Revolution

Tips for Libertarian Activists

Phone service for LP groups

Last updated 1994-04-02 by Tom Isenberg

Your Phone Line Is Your Life Line

The most basic function of each state LP is to have a phone line to handle inquiries. Ideally, this should consist of both a local and toll-free number that goes to a voice mail box, not a physical phone or someone's answering machine. The reason is that a voice mail box is always on duty, always cheerful, never screws up, and the phone number won't ever need to be changed (i.e., because your phone staffer moves or is not doing a very good job.) In Washington state, we disconnected our physical phoneline and had the existing number redirected to a voice mail box. Things are much more efficient now!

Voice Mail Boxes

Instead of having a residential phone/answering machine, get a voice mail box from your local phone company. (You can keep your existing number.) Your phone company's voice mail service won't cost much more than cheaper companies, and they're not likely to go out of business. Remember, your phone number will be on a lot of literature, so you don't want to have to change it! Make sure that only one person (ideally, the membership chair, or whoever handles prospect mailings) knows the password to the voice mail box. Make sure that only one person (your Treasurer?) is authorized to make any changes/cancellations to this service and arrange with the voice mail company to demand a password before implementing any changes. Have an attractive female voice record your friendly voice mail message. "Thank you for calling the Libertarian Party of Washington! We're sorry, but all our lines are busy. [Technically, that's true. ;-)] To receive a free information packet, please leave your name, address, and phone number. Thank you for calling!"

Toll-Free Numbers

Also, get a toll-free number for prospects outside your local calling area. In Washington, we use Sprint for our toll-free number, and it doesn't cost much more than cheaper services, You can pick your toll-free number, so make it something easier to remember (if you were to hear it on a radio ad, for example.) And make sure that your toll-free number also goes to your voice mail box. Again, make sure that only one person (your Treasurer?) is authorized to make any changes/cancellations to your toll-free service and arrange with the phone company to demand a password before implementing any changes.

Phone Listings

Call all the local phone companies that service your state to get your toll-free number listed in all the major phone books in the state (outside the local calling area, of course.) Put the number in the White Pages, don't bother with the Yellow Pages (it costs extra and most people wouldn't know what heading to look under.) List the local number in your local area directories only. Also, make sure that your toll-free numbers are listed statewide with directory assistance, the Secretary of State, the League of Women Voters, etc. Anticipate the different ways people will try to find your number!