October 26th Newsletter2019-10-262019-10-26https://swingleftboston.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/swingleftgreaterboston2.jpgSwing Left Greater Bostonhttps://swingleftboston.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/swingleftgreaterboston2.jpg200px200px
October 26, 2019
Articles in this Issue
Postcard and letter writing delivers value for recipients and writers alike
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The pleasure of receiving handwritten mail
GOTV Letters and Postcards Touch Recipients
My mother had a morning ritual: after getting us all off to school, she sat down with a cup of coffee to read letters and postcards from friends and family. Today, I’m surprised if I receive even two or three personal notes a week.
There’s a feeling of connectedness when you see your name handwritten on an envelope. That connection is exactly what GOTV letters and postcards aim to build. When a potential voter receives a GOTV note, it’s more than a political message, it’s a micro conversation saying that the writer cares.
There have been myriad studies to assess the effectiveness of GOTV postcards; results have ranged from 0 to 0.5%. However, this kind of research is tricky given that scientists can’t control for the extensive impact of confounding factors.
The truth is, most organizations and volunteers continue to write simply because they recognize the true impact of personal contact. As Tony “The Democrat” McMullin, founder of Postcards to Voters!, writes, “I’ve received so many responses from people telling me that they didn’t know about the special election; thank goodness for the postcard,” said Tony. “They put it on their kitchen counter and have been looking at it multiple times a day!”
Writing GOTV messages builds communities and relieves stress
PC & Letter Writers Reap Benefits, Too
On the home front, postcard and letter writing has a huge impact even before pen hits paper. Behavioral Scientist found that postcard events increase civic engagement, raise morale, and foster a sense of empowerment.
Jen Runkle, a letter-writing party host in Virginia, puts it well, “Postcard writing stops us from complaining about what we can’t control and focuses on something positive – impacting voters in key districts and creating community in our own.”
It doesn’t take a lot for party hosts to connect people to each other and the cause.
Use a one-on-one approach; Sister District found that sending personal invitations resulted in 168% more RSVPs and 177% more attendees, and confirming that guests will come resulted in a 51% increase in attendance.
Create ways for folks to get to know each other; social bonds among individuals increase engagement.
Explain the local political situation and be clear about what you are trying to achieve; given context, volunteers understand their goals and write more effective notes.
Finally, everyone wants to feel useful, so thank individuals for coming … a personal call or email often leads to more involvement.
Could Swing Left Greater Boston help you take your letter and postcard writing events to the next level? Visit SwingLeftBoston.org to learn more.