The advice posted here is a constant work in progress. The idea behind this page is to create a comprehensive guide to setting up branches and campaigning in general.
Obviously, it’s a constant work in progress, and more will likely be added or changed as more people comment about their own experience.First things first, remember to delegate! Don’t do this all yourself – get everyone in the branch to have their responsibilities and reallocate if someone else could do it better.
(This is the advice offered to Eleri White, our Branch Leader in Swansea – already a natural recruiter)
Schedule canvassing times + drinks times as often as you can (aim for once a week for both – as the branch grows, you can do more times, spreading them – drinks are always best altogether though).
Meet up with members at the drinks/cafe/pub/bar and just have fun (maybe talking about SLP stuff, world around you, politics) – has to at least officially be the SLP Swansea Branch drinks.
This keeps morale high.
Throw in a few pub quizzes, SLP-specific drinking games (I’ve thought of a few, but make up your own), etc. whatever really – be creative on that.
The alternative is to convert your normal chillaxing time into the official drinks. Just be prepared to invite as many of your branch members as possible.
Once these become a regular thing and quite popular, ask for a donation. For example, if you do a poker night, a certain amount could be the prize, and the rest goes to the party – you get the idea (make sure you register these with Ben Lewis though). You can then use the money for posters/leaflets/etc. The best thing is to theme your events – so a specific game to raise enough for 100 posters or something.
For canvassing times, print off leaflets/flyers/posters (I’ll make some if you need any, though may be best to ask someone at the uni who does graphic design or something) that are specific to the Swansea branch.
For canvassing, pick streets or a town centre and go knocking on doors/ handing things out. If nobody’s home, put one through the door.
Spend about an hour every time, and plan which streets/areas you’re going to cover.
The trick with these is to build up awareness first and ask for small things. Ask for them just to take the leaflet/card/etc. first. The next time you go over that area, ask for something bigger
– e.g. start off with “could you take this and check out the website please?”/”sign up to be a member please?”, then a few weeks later when you cover that bit again, ask the same question and ask whether they’ll be supporting you, and if not, why not?
After another few weeks ask “could you help out with a small donation please to buy more leaflets”, or “could you please display this poster in your window?”, and so on….
It becomes part of their habit to help out you see. You have to start small though and progress. You can end up with them doing loooads for the party if you do it right.
Remember to say you’re from the SLP every time though!
Build up a relationship with local shops and businesses. Be their patrons – explain to them what you’re doing so that maybe you get the pub landlord on-side and he helps you promote things during the drinks. In return for organising stuff in their pub and gaining them money as a result, they can help you out. Basically, you help them out, and they help you out in return. A permanent (and good) poster in a shop window will have a big effect on recruitment.
That’s it I think. Beyond asking friends and family to join (and remember to get them to join through the main site as well as fbook!), there’s not much else to it.
As a rough idea of the membership numbers you should be aiming at, it comes to about 200 per constituency to start winning seats.
If you’ve got ideas of your own, experiment, use them – see what works best. Then comment on this so that we can improve these guidelines!
I can only give you a guideline based on what we’ve done so far or are planning to do. However, everyone does this stuff differently.