Step #1 Decide who to invite.
a. Invite someone who you know well and have a good relationship with. This usually means certain friends or some family members.
b. Don’t invite someone who is really busy or really dislikes politics.
c. Don’t invite more than two people at once, unless you are inviting a small group of people who will work together.
d. Invite someone who will probably be open to being supported by you.
Step #2 Plan what you will say to them based on THEIR preferences. For example, some people are persuaded by logic, others by personal testimonials, and others by results. You should know your friend or family member well enough to know what’s likely to persuade them. By the way, talk to them either in person or on the phone. An email or letter is not likely to get enough attention.
Specifically, you probably want to talk about five things when you meet:
1. What PTTN is. (It’s three things: a one-stop political empowerment website; a set of strategies to change American politics; and a ten-year movement to renew the American electorate.)
2. What you personally love and appreciate about the program. What inspired you to participate. (Was it the set of believable strategies? Wash it being able to access all the needed resources through one website? Was it the zeal of the person who invited you?)
3. How participation will personally help them. (This is the most important part!) Everyone has concerns and issues that they care about. Most people have concerns about the economy, health care, the security and education of their children, safety in the community, and the environment. You should know who you are talking to well enough to know their primary concerns. If not, ask them! Then explain how PTTN can help their lives and can speak to their concerns.
4. Plan to LISTEN to their reaction. Often you will hear objections and reservations. But this next point is very important: Start by acknowledging their FEELINGS. If they are angry or pessimistic or overwhelmed, you need to empathize with that. These are legitimate feelings. Then figure out how participation in PTTN can help them FEEL better. For instance, they will begin to have their voice heard; they will be able to channel that anger or frustration. Or your support will keep them from being overwhelmed.
5. When you will follow up with them. Ask them to look at the website. Then mutually decide on a specific time when you will check back with them and begin to work with them.
Step # 3 Make the phone call asking them for about 20 minutes to talk with them. Here’s an example of what someone might say:
I’d like to talk to you about a new program I’ve joined that I really think can revitalize American politics. It’s called Proof Through the Night. At first I was skeptical, but this program has a lot of high-leverage strategies. I took their online course and I’ve much more optimistic about using politics to create positive change. Of course, it’s not the answer to everything, nothing is. But I really think this program can turn things around. I’d like to meet to talk to you about it. When would be a good time? We probably will need about 20 minutes to talk.
Step # 4 Be sure to follow through. If they’re interested in participating, suggest that you and they use the Buddy System so you can support them as they work through the online course, and so they can support you to do your news intake, and advocacy.
If they decide not to participate, don’t feel too badly. It’s likely that someday in the future someone else will ask them again. Then, as long as you didn’t create a bad impression (for instance, by pushing too hard) they will be much more likely to participate — thanks, in part, to YOU!