By now most Liberal Democrat teams are equipped to make something of the data they collect when canvassing. Using quantitative data like voter ID to create lists and run a get out the vote campaign at election time. With a strong focus on this kind of data we sometimes still forget qualitative feedback.
Our volunteers are a great source of that feedback. Those conversations they have if used properly can allow us to better understand our message and momentum throughout the year. It’s no secret that any successful campaigning team will rely on a lot of goodwill from it’s volunteers – so their feedback on their experience is also very valuable to us. This is where the Brain Download Form comes in.
There is no need to treat the Brain Download Form like an exam. Just because it allows for extended written answer, doesn’t mean it can’t be filled in whilst having a brew and resting weary legs. The only criteria is that it should be filled in as soon after canvassing or phone canvassing as possible.
A key bonus of the Brain Download Form is that it allows immediate feedback which is fresh in the participant’s mind. Often smaller or more incidental things can be easily forgotten, yet they are often the simplest things to alter and can have a big impact. Another advantage of Brain Download Forms is that they provide us with that qualitative data that can help with our messaging. With so much of what we do being driven by quantitative data, we sometimes forget that we work with people, not robots.
This is no slight on the data we already use well. Qualitative data works best when used alongside our stats. The two together are incredibly powerful and much more useful than they are alone. The two should always be seen, and used, in conjunction.
This experience should happen in your canvassing debrief (the ten minutes at the end when you discuss your session and what went well or poorly). It should also be a useful tool for you as leaders and campaigners, just remember to implement the good ideas!
The Brain Download Form template can be found here as a PDF: Brain Download.pdf
And here as a PagePlus file: Brain Download.ppp