Dig into our campaign influence strategy and tactics—and supercharge your social
Embrace radical hospitality
Dean exudes warmth, he’s an empathic listener, and he’s always willing to lend a hand. We try to capture these very same qualities in every interaction we have with voters—it’s something we like to call Radical Hospitality.
How can you embrace Radical Hospitality in your social media content?
The most important step is to engage in active listening. In today’s 24/7/365 world, we’re seemingly always on the run. We certainly don’t need to tell you that simply slowing down and listening—really listening—isn’t always as easy as it sounds, especially when it comes to conversations with folks who bring a different set of values and life experiences to the discussion.
It is, however, among the most important work we’ll ever do.
When we take time to ask questions, validate feelings, and seek common ground, we build the bridges that will enable us to create change on the issues that matter most.
Another component of Radical Hospitality is doing what we can to make things easy for others—to lend a helping hand.
How can you do that?
For starters, people will often read an article headline and the content of a social media post—and make a judgment without ever reading the article itself. Unfortunately, when they do, they could be missing a critical nugget of insight.
We can help them out by:
- Distilling articles down to their essentials—delivering “snackable” content for folks who are always on-the-go
- Highlighting compelling statistics
- Sharing powerful quotes
- Connecting articles to local stories and issues
- Highlighting Dean’s unique approach to creating change
When we share posts with the critical message captured within, we increase the chances that our friends and family will walk away having learned something important.
We can also be on the watch for people looking for a little support. Maybe they don’t know how to request a mail-in ballot or how to find their polling place. Maybe they’d like to better understand Dean’s position on the COVID response, climate change, health care, or campaign finance reform. With an encouraging comment and a link, we can ensure they get the support they need—and leave them having experienced a positive interaction with the DeanTeam.
Here are a few examples of Radical Hospitality in action
You can share important reminders—like voter registration and absentee ballot deadlines—with your friends and family.
To take a Radical Hospitality approach, be sure you’ve shared the most critical deadline information in your post—and point your circle of pals to the resources they need for more information.
Pro tip: Photos that show you’re leading by example not only help influence those around you, they can drive stronger engagement with your post—and that helps your post get greater visibility.
You can find opportunities to celebrate important discussions in the social space—and then share resources that make it easy for people to take the next step.
You can share inspirational quotes that help drive home Dean’s values and unique approach—listening first and seeking to create progress from shared understanding.
Surprise and delight your audience
This is a critical ingredient of the Dean Phillips campaign. Just like Dean’s not your average, cookie-cutter candidate—neither is our content.
That doesn’t mean the content we all create has to be mind-blowing or in-your-face stuff. It can simply be a matter of reframing.
When we think about the goal of our message, as well as how someone might expect us to share it—and then we deliver it in an unexpected way, we can get them to sit up and pay attention.
Simple wordplay can be a part of this, as can a unique style or creative flourish. Dean doesn’t say, “I welcome everyone,” for example—he says, “Everyone’s Invited!” So, express yourself—and use elegant design or imagery, too.
Or, follow Dean’s lead and surprise ’em with a little “dad humor.”
How’s this for surprise and delight?
Drive meaningful action
Do you notice how sometimes an article will spark outrage—or a post will generate a wealth of compassion?
Now, imagine how powerful it would be if we channeled that collective energy—right in the moment people felt most motivated—and we made it easy for them to take meaningful action.
Adding calls-to-action to our content is a really simple way to make an impact.
These opportunities to take action might include:
- Signing up to phone bank or write postcards for Dean
- Requesting a yard sign
- Making a donation to Dean’s campaign
- Requesting a mail-in ballot or registering to vote
- Attending a campaign event
- Contacting a legislator on an issue that matters to you and your friends and family
- Connecting with a local group whose passion for progress aligns with Dean’s—perhaps a local student climate action group, Mom’s Demand organization, or the Sierra Club
Engage in bridge-building dialogue
Dean invites conversation across the political spectrum. We do, as well. We know that the simple act of listening generously can help us drive the positive progress we’d like to see.
