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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Phone from Home Timpani Roll!

I made 124 calls today using the Phone from Home system! (It would have been more but the plane crash distracted me.)

Here's how it works: You sign up on the Webb for Senate website and are sent an email. The email gives you a link that takes you to a registration page where you input a username and password (make sure to remember your password or you will have to start all over again the next time you want to call.)

Once you are in, the first page shows a list of the top home callers from both today and the previous day. (Trying to move up the rankings on this was addictive. Its like a video game.) A button at the top right corner opens a pdf of side-by-side Webb vs Allen positions for quick reference to answer questions. Then you just read some simple instructions.

Click the "More Assigns" button in the left column to receive voter contacts.

The left column has a series of buttons that either link to instructions or are for use in classifying the call (i.e. left message, busy signal, etc.) The only button I didn’t like was the "No Answer" button. If you press it, it gives you a message saying that the number will be removed from the list of people to be called. This seems like a mistake to me as some people may be passed over just because they weren't home and don't have answering machines. That is a small complaint.

Once you get your assignments and click on one, a whole script with instructions is laid out in front of you. It even automatically inserts your name and the voters name into the script. You make the call and input the results. These results instantly go into the database as opposed to having to be manually entered by campaign staff which is what happens when you call from the office. It is really quite simple.

When you input a response it automatically jumps you to the next question. So no frantic scrolling while your trying to talk.

Once you get done with one set of contacts you hit the "More Assigns" button and BAM: you get more contacts.

I got a lot of answering machines – more than when I go to the office. The numbers we get for calling during the day are generally for people of retirement age who are more apt to be home in the day. That would probably be too difficult to set up for the at home system. However, I figure most people will be calling in their spare time at night when most people will be home, so it shouldn’t matter. Also, if you are intimidated by calling strangers, calling during the day and leaving messages can be a good way to get more comfortable with the script and with calling in general. It is also worth remembering that every answering machine message we leave is important. They increase name recognition and remind people that there is an election coming up.

There were also a lot of disconnected numbers. These are important to weed out so we don’t waste time on them in the future.

Two interesting notes: 1) Longest last name called: 18 letters. Whoo! 2) I was second on the most called list. #1 had made 145 calls at last count. That is excellent.

So, to sum up: the phone from home system is excellent. If you think you want to help but don't think you have the time, THIS IS WHAT TO DO! I can't stress this enough, if you make even a handful of calls everyday YOU WILL BE HELPING JIM WEBB WIN! This is going to be a close election and we need your help. You can do this from anywhere, even out of state!

ANYONE CAN DO THIS!!! No excuses! Let's get this done. We can do it together!

Phone from Home for Jim Webb

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