Welcome to the RepresentUs Action Brigade Text Team! On this team, you’ll use our texting platform to connect with voters across the country and help fuel important anti-corruption victories. Textbanking is an exciting and fun way to take impactful action.
How Textbanking Works
We use a platform called ThruText that allows you to start conversations with supporters very quickly via text message. Then you help guide the supporters to an action or event that’s relevant to them. We coordinate all of this in our online community on Slack. Our volunteers really enjoy textbanking and keep coming back for more!
Getting Set Up
Join Slack, our online volunteer community. On the #text-team channel, you can ask a Text Team Captain to assign you a group of people to text. These captains are available to help answer both your technical and policy-related questions!
Join our Textbank Training, every Wednesday at 12pm ET! You will be sent to the link to the training if you RSVP to a textbank on our Events Calendar.
Now you're ready to start texting supporters! Once you've entered the campaign you were assigned, the initial message will be loaded for you. All you have to do is click "send" to text each supporter. Note that you can only move on to step two once you've sent all your texts, so make sure you hit Send on all of them.
Once you have sent all your initial texts, supporters will start writing back! Responding to their replies is the most important part of text-banking – and the most fun. Replies will come in on the left-hand side.
Using Recommended Replies
When you’re ready to respond to a text reply you have received, click the “replies” tab on the right-hand side. Here you will see a list of recommended replies that RepresentUs organizers have created to help you answer the most commonly received replies for that campaign.
When you see the reply that relates to the text reply you have received, simply click the “+” sign next to it, and that language will populate into your texting conversation.
Feel free to add personal salutations into the reply before you click “send” to make it feel more personal, or to customize it for a situation that is a little different than the ones outlined in the recommended replies.
For example, if someone says they can’t attend an action because they’re feeling sick, you might want to say something like “sorry to hear you aren’t feeling well! I hope you get better soon,” before just sending the recommended reply.
However, please remember that these responses have been carefully formulated and approved by our policy team, and we’d like you to use them whenever it is appropriate to do so.
Don’t see a recommended reply for the situation you’re dealing with? Don’t know which one to select? It’s always okay to wait and ask a Text Team Captain!
Tracking Your Impact
In our text conversations, it’s important we track data so that we know how to re-engage people and so that we can monitor our success. This data tracking is possible through the survey option.
On the right-hand side next to “replies”, you will see another tab called “survey”. When you click on the survey tab, you will see the questions that organizers would like you to answer about each conversation you have. Have a question about how to fill out the survey? Ask a Text Team Captain.
Archiving & Opting Out
There are two other very important functions on Thrutext to be aware of:
ARCHIVE - Once you have responded to a text reply you have received, you may click the “archive” button above the text conversation to move that conversation off of your screen. Doing so will not delete the conversation, but you won’t be able to access it again unless the person you are texting with writes back to you. This function is intended to help you organize your texts and know which conversations you still need to respond to. Don’t forget to fill out the survey before you archive a text conversation!
OPT-OUT Sometimes you will encounter people who no longer wish to receive text messages from RepresentUs. Sometimes they will politely ask to be removed from our list, and sometimes they will not be so polite. A common response is “STOP”, which many people type because they think we are an automated system (like, for example, when you receive text updates from your bank or pharmacy). Regardless of the manner in which the request is made, please click the “opt-out” button at the top of the conversation to remove this person from our contacts. Don’t worry about sending another message to them to confirm the Opt Out, that might provoke further agitation. It’s best to leave it there.
Signing Off for the Day
One of the most important things to note when asking for a text assignment is that you will not only be responding to people who reply to you right away, but also to people who respond to you later. When signing off for the day, let a Text Captain know on Slack that you are done textbanking so they can reassign any replies. Thrutext will send you emails to let you know you have new replies, so it is also a good practice to look for those notifications in your inbox.
Before you sign on and start texting, here are three very important principles to ensure that you and the people you interact with have a positive experience:
- RESPECT - You will have a wide range of texting conversations, some of which will be very heartwarming and easy, and some that will be more challenging. We encourage you to offer lots of enthusiasm for anyone who is willing to have conversations with you, whether or not they initially agree with the RepresentUs position on a campaign. However, please know that you are not expected to engage in conversations with people that are disrespectful to you, and in turn, we ask that you never get into arguments or speak disrespectfully to anyone you are texting on behalf of RepresentUs. While it is a good policy to be persuasive and patient with people, we do not want you to waste your time having a lengthy conversation with someone who has no intention of participating in our asks or changing their mind about an issue. Sometimes your conversation will be planting a seed that will need to be watered by future interactions with RepresentUs, so a few back-and-forth messages with only the pushbacks we have pre-written for you are enough. We want you to focus on conversations where you can make an impact.
- CONSENT - It is legally and morally imperative that if anyone asks to be removed from our list, you remove them. Please do not continue to text anyone who says “STOP”, “do not contact me anymore”, “please remove me from your list”, or anything else that implies they do not want to communicate with you.
- CROSS-PARTISANSHIP - RepresentUs is a movement for everyone, regardless of political affiliation. Sometimes, people will respond to you using partisan language. We ask that you always focus on why our campaigns benefit everyone across the political spectrum.
For more textbanking tips, join our Textbank Training at 12pm ET every Wednesday! See what upcoming Textbanks are here, and you will receive the Zoom link after RSVPing.
Check in with the Text Captain on duty if you have questions about this week's action. If you're not on Slack, you can join here: represent.us/chat.