Mapping and mobilizing your members
Mapping your members will help you identify passionate faculty members to amplify support for your election campaign.
How to start mapping your members to develop an election action network
- Make sure you have an up-to-date membership list, including email, work, and home phone numbers. Identify who knows who on the executive (it can be much easier to talk to the people we know).
- Look at existing faculty association committees, internal networks, faculty networks, and department representatives to create a map of members so that you can more effectively reach out to members for support. Department representatives will be key to mapping departments so determine where there are gaps and work to identify department leaders who can talk to and mobilize their colleagues.
- Assign someone to keep track of attendance at membership meetings and events and participating in campaigns. Make sure engaged members are inviting their colleagues to get involved.
How to get members involved in your elections campaign
Conversations are the best way to get members involved. Develop a plan for how your election action team will reach out to members.
- One-on-one conversations: If you want people to do something, ask them personally. A call for volunteers in a newsletter or on social media will rarely do the trick. People appreciate being asked personally.
- Ask about their interests: What would this person like to see changed in their department? In their faculty? At the university?
- Connect their issues to the election: Often, our working conditions are impacted by lack of government funding which, for example, has led to hiring more faculty into precarious, contract positions. Connect member working conditions to the provincial government’s postsecondary education funding policies.
- Start where the faculty member is: Someone getting involved for the first time will gain confidence taking on tasks that come easily. Ask what they think they can do. Have some suggestions ready, but be flexible. Can they talk to colleagues? Attend an event? Design materials? Write a letter or op-ed? Develop some tweets? Research candidates’ positions on key issues?
- Give positive feedback: When a newly active member participates in your campaign, make them feel good about their contribution, no matter how small. Invite them to take a follow-up action.
- Keep in touch regularly: Share progress on your campaign and others throughout the province. Solicit ideas. Ask them to do something else. You are helping your colleagues climb a ladder of engagement, one rung at a time.