So, what should you be thinking about?
For starters, remember that the conversations you have on social media can positively influence not just the person you’re engaging, but everyone else who is watching, too. And, when we act with grace and patience, we’ll win people over to a more thoughtful approach to politics.
Here are some simple guidelines you can adopt in your own social media conversations.
|Please do…||Please don’t…|
|Step into heated conversations, validating the common ground and intention. In some cases, you may want to gently remind folks of our collective desire to build a community where everyone feels safe to engage in open, constructive dialogue.||Engage trolls. They should be ignored unless their content violates our community guidelines, in which case, their content may be deleted by an administrator and, in some cases, the person banned.|
|Leverage positive language and well-intentioned humor that draws people together.||Use snarky, superior (up/down), contemptuous, or heated language that fosters a hostile environment.|
|Call out legislators and candidates directly when holding them accountable. Only use our opponents’ language when required to address them in the context of a message.||Make blanket statements about Republicans as a whole that may turn off Democrats who are tiring of the increasingly toxic, polarized political discourse, as well as Independents and Republicans looking for a new home.|
|Validate feelings, ask questions, acknowledge diverse perspectives, and diffuse situations with thoughtful dialogue, ensuring our community members feel “heard”.||Shut down conversations with those who engage with us just because they disagree.|
|Engage with posts that share misinformation, gently providing corrections with helpful language and links to sources when possible.||Make claims without support/evidence.|
|Use inclusive content sources, language, and imagery that creates a welcoming community for BIPOC communities and women.||Draw content from predominantly white male voices.|
Here are some common scenarios you might encounter—and how you might respond to strengthen our fabulous DeanTeam community.
|When you see a post like this…||You might respond like this…|
|“I’ve been a Republican my entire life—and this is not the party I was once proud to call my own.”||“I hear you, [Name]. It must be difficult to see leaders shift so far from the party’s core values. The thing that gives me hope, though, is Dean’s experience working in the problem-solvers caucus. He often shares that this group gives him hope—that this new guard of legislators is committed to working across the aisle to achieve meaningful progress. That’s why I’m supporting Dean. If we set aside the usual labels and come together, I really believe we can rebuild a government that respects differences and celebrates great ideas—no matter where they come from. I hope you’ll join us!”|
When defecting Republicans call out their party, we should validate their specific frustrations and let them know that our door is open to them without piling on.
|“Trump is a racist—and he’s emboldening racists in my own community.”|
“The NRA owns Mitch McConnell—and he’s destroying our democracy.”
“The Trump administration is an abject failure—and their failures are killing Americans every day.”
|“I hear you, [Name]. It’s so hard to witness what’s happening to [Black communities, teachers and students, the elderly]. That’s why I’m volunteering with the Phillips for Congress campaign. If we want to see change, I think we need to build a really broad coalition and send a resounding message to Washington that we demand change. The DeanTeam is hosting a virtual [campaign event] next week. Would you like to join me?”|
When Democrats call out Republicans, we should validate their specific frustrations without piling on—and let them know that we’ll need to both build a broad coalition to achieve a better result in 2020—and reach inconsistent voters, swing voters, and even some moderate Republicans. We should prompt them to attend events, sign up to volunteer, or some other action—reminding them that the only way to get our country on a better course is to get out there and do the work.
|“I can’t stand by and watch a repeat of 2016. I’m ready to help. Where do I start?”||“Fabulous! Thanks, [Name]! There are lots of ways to get involved with the DeanTeam—and they’ll give you all the resources and training you need. It makes getting started really easy. You might want to take a peek at their Take Action list right here: phillipsforcongress.org/takeaction. I’m phone banking this weekend. Would you like to join me?”|
When someone suggests they want to get involved, we should enthusiastically thank them for their support and share a link to our volunteer page, nudging them to get plugged in the moment when they’re feeling motivated to lend a hand.