Telephone Campaigns

The #1 Most Effective Activist Technique

A telephone campaign is a better lobbying technique than letter writing, petitioning, or emailing. Speaking to an actual living, breathing human being will do wonders in getting your message heard by those who make the policies. And phone calls to legislative staff are how business is done on Capitol Hill. The premise behind a telephone campaign is to get lots of people to call their representatives and voice their opinions on a specific issue or piece of legislation. To accomplish this, you can try to use the following strategies:

Local Offices

You may want to consider calling local offices. Senators and members of Congress have local office phone numbers that are often in your area code. It is easier, and much cheaper, to call these offices.

Long Distance Switchboards

The first step is finding a place to call from, or a sponsor for your event. You can try your dean’s office and ask them if they will let you use a phone for a certain number of calls. If you do this, it is usually a good idea to pick a non-controversial topic. You can call your phone company and ask them if they would like to sponsor your event. A cheap way to do this is to pass out information sheets on an issue with the Capitol switchboard number. Ask people to call in from home and assure them that the call will probably be short. Staffers are busy people and will not keep you on long.

Key Telephone Numbers

US Capitol Switchboard (202) 224-3121
The White House (202) 456-1414
Dept of Health & Human Services (202) 690-7000