A phone tree is an organized structure for using the telephone to quickly communicate a message or ask opinions of a high percentage of people in a group. Campaign leaders can pass on a message or question to phone tree captains, who each call a group of up to 10 volunteers, who in turn call up to 10 people they are responsible for. In this way, hundreds or thousands of people can be reached, yet each person makes only 10 calls.
Working with Committees
Make sure committee members clearly understand their job and how it relates to the overall work of the organization.
Be honest about the hard work, opponent pressure, and possible membership criticism that may be involved. Describe how committee members and other leaders can reduce those kinds of pressures—by spreading work around, communicating effectively with members, and organizing members as a group to confront opponents' power. If people are not willing to put themselves on the line to some degree, they should decide that at the beginning.
Surveys can serve several purposes:
- Gather information about people’s opinions.
- Show people their opinion is valued.
- Test whether you have an effective network for distribution and discussion.
- Show a powerful opponent that you take the issues seriously and are conducting a campaign.
- Identify potential activists or leaders.
- Develop information that can be given to the news media.