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In a nutshell, what you should have in mind when you will lead the roleplay with activists ▪ 

Explain the principles of canvassing using the training material –  Start with the advice to develop a compelling story to mobilize voters –  Show and share the page ”Practical tips for a successful canvassing session” –  Show and share the page “Check-list for a successful canvassing session”


Start the roleplays: –  For each roleplay, 2 participants play a pair of activists while a 3rd participant plays the voter (combine experienced and less experienced volunteers) –  Every other participant provides feedback and writes down 3 positive AND 3 negative comments –  Coach the volunteer playing the voter so that he chooses one of the following profiles: 1 Progressive voter, tempted by the conservative party –  –  2 Active progressive voter –  3 Voter who does not know your party and candidate –  4 Voter feeling disappointed by progressive parties and politics in general –  No more than 5 min – Monitor the time precisely –  Do not stop the roleplay before 5 minutes have passed, unless for surreal or unmanageable situations –  Ask 2-3 volunteers for their opinion –  Sum up the main points : ▫  Did the volunteers precisely identified the profile of voter they were facing? ▫  Did they adapt their message and behavior to the voter’s profile? ▫  Did they express their own personal conviction ? ▫  Did they use concrete details and experiences in their speech ?


Repeat the roleplay three time, changing the voter’s profile each time. 1

10 rules to turn your training session into a full success 1▪  Always start by thanking all the volunteers for coming – especially if they are only supporters (vs. party members)

2▪  Introduce the session as a field campaign kick-off instead of the canvassing training: it shows your volunteers that you are already in action mode

3▪  Collect contact details from participants (ask them to fill in a contact information sheet)

4▪  Use the training material (print it if you cannot use a projector): this material has been specifically designed to help you lead this session

5▪  Print the volunteer guide and hand it out at the end of the meeting 6▪  Share the campaign goals and strategy with your volunteers 7▪  Ask many questions, it helps making volunteers feel more involved and more comitted (e.g., ask whether any of them has ever canvassed before)

8▪  Always manage to keep time to practice the canvassing roleplay: it is an important step to reassure your volunteers and convince them that canvassing is not difficult

9▪  Always ask your volunteers to recruit new ones for next sessions: mobilization always starts within your closest circles

10▪  Always set an appointment with your volunteers for a canvassing session within a week after the training session


Key principles to develop your own message

+ !  Personalize the message you want to share with citizens you will meet during canvassing sessions !  Think of examples from your own personal story to develop concrete arguments on why Europe matters to you/what Europe means for you !  Listen, listen, listen! In addition to engaging with citizens, you will collect valuable information and data for the campaign

!  Do not focus only on negative arguments against your opponents, it is not effective to convince people to vote for your side !  Don’t be too abstract, only few citizens will be welcoming a constitutional law lecture from a volunteer !  Do not reel out your message. You have to be convinced yourself to embody it


Develop a compelling story to mobilize voters Exercise : talk about your own convictions


Canvassing efficiency is based on direct contact : a good canvassing session is one during which the activist tells about his very own convictions and feelings


More than the content of the argument itself, what matters is for the activist to show the voter he is himself convinced


This is especially true when it comes to potential nonvoters

ROLE-PLAYING •  You are engageing with a voter who doesn’t know whether he will vote for this election and/or for your candidate : you have to explain why YOU think it is important to participate THINK ABOUT YOUR POLITICAL ENGAGEMENT •  Why are you here ? Why do you always vote? Why do politics matter to you? •  Think about what influenced your choice: when did you decide to become an activist/volunteer ? What happened ? When did you realize that voting was important ? What did you see/do/ understand that convinced you ? What does Europe mean to you? Why does it matter ? WRITE DOWN YOUR OWN STORY(5mn) •  Give concrete examples : find memories which really happened TO YOU (personal experience, profesionnal experience, associations, clubs, activism…) which make you personaly feel commited to your candidate’s program •  REMEMBER : do not use abstract expressions or concepts SHARE IT WITH YOUR NEIGHBOR 4

Check-list for a successful canvassing session Basic elements for a successful canvassing session

▪  Introduction

▪  ▪ 


Conclusion and assessment


Introduce yourself and say that you are volunteering for the [MEP/member party] campaign for the European elections? Ask whether the voter knows the common candidate Martin Schulz and its common candidate for the European elections? Ask whether the voter is registered to vote? If he/she is not, explain how he/she can still do it (when applicable)

▪  ▪  ▪  ▪  ▪  ▪ 

Ask questions instead of talking alone? Use hints given by the voter on his profile? Use simple words? Mention concrete examples coming from your own experience? Ask why you got involved in your candidate’s campaign? Personalize the arguments instead of giving a long lecture on the program?


