The Virtual Campaign Office
(we do it all for you)
The virtual campaign office evolved, rather than being planned, through extensive campaign experience. Unlike movie portrayals of a store-front with dozens of volunteers stuffing envelopes and talking on phones, many areas of campaigning have been automated and streamlined.
Hand writing invitations used to be time-consuming, however, now computers have handwriting fonts, and besides, to get the lowest bulk rates, it is mandatory to have a computer address the envelopes with standardized addresses, including ZIP+4 codes.
Phones need to be answered, but on balance, how many calls come in on any given day? As Election Day comes closer, there are more and more calls, and how does the candidate insure a uniform, informed, professional response? Ugly as it sounds, you can't fire a volunteer, and its equally difficult to institute quality control of your live response.
That is why Sterling Services proposed the Virtual Campaign Office, providing a professional voice for the candidate and a clearinghouse for constituents' and supporters' requests, logging of tasks for volunteers, and a check point to see these tasks are accomplished.
What will we do for you? Briefly, in a cost-effective way, answer phones, answer e-mails, and provide fulfillment for any requests you may have coming in. Yard signs are ordered, bumper stickers sent, contributions logged, endorsements noted, requests for appearances are channeled to your scheduler - really whatever you request.
Upon contracting for service, a new phone line is installed for your campaign, so your campaign is properly announced when a call comes in, and also to provide a repository for voice mail when call volume is heavy. Personally, I hate calling a campaign and being referred to voice mail. Our goal is to answer at least 85% of all calls live.
As campaigning becomes more frantic in the days coming up to election, e-mail triage can be a boon - we screen each message to see if the virtual office can fulfill the request, and folderize the messages as Personal, Urgent, Media, again, whatever you request. Your volunteer staff concentrates on request deliveries and soliciting support, votes and funds.
The only demand upon the candidate is the ability to contact you - by cell phone or palm pilot, in the event of an important media request, or similar urgency.