Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/957/25874
Socialist sales at Salford station
Over the last year we've done a weekly sale at teatime for commuters who work in Manchester city centre and use Salford train station to get home. Sales usually average seven or eight. Sales were best at the time of the Labour leadership campaigns, again at the election and again after Grenfell.
Normally one member does it but lately another, who can't often make Saturday campaign stalls, has joined the activity. One is fine but two is better - more of a noticeable presence.
Sales to commuters are good in that you are quite likely to see people again next week. On the other hand, commuters are often in a rush and you have to be quick to respond with a leaflet or join card, and change for a fiver or tenner (always have plenty of pound coins)!
There is a willingness to get something to read on the train - we shout: "Socialist paper, only £1, read it on the train!" However lots of people still think the paper will be free (the Metro is free, as is our local Manchester Evening News in the city centre). Many of these are happy to pay when we explain that we don't get any corporate advertising and are funded by sales, subscriptions and supporters. But if people don't want to pay we give them a leaflet and invite them to check us out on the website.
Seven or eight papers a week doesn't sound much but without this activity we doubt whether we would have made our target in the last two or three quarters. Lots of people see us, including other activists passing by on buses, and they've commented on it.
We've had good conversations, especially with Corbynistas. We got our first person interested in joining from the station sale last week and he is coming to a Young Socialists meeting.
Definitely worth trying.
Paul Gerrard, North West Socialist Party paper organiser
In The Socialist 26 July 2017:
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