Adventures in Texting

October 6, 2020

My latest foray into the world of strategic campaign communications was today’s texting effort for Kelly’s Los Rios race. About eight of us were gathered in a Zoom meeting, each independently texting to our own lists, fed to us in batches of 500 from our texting guru herself, Chris. We started the evening texting to voters in Elk Grove (first a group identified as dems, then a group of non-dems). (Just as I left the session, the remaining folks were starting on a list of 11k voters from Davis! Wish I’d had the time to keep going… but it was time for dinner.)

I know what receiving a political text is like. (These days, I think I’m on about a gazillion-trillion campaign lists and they all ping my phone pretty much all day long.) I was curious to return to the sender side of that interaction, especially as somebody who really knows the candidate (I’d done some texting back in 2018 for I-don’t-remember-which-campaign, and found it fun).

I sent 1500 texts over the course of my roughly two hours. You actually have to actively send each and every one, and you that by rapidly clicking down a list of recipient names. Once they’re all sent, you start dealing with the responses. In a batch of 500, you might get 30 responses, half of which are asking you not to text them again.

So.. two examples of texting conversations, the first an example of a less than positive response:

Here’s another, longer exchange. Some of my comments are selected from a menu of pre-prepared responses, some I improvised.

As we sat eating dinner tonight, I received a political text (not unusual). When I gave it a quick glance to see who it might be from, I saw it was Kelly’s campaign, and turns out it was from Maddie, one of the women texting in our group tonight! And I’m sure she had no idea she was texting me. 🙂

They say texting is less impactful than a more personal phone conversation (which is less impactful than a face-to-face meet up at a door). But it is a voter “touch” and, as such, makes a difference. They say.