Alert Top Message

The AAUP office reopened on September 7, 2021. Contact information for all staff, including those working remotely or on a hybrid schedule, is available here

 

 

Tips for Successful Office Visits

While you may draft or receive an organizing script early on, it is meant merely as a sample of an effective organizing conversation. Such scripts provide ideas for topics to hit upon and ways of structuring a conversation that ideally help move a non-member to join as a member, or move a current member to become more actively involved.

Always remember that an effective organizing conversation is personalized. You should never recite a script. Talk with the people you visit, not at them. Tell them why you’re there, then listen to what they say next and have a dialogue about it. Be genuine. Often, it’s helpful to let them know why you joined as an active dues-paying member.

When first approaching someone to have a conversation, ask if they’re able to talk for a little while. If it’s not a good time to talk, ask when a good time would be. Make note of it.

DO

  • ask them to sign the membership form before you leave, rather than leaving it with them.
  • schedule a date to come back and pick up the form if they don’t sign it before you leave.
  • emphasize that the chapter is only as strong as its members if asking them to volunteer, come to an event, or participate in an action.
  • ask questions designed to involve the listener in thinking about and discussing the chapter.
  • listen more than you talk.
  • say “I don’t know” if you don’t have an answer.
  • help potential members find the information they seek.
  • stick to the reason for the visit—and don’t get sidetracked by other topics.
  • point out that any criticisms they have are all the more reason for them to get personally involved.
  • let them know you’ll be back in a week or two to talk further, if they don’t join immediately but haven’t ruled out joining.

DON’T

  • be afraid to ask colleagues to join.
  • start formulating your response before they’ve finished talking.
  • enter into heated arguments.
  • gossip or deal in personalities—stick to principles and issues.

Related Resources