Text Banking Guide
We are grateful to Liz W. who developed this guide.
Below you will find some information to help you get started with texting for candidates. There are several organizations that use texting for candidates or for issues.
Most use Slack (information below), an online team communications and work space. .
The organizations use several different platforms.
You do not use your own phone number to send out texts.
Each organization and texting platform works slightly differently.
In all, you are coding answers from voters and sending pre-written responses to voters.
There are also resources for getting additional information if something comes up that is not covered by the pre-planned responses.
Here is some information about texting for candidates and/or causes:
It’s 2018, and Campaign Volunteers Are Going to Start Texting You. Don’t Get Mad. (Why States Matter: Sister District Project)
Campaigns Enter Texting Era With a Plea: Will U Vote 4 Me? (New York Times)
ICYMI candidates increasingly use texts to reach voters (Times Union)
What you need:
You will need a laptop, NOT an iPad or phone. These devices don't work with the texting services.
Working with Red2Blue and Open Progress
When you sign up with either group, you will be asked to complete a ‘quiz’ to demonstrate that you know how to navigate. FYI, you can generally correct any answers that you miss as you go through the quiz so you will always succeed! And, both sites have moderators who can answer questions when you are texting for their candidates!
Getting Started with Red2Blue:
Red2Blue typically texts Thur to Sun though they will likely open up all days as the election day approaches.
Use this sign-up form to sign up to start with Red2Blue
Visit the Red2Blue Website: https://red2blue.org/texting/
Once you have completed the sign up, you will receive an email that invites and directs you to join the Red2Blue Slack workspace and then you can join the texting channel.
Once you are in the Slack texting channel, you will receive a personalized message with some instructions… See example below.
In this Slack texting channel, at the top, there is a “Dashboard.”
You can click on the “Get started texting” for instructions to get started.
You can click on the "dashboard link" which shows all candidates that you can text for…
You will have 3 Windows open when texting… Instructions on this is provided in the Red2Blue Training Slideshow which is accessed through the ‘get started texting’ link above.
Slack where you can communicate with a moderator/other texters and access resources. Check out this guide, "What is Slack"
A google doc which has a candidate guide for the candidate you are texting for. The links to each candidate guide will be provided in the dashboard document
Relay, a platform for texting… There are extensive instructions for using Relay in the Red2Blue Training Slideshow.
Each time you text, you open a ‘Candidate Guide’ and follow the instructions shown in the yellow box...
Once you are done texting and close all out, you may receive emails to alert you to new incoming text messages that you can reply to when you have a moment.
Getting Started with Open Progress
To get started, check out:
In this document, click on “Start Texting Now” and you will be invited to the Open Progress Slack Workspace.
Open Progress uses a channel called ‘text-here’. Important documents are accessed at the top where it says ‘look here.’
They use a different platform called “Knock” for texting. Instructions on using Knock are provided in the instructions.
Once in Slack, you will see a message directing you to instructions on how to use Knock. You will be instructed on the steps to get started.
Once you begin, you will complete a general training and quick to be approved to use their site. Then, for each candidate, you find who you wish to text for, you log in to Knock, you double click on the candidate you want to work on and then request your own names…
At the ‘Look Here’ spot (top center of Open Progress Slack Workspace in the text-here channel), you can also access a document with info about candidates they are texting for...
You can click on the image of the candidate you wish to text for and you will be linked to the candidate guide and the instructions for getting started.
To log in to ‘knock’ each time, send the word "login"(no quotes) to the knockbot channel and it will send you a login link.
Other Texting Info
Some campaigns have their own texting campaigns!
And, some other organizations that are texting for issues or candidates…
Gratitude to Liz W. who pulled together these resources, wrote this guide, and has done a lot of texting for candidates!