Follow Up

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Definition:

The organizing we do after events to build our Councils, develop leaders, and build stronger relationships with local media and allies.

Key Principles

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  • Organizing is 90% follow-up. We build local power through each action by recruiting event attendees to join our Councils, asking Council members to step up into leadership roles, following up with reporters who came to the event, and debriefing with allies or individuals who worked on the event with us. All of the work that goes into organizing an action is exponentially more valuable if we take advantage of the follow-up opportunity.

  • Good follow-up starts with a solid follow-up plan before an action. Follow-up is part of preparing for an action—not separate from it. Follow-up plans should have a specific timeline for who is doing what and by when. For example:
    • Sam and Rita are calling the attendees for Thursday’s event by Friday at 7 p.m.
    • Joe is following up with the media outlets that came to the event by Thursday at 5 p.m.
    • Ansel is following up with the media outlets that did not come to the event by Thursday at 5 p.m.

  • Follow up within 72 hours. The best opportunity to build our Councils and our movement is by following up with people while the energy of the action is still fresh in their minds. This also lets attendees, allies, speakers, reporters, and others know that it mattered that they came and that their feedback is important to us.

  • Follow-up builds relationships. Following up with the people who helped make the event more powerful shows that we take the organizing seriously and that their involvement in that action mattered. Developing these relationships builds power for the next action and the long term.

How To

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Here's a sample event follow-up plan:

BEFORE the Event

Make a follow-up plan. Ask a few people to help with follow-up after the event is over and make a plan for when the follow-up will happen and who will do each piece. If there are already specific people working on media and ally outreach, make a plan with them to follow up after the event. The important piece is that there is a specific follow-up plan in place.

AT the Event

Use sign-in sheets for attendees and the media. Have people with sign-in sheets show up early to the event so that they can sign attendees in when they arrive. Have one person in charge of signing in any reporters who attend. Spend time at your event talking to attendees if you can and set up one-to-ones with anyone who seems particularly interested in the Council.

AFTER the Event

Attendee follow-up

  • Send an email to the event RSVPs thanking them for signing up and letting them know about the Council’s next steps.

  • Call through your sign-in sheets to thank people for coming and ask them to attend the next event or meeting.

  • Add attendees who checked the "I want to join the Council" box on the sign-in sheets to the Council roster. Click here to add Council members: http://www.moveon.org/organize/members/addmembers.html

  • Debrief with any members who took on leadership roles during the event. This includes greeters, the emcee, and other coordinators. Click here for the debrief guide.

  • Send a thank-you note to any speakers from your event.

Ally follow-up. Debrief how the action went, and talk through possible next tactics or ways we can keep working together. Share any news coverage and press clippings with attendees. It's also great to send this to the office of your member of Congress.

Media follow-up. Call and thank any reporters who came to your event and make sure they have everything they need to write a story. If a reporter didn’t come to your action, call and let them know how it went and about next steps your Council has planned.

Council follow-up. Email your entire Council with an update and next steps.

Take-Aways

 

  • 1. Organizing is 90% follow-up.

 

  • 2. Good follow-up starts with a solid follow-up plan before an action.

 

  • 3. Follow-up builds relationships.