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  • Door to Door Outreach Campaign Connects Residents

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Communities can learn something about door to door. It provides a unique way for groups to touch base with the residents of an area, to learn about their concerns and their challenges without the filters of online or written communication. A number of groups in Alberta did the opposite: they went door to door to learn more about the community. And the results of the study were quite different than what most of us would imagine.

Organized primarily by the Town of High River, but also including community service groups, health service groups, and even the Red Cross, a small group of volunteers knocked on over 1700 homes as part of a community information gathering campaign. The campaign was schedule over the last weekend of April, and was set to target the 5000 homes that reside in High River.

The goal of this door to door campaign was to learn more about community needs, concerns, and increase awareness of municipal efforts to improve the living conditions and wellbeing of High River residents. The primary focus of this research focused around the aftereffects of the recent flood, but many other community issues were addressed and discussed during the course of the campaign.

Overwhelming positive feedback indicates one very interesting fact about door to door campaigns that many people don’t consider: door to door campaigns are not inherently negative in any form. On the contrary, the opportunity for resident to have their complaints, concerns and interests directly represented by these volunteers made the door to door campaign a rousing success – and it succeeded despite the negative stigma surrounding approaching people at the door.

While Ontario Energy Group Consumer Watch receives lots of feedback regarding practices at the door, it seems that many of the negative feedback we receive involves specific practices and conduct at the door, not the very idea of door to door sales. Indeed, it seems like in an age of e-commerce, buying online, and social media: door to door campaigns still fulfill that very human need to communicate face to face.

All businesses can learn a thing or two from a project like this. Over the course of a weekend, the town of High River were able to learn more about their residents, their lives, and their concerns than what any market research study could accomplish. Volunteers were only able to reach 1700 of the 5000 homes because residents were so eager to share their concerns with them. And the volunteers were excited to continue this study, as nearly every participant signed up for the next round of the campaign, scheduled for May 20th.

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