As with all aspects of campaigning, the arrival of GDPR gave us all something extra to think about when it comes to phoning residents.
What we should make clear from the outset is that you can still phone the mobile and landline numbers that you hold. Numbers collected under previous data protection wording can still be used, assuming that they were collected legitimately in the first place.
What hasn’t changed is the need to filter out Telephone Preference Service (TPS) numbers. By doing so, we respect the wishes of those people who have registered with the TPS and keep ourselves out of trouble. This can be done in the ‘Phones’ tab when creating your list.
To keep using phone numbers that you have collected but are TPS registered, you must have the following text on your leaflet directly above where you collect a phone number:
There is an often repeated idea that phone contact can only be made to discuss the topic that a resident has contacted you over. This isn’t the case.
The openVPB option, where you could share a list number and invite anyone to ‘dial in’ to the phonebank has been removed. This is to allow changes to be made that will bring it within GDPR rules.
It feels like every campaign brings with it another conversation about texting voters. In theory, it could be a useful tool. However, as a party, we simply do not have the permission to text numbers that we have collected. Don’t risk it.
Still a campaign winner
So, any suggestion that phone canvassing is a thing of the past is overstating things. Yes, the rules have changed but there is still scope for effective phone campaigning and it’s still an asset to us.
Line up your phone canvassers and give your residents a call.