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Home > News > How to ... > How to organize a phone tree

How to organize a phone tree

Posted: February 17th, 2009 @ 10:08pm

Often during an issue, you have to mobilize people very quickly. You may need individuals to fax letters, make phone calls or show up for a public meeting. One of the fastest ways to mobilize people is by setting up a phone tree.

How a Phone Tree Works

A phone tree is a pyramid where a designated Coordinator maintains the names, addresses, and phone numbers of activists and participants on an issue. The Coordinator recruits Activators, or prime contacts, making sure that each Activator helps recruit and maintain a team of five to seven activists. These are the people the Activator will contact when the action is needed.

Make Your Message Short and Simple

Make sure your action message is short and simple, so it doesn't get jumbled by the time it gets to the activists. You should not relay lengthly background information through a phone tree. Activists should be given more detailed information through the mail.

Sample Message:

Call Senator _______ urging him/her to vote NO on passage of S. 851,
the Wetlands Reform Act of 1995, because it eliminates federal protection
of more than 75% of Virginia's wetlands.

Rember to Take Action

The single greatest way phone trees fail is by Activators forgetting to take action on the issue and only contacting the activists on their list. Always take action first, and then call the activists on your list.

(Adapted from Enough is Enough, by Diane MacEachern)

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