Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A few days ago, we got an interesting email from Thomas Kennedy, the newly elected Citrus County (FL) School Board  Member for District 1.  It read "CallFire got me elected!" It turns out that Kennedy's use of voice broadcasts helped his campaign  win by a landslide, in 60 out of 61 precincts in his county.

Why Voice Broadcast?

Kennedy, who had never before run for elected office in Florida, was faced with the challenge of reaching out to voters in the most financially prudent way.  His political opponent, armed with a bigger budget, was outspending him four to one. What's more, his opponent focused on direct mail marketing, which typically costs $0.85 per piece of mail, versus $0.035 per call on a voice broadcast. Additionally, his opponent was also of the opinion that volunteer phone outreach was not going to have the consistency in the message he wanted to relay.


After considering costs and available features for a range of options, Kennedy chose to use the CallFire Voice Broadcast. product to contact his local registered voters list. With no prior experience using voice broadcast products, he uploaded the list he received from his local elections office, scrubbed it carefully, recorded his own one-minute message, and sent a test call to his phone. "We were a grassroots operation. CallFire was scalable and we couldn't get over the speed that our calls were processed," recalls Kennedy.

Advice for future political campaigns

Kennedy has several tips for other campaigns. He recommends, first and foremost, to put the “call-to-action” in the first 20 seconds of the message. Second, he recommends utilizing the option to leave messages for  tailored for live answers and answering machines, respectively. He also stresses a diverse outreach strategy --don’t just rely on social media or print marketing. According to Kennedy, "It was the phone calls that stuck in voters' minds."