheets out on clipboards but then make it the responsibility of the volunteer who collected the data to later go back and enter it into Reach. This can be done at their own pace, in the comfort of their own home, and even using Reach from a desktop or laptop (by visiting app.reach.vote) instead of a cramped smartphone. Do keep in mind that this is not ideal because you are much more likely to end up with signup sheet entries that are illegible or impossible to match to the Reach data set for any number of reasons. But in a pinch, we’ve seen this work.
- Reminders: Any time you hear from a volunteer that they had a positive interaction with a voter or met someone excited about the campaign, ask them if they reached that person. If it didn’t make it into Reach, it doesn’t count!
Pick the tactics that will work best for your campaign. By combining these and other practices, you’ll get Reach in the hands of your whole team in no time. If you come up with other great tactics we should add to this list, hit us up or leave a comment below!
Want more ideas on how to effectively reach folks? Check out our article on Five great ways to use Reach.