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How Advocacy Texting Led to Victory for a Small School Board Recall Race

How Advocacy Texting Led to Victory for a Small School Board Recall Race

Communication was key in this advocacy group’s efforts to gain signatures for their petition, and peer-to-peer (P2P) advocacy texting helped them achieve success.

The effects of the COVID pandemic permeated through all aspects of society, disrupting the lives of virtually everyone in the U.S. and around the world. One of the groups most affected by the pandemic were students, particularly those in K-12 grade levels.

The long term damage that shutdowns have had on developing children should not be underestimated. The lack of in person learning, discipline, proper resources and learning accommodations have already shown to be causing learning and social developmental issues in children in these K-12 age groups - and parents are noticing. 

However, the decline of performance in schooling is not necessarily new or strictly caused by the pandemic. The increase in the importance of social media to developing students, the increased difficulty of school curriculum, and the emphasis on pursuing higher education have all contributed to an increase in mental health issues in students and has led to a startling decline in school performance for many years. Data pulled from The Nation’s Report Card reflects this fact. 

Unsurprisingly, many parents across the nation have banded together to do something about the growing mental health and learning crises. What is surprising, however, are many School Boards’ lack of response toward these concerned parents.

Advocacy Texting for Concerned Parents

Our client worked with a group of parents who were facing these exact issues. This group worked tirelessly for 17 months to move their local Board of Education to address their concerns about the decline of their children’s school performance, but had been completely ignored. After doing research, it was found that many internal policies enacted by the Board of Education gave too much power to the wrong people while simultaneously decreasing their accountability, which is the root cause of this borderline negligent stagnation. 

Seeing as the individuals the parents elected into these Board of Education positions no longer represented them and their best interests, they decided to initiate a recall election. 

Recall elections are initiated when a sufficient number of voters sign a petition; in this case, the parents needed approximately 4,200 signatures per school board member. Our client knew that the best way to inform the community of this issue and instruct them on how to sign the petition was with peer-to-peer (P2P) texting.

What separates P2P texting from other professional communication channels like email is the fact that texting has the highest visibility (with 95%+ open rates!) while also providing the ability to have one-to-one, personalized conversations. 

How to Achieve Success with Advocacy Texting

While there are many best practices that played a role in the above-average performance of this client’s texting programs, the key to their great success came down to utilizing the main feature of P2P texting: back-and-forth communication.

The team sent two main messages; one message letting people know when and where people needed to go to sign the petition, and a follow up message to those who didn’t respond to their first message urging people to take action before the upcoming deadline.  

“It was helpful to clearly blast out a final message and details for how to sign. It drove people to the signing location and made it easy to ask supporters to find more people to sign in the final days.”

Real Text Message Example For P2P Advocacy Texting
A real text conversation with a supporter

When a supporter responded positively to a message our client’s team sent, they sent both automated and personalized messages thanking them for the support and guiding them to take further action. Responding is easy to do, but is often overlooked as many people only focus on the outbound messages they send. This in turn causes them to miss out on achieving genuine connection that turns supporters into super supporters!

You may be wondering how the team was able to successfully respond to thousands of people to move them to action. It’s simple - they kept track of conversations using the tagging feature available on our platform. Tagging is a powerful tool that can be used to keep track of the types of responses you get and plan follow-ups based on the information shared in conversations. 

This team used tagging to make sure they stopped texting the people who responded that they had already signed the petition at the in person recall signing station! Pestering your supporters with unnecessary follow up texts makes it seem like you are using blast-messaging platforms and don’t care about actual engagement with them.

Real Text Message Example For P2P Advocacy Texting
A real text conversation with a supporter

This text sent by the team came after the contact was tagged as unresponsive after receiving the organization’s first text. When the contact responded with a question, the team responded with a personalized message answering the question and encouraging the person to spread the word about the cause.

Real Text Message Example For P2P Advocacy Texting
A real text conversation with a supporter

This contact received that same second text after they were also tagged as unresponsive. This contact responded that they personally signed the petition, but not that most other people they knew had signed as well like the previous contact did. So, the team did a round of follow up using automated tap-then-send responses to select tagged contacts like this one asking them to ask more people to sign. 

The results speak for themselves - by taking the time to respond, they were able to turn 4 signatures from this supporter into 14+ signatures! In addition, the inclusion of an MMS improved our client’s delivery rate from 93% in the first message project to 100% in the second message project.

Thanks to our client’s efforts to chase every signature, they exceeded their goals. They sent approximately 16,000 text messages and got about 4,500 signatures per Board of Education member, qualifying the recall to move to the election stage!

Bottom Line:

No matter the size of your organization or the difficulty of your goal, P2P texting is the best way to get your message in front of supporters and move them to action. This local organization was able to blow their goal out of the water with P2P advocacy texting, and so can you!

If you are ready to start texting, you can create an account by clicking the sign up button at the top of the page and start texting in just 15 minutes. Have more questions? We can help - just contact our sales team at sales@rumbleup.com, or text us at 833–530–4400.

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