Communication with elected officials can be painful for constituents.  Ascendant has solved this problem with direct, two-way communication via text messaging with verified constituents.  This capability has broken down the barriers to communication while maintaining all the advantages of automation.

When a constituent wants to contact their elected representative, commonly they are directed to use a web form.  Webforms were introduced decades ago as a way to minimize the risk of viruses damaging the secured government network and to identify constituents, but the clunky design creates a barrier between constituents and their representatives.  In today’s world of mobile phones, many constituents don’t use a desktop computer, which is what webforms were optimized for.  In fact, recent statistics show upward of 95% of webform submissions are petitions created by auto-filled campaign forms, eliminating the potential for elected officials to have impactful conversations with constituents.

Congress is suffering low public approval from constituents, with 73% of constituents not trusting that their own congressional member represents them the best. While this is logically understandable when the congressional member does not share the same partisan affiliation, it is still common even with constituents of the same party.  Given this challenge of trust, it has become even more vitally important for elected representatives to find ways to break down barriers and engage with constituents.  The Congressional Management Foundation has found that effective engagement, such as a single online town hall meeting in 2020, can increase the number of constituents who trust their representative by 150% among those participating.  There were similar dramatic increases in those that described their representatives as accessible, fair, and compassionate.   These are significant increases based on a single interaction with constituents.

So what are the barriers that we need to break down to make that engagement happen? Primarily, Representative’s offices need to be flexible in the communication channels that constituents use, as each potential channel opens up an additional audience.  In many cases, email is still preferable over phone messages in the ability to share complex ideas and interests.  In other situations, video conferences are ideal as they provide the ability to see and act on non-verbal communication, which adds texture to the information.  In an ideal world, constituents would be able to use their platform of choice to communicate while still providing offices the real-world protection currently needed to continue operations (and avoid zoom bombing) in an insecure world.

Ascendant has found a way to deliver that ideal world today.  Using SMS text messaging, constituents can use their mobile phones to communicate directly with their elected representatives.  This is a win-win for elected officials, staff, and constituents as direct one-to-one communication can be established and responded to in minutes instead of days.

Smart communication for a smart world

How is Ascendant's SMS text messaging different?

  • Delight constituents and open new avenues for engagement with local phone numbers
  • Constituents know that they are communicating with their representatives
  • Enhance the perception of elected officials with real one-to-one communication
  • Offices can respond to constituents’ queries in real time for fast answers in today’s rapidly changing environment
  • Enhanced visibility into constituent interactions
  • Easily verify constituents using built-in databases

Text messaging directly with your office creates credibility and transparency for constituents. It provides both convenience and efficiency, increasing the speed of communication so that your office and constituents get information faster.  It provides a method to collect constituent opinions and requests in an interactive fashion enabling an easy back and forth.  It also leverages tools such as automatic tagging, filtering, reassignment, etc, with a user-friendly interface.

Ascendant provides a platform that helps digitize constituent services while being specifically designed to value personalized engagement. It provides a single platform where you can easily connect, manage internal and external communications, collaborate on casework, and proactively reach constituents.

To learn more about Ascendant’s SMS text messaging click here!  To schedule a demo or ask how Ascendant can help you overcome the challenges of constituent engagement contact our Customer Success Team today!