Lib Dem tip #29: VPBs, or Virtual Phone Banks

Laptop, smartphone and notepad CC0 Public Domain

Welcome to the latest in my series of tips and advice for Liberal Democrat members, which appear first in the email bulletin run by London Region for party members.

Making telephone calls – whether it’s to voters to ask who they support, to supporters to remind them to vote or to members to invite them to social events – is an important part of any local party’s campaign activity. Virtual Phone Banks – usually abbreviated to VPBs – are a great way to make doing calls easier.

VPBs are a part of Connect, the party’s online electoral database, and using a VPB means people can log in from the convenience of their own home, access up-to-date data on who needs calling, be guided through the questions to ask and record the data direct into our records,¬†all ready for subsequent use.

That not only makes the calls more effective and recording their outcome both quicker and more accurate, it also makes it much easier to build up a larger team of volunteers who chip in with making as few or as many calls as they can. Many members also use VPBs to help out with council by-elections each week, wherever in the country they happen to be.

If your local party is not yet using VPBs to support regular telephoning, then this spring is a great time to start. Do get in touch if you would like any help or training getting going with them.

You can read the full set of tips for Lib Dem party members here.

4 responses to “Lib Dem tip #29: VPBs, or Virtual Phone Banks”

  1. I am reluctant to do phoning for others until ‘they’ solve the problem of giving all members of the household the same mobile phone number. You just can’t know who you’re speaking to. (Apologies if this has been solved in the last few weeks.)

  2. Venetia, there are two things that can happen that might explain what you are seeing:

    (1) The usual scenario is that the system has a mobile number allocated to a single individual, but the VPB has “show others in household” selected. In this case you will see the names of the other people in the household on the screen, but the primary name is the person the number is allocated to.

    (2) Sometimes a mobile number is allocated to more than one person in the system, sometimes these people are at the same address, sometimes they aren’t. Both situations can lead to “wrong number” situations, but that’s really unavoidable.

  3. Hi Venetia,

    This isn’t standard practice. If more than one person has the same mobile number attached to them it is a data error, either introduced by a user or a vendor of phone numbers. A small number of these things are inevitable, but they are not widespread as far as I know.


  4. The three times – different campaigns – that I have in the last few months set about seeking to help by phoning have each offered the same mobile number for every member of the household. This has been when I have clicked on the separate tabs for individuals.

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