In 2014 and 2016, elections in Texas will likely increase in competitiveness as the state’s population continues to increase from the influx of migrants from different states and abroad. Austin has always been considered as the liberal “hot spot” in Texas, but this has not prevented conservatives from having an impact in Travis County elections.
Andy Hogue, communications director for the Travis County Republican Party (TCRP), must face an uphill battle when campaigning for conservatives in a liberal city. He explained, “We’re a county political party and we don’t have a lot of resources or donations.” This means TCRP needs to stretch every dollar when communicating to the local population. To corral supporters and strengthen its ties with the Austin community, TCRP found its solution with CallFire as Hogue explained, “having CallFire has been an inexpensive way for us to reach our members.”
For the last three years, Hogue and his team have used CallFire’s powerful Voice Broadcast tool as “our meeting announcement system“ for members and volunteers. According to Hogue, “[CallFire] absolutely achieved the results we were looking for.”
Hogue was presented with a common challenge amongst smaller organizations. He was short on money and volunteers. For just pennies per minute, CallFire’s Voice Broadcast solution accomplished TCRP’s needs to contact organization members within minutes and with the help of just one or two people.
Another Texas-sized advantage for Hogue and TCRP is the ability to have a candidate or organizer record a robocall message from any location. Houge explained, “Our chairman does the messages usually and she’s not always in the area, so to have her just call in and leave a message. It is wonderful. All I have to do is click and record.” CallFire’s mobility is especially helpful during campaigning season as candidates and their staff can be in a different location every day.
Hogue recalls the old days of robocalling. “We had a DOS-based system [before],” Houge said. “It was routed through a computer. You had to have software and enter all the phone numbers by hand with a spreadsheet. You even had to have a permit in some cities. It was a really clunky system and hard to use.”
When asked about performance and efficiency, he mentioned, “There were only two or three people that could operate this old system. But with CallFire, it’s a much easier, more user-friendly option for us and it’s a lot easier to delegate and let others use it.”
In the past, there was an actual auto-dialer machine that used a cassette tape for voice recordings and messages. Hogue explained it would break down and the old pencil trick to untangle the tape was the norm. These processes could take four hours or more to make a hundred calls. “It was a big mess. CallFire is a much better option It gets it done very fast. I’ve seen the calls get done in three minutes. It’s certainly an improvement - minutes instead of hours, that’s huge,” Hogue said.
With a couple thousand calls under its belt since 2011, TCRP anticipates that 2014 will prove to be exceptional. As a primary runoff for a local election and a general election will be keeping this organization busy in the coming months, TCRP plans to use CallFire’s other affordable solutions.
For more information about Travis County Republican Party, visit their website at TravisCountyGOP.org