Street Canvass Success
Getting people to stop and talk to you on the street for long enough to get real data can sometimes be a challenge. Especially in NYC, where we’re located, people tend to aggressively avoid eye contact while walking down the street. So, here’s a few tips on how to Reach people in an engaging way during your conversation!
Start with the issues.
In terms of canvassing techniques, we see the best results when the interaction begins here. If you can, pick an issue that relates to where you’re canvassing, like talking about transit if you’re near a bus stop, or education if you’re near a school! Then, once you have them engaged, transition into talking about your candidate or broader cause.
We’re seen some good success starting an interaction with “Have you heard about this election coming up here in our district?” People like to feel like they’re in the know!
Once you have people hooked, get their information recorded!
Ask if you can look them up in the voter file and mark down their support. There’s a few different things we’ve seen people use super successfully to turn the interaction into Reach data:
- “It’s super important for us to keep track of our progress and see how we’re doing. Can I mark down your support?”.
- “Would you be willing to answer our survey?”. This is another tactic that makes people feel safe that you’re not asking for money or any other big ask. Plus, a lot of people like for their opinions to count in a survey!
- “Can we check your voter registration and make sure you’re still registered properly and haven’t been purged or anything?”. This sounds like you’re offering to do them a favor.
- My personal favorite is: “Don’t worry! We’re not asking for money, just opinions”. This is helpful if people are wary that a donation ask will come after a survey or conversation, because a lot of the time, it does!
Honesty is the best policy
If people ask where the data comes from, it is definitely best to be honest and say it’s from public records from voter registration. A lot of people aren’t aware this information is public, but being truthful usually alleviates their concerns! This is especially helpful if it turns out someone is registered at an old address, or they’ve been purged from the voter rolls – you can collect survey information, and help someone out at the same time!