Building Relational Community: forging personal connections over Team Chat

The Tuesday Company recently introduced the Team Chat feature as a space for “volunteers to ask logistical questions, learn more about the cause, and connect with the campaign on an interpersonal level.” It is also a critical, go-to channel for staffers to communicate with all their volunteers. With Team Chat, we are seeing a greater focus on building personal relationships between organizers and volunteers that go beyond a single issue or office visit.

For Emily, an organizer with the Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party, Team Chat dramatically increased the number of people sending messages to their friends for her campaign. “The feature has made the app a lot more effective for the campaign,” she said. “Our volunteers weren’t really using it until we started messaging them directly over Team Chat.”

Team Chat was developed because we know that early enthusiasm doesn’t necessarily guarantee a vote in November. It has become a vital way for campaigns to positively engage with volunteers about the specific issues that matter to them. Tuesday’s Client Success staff has heard from organizers like Rebecca (working for Sharice Davids’ congressional race in Kansas) that Team Chat has been an effective way to positively engage in one-on-one exchanges with volunteers.

Team Chat was designed to help field staff and campaign organizers capitalize on the large reach of “mass texting”, while still remaining personalized to the recipient. This was particularly important to Carlos, an organizer with Safe & Healthy Ohio. “While people might initially think it’s a robocall, once they hear from me individually and see my response, they know I’m a real person,” Carlos said. As a self-described ‘people person’, this personal connection was important to Carlos. “That’s why I think Team ‘wins’ in helping out organizations getting volunteers,” he said. “There’s this personal connection between you and the person that you’re talking to, and you find a way to feel passionate about whatever you decided to volunteer for.”

By initiating a deeper relationship between the volunteer and the organizer, Team Chat serves as a tool to directly manage and hold volunteers accountable to tasks and actions that are vital to the cause. With merely days left until the midterm elections, campaign organizers are increasingly looking for ways to mobilize the power of direct outreach and relationship-building across hundreds of different communities. Empowering field staff to prioritize 1:1 conversations is an important tenet of relational organizing practices, and another reminder that voter participation is community building work that goes beyond just the conventional election cycle. Using Team Chat to put organizers into their volunteers’ shoes and see the issues and causes that they care about the most is a key step to forming lasting relationships between campaigns and the communities they encompass.

For Carlos, Team Chat has not only helped him communicate with more volunteers, but also make his work as an organizer feel more personally tailored to his ideals. “One of the major ways I am able to do my job well is to be able to relate to whoever I am talking to,” he said. “Most people say don’t make your work personal, but for me, my work is always personal. ”

 

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