How door-knocking is integral to an effective campaign

‘Door-knocking’, commonly known as canvassing, is a tried and tested method of talking to people on their doorstep. Traditionally used by political parties, the aim ultimately being to identify supporters for turning out at elections.

Some politicians hate it because they feel awkward talking to strangers and it is a skill they haven’t mastered, however grassroot activists love it because of the buzz and satisfaction of meaningfully increasing the likelihood of a successful campaign outcome. The current Prime Minister Theresa May is an absolute natural, always trying to squeeze a door-knocking session into her packed weekly schedule to hear what matters most to the public. It enables politicians to keep their ear to the ground, keep in tune with their constituents’ views and most importantly gain their support.

In MPC’s line of business, where the aim is to get planning permission for our clients’ developments, we’re identifying and mobilising people who’ll support a development, so door-knocking is a useful on the ground tool. Objectors to a development are usually vocal and proactive, whereas supporters tend not to realise the crucial part they collectively can play by taking a few minutes to express their views. By knocking on their doors and chatting about the developments’ benefits, we guide and motivate them to voice their support in an effective manner. This, coupled with an online campaign, will help achieve a successful planning outcome.

To make door-knocking as efficient as possible, like political parties, we at MPC use demographic research so we can target people with the highest propensity to support development. Our unique research with Shelter and YouGov lets us plot the likely location of support and opposition to new development.

Our research goes into further detail, for example indicating the likely reasons for and against development plus which factors are likely to increase people’s support. This enables us to finetune the key messages for our campaign literature, designed seamlessly by our excellent in-house Creative Team.

As many of MPC’s team are councillors or activists we have many experienced canvassers keen and ready, once armed with our Shelter demographic data, a response card and short leaflet with the key messages, to get out door-knocking to build up support!

 

Isobel Ballsdon, Account Manager 

The YIMBYMPC