Did you identify the voter’s profile? –  Is he a nonvoter or an active voter? –  Is he on progressive or conservative? –  Did he vote for a conservative party in 2009 and does want to do it again in 2014? Did you adopt a relevant behavior? –  Progressive voter, tempted by the conservative party: explain why you got involved in the campaign? –  Active progressive voter: ask to volunteer for the campaign? –  Voter who does not know your party and candidate: say a few words on the party, the candidate? –  Voter feeling disappointed by progressive parties and politics in general: show empathy and refocus the conversation on your candidate?




Practical tips for a successful canvassing session ▪ 

Teams –  Always in pairs! –  Volunteers can campaign outside of their neighborhood –  No need to have a PhD in canvassing to become a volunteer –  If possible, mix up the teams : woman/man, younger/older, locals/outsiders, elected/nonelected –  One member of each team is in charge of the reporting and filling up the contact sheet during the canvassing session


Duration of a canvassing session –  Less than 2 minutes if the voter is not in your target group (e.g., left-leaning nonvoter, potential volunteer)! –  No more than 5 min in all other cases


When going out in the field –  Monday-Friday: from 5 to 8.30pm –  Saturday: from 11am to 8pm –  Sunday: from 2 to 8 pm


Campaign material –  Distinctive signs (K-way, badges, t-shirts) –  Leaflets, handouts or door-hangers – be careful: keep the leaflet with you and hand it out only at the very end of your canvassing conversation ! –  Volunteer guide –  Reporting and contact sheet 6

Practical tips to organize a canvassing campaign Targeting and specification of campaign objectives

▪  ▪  ▪  ▪  ▪ 

Team organization


Planning of canvassing sessions

Campaign coordination and monitoring

▪  ▪ 

Set-up campaign objectives (e.g., mobilization vs. persuasion, both) Ensure campaign leadership is aligned on the strategy and the global objectives Collect available electoral data and conduct targeting analysis based on the campaign strategy Break-down global campaign objectives at relevant sub-levels (e.g., # doors per volunteer, # volunteers to recruit) Explicitly communicate campaign strategy and individual objectives to field organizers/volunteers


Recruit core team of field organizers and ask for a minimum time commitment to the campaign Assign clear roles to each campaign staff (e.g., data collection, campaign hotline, training logistics, volunteer report collection) Communicate team organization, key roles and contact information to volunteers

▪  ▪  ▪  ▪ 

Book a room for the training Send invitation 1 week before the training Call every participant 2 days before the training to confirm their participation Ensure all material is ready (printouts, projector, chairs, food and beverages if relevant)

▪  ▪  ▪  ▪ 

Give a precise meeting point to volunteers (e.g., streets intersection) Select list of buildings to cover and prepare a list for each pair of volunteer Call every participant the day before the session to confirm their participation Print canvassing report sheets

▪  ▪  ▪  ▪ 

[After the session] Collect all report sheets and input data [After the session] Organize debriefing session with volunteers Commit to responding to questions from field organizers within X days (up to you to decide) Set-up weekly debriefing call with field organizers 7

What would a typical week look like for a PES activist during the European campaign? Monday

!  Meets with local party’s campaign team to discuss upcoming campaign actions !  Coordinates with PES HQ to check on upcoming pan-European campaign events !  Prepares planning for the week

Total = 10-15 hours per week



!  Leads training on field campaigning for volunteers, in collaboration with the local party unit !  Plans door-to-door canvassing session with training participants for the following day

!  Calls local party unit leader to ensure everything is ready for the next day’s training !  Offers her help, notably to call/send reminder SMS to participants




!  Organizes field actions for the next day (door-todoor canvassing sessions, “stand-up” with a MEP candidate) !  Joins a group of volunteers for a canvassing session

!  Early afternoon, checks that all campaign material is ready (t-shirts, badges, leaflets, list of addresses to cover) !  Arrives early at meeting point to welcome volunteers and arrange them in pairs, mixing new and experienced ones

!  Coordinates with local party leaders to prepare the “stand-up” !  Helps volunteers assemble stand-up stage !  Welcomes MEP candidates with local party leaders 8

Next steps to prepare for the 2014 European field campaign


Preparation of training session for EU trainers


Preparation of training seminar for PES activists

Brussels, Nov. 30th European ✓ ▪  Answer online questionnaire trainers ▪  Ensure logistical ✓ arrangements are ready for both Brussels and Paris training sessions



European field campaign planning

Paris, Dec. 6th-7th

Translate practical toolkits for PES activists

Brussels, Jan. 26th


Schedule introduction meeting with national party EU2014 campaign coordinators to offer support for the field campaign (meeting to be held in JanuaryFebruary 2014)


Prepare a list of key stakeholders within national party (e.g., training manager, regional campaign coordinators)


Draft workplan for January-May (e.g., key milestones, proposal for a training program)


Contact local PES activists and organize a meeting to align on campaign workplan (meeting to be held in January-February 2014) 9

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