How to Win a Campaign

Tools Edition #1: Relational Organizing During COVID-19 with OutreachCircle (feat. Sangeeth Peruri)

Episode Summary

Relational organizing is key to any successful campaign. You must harness the power of your personal network, and when you do, you want to be organized and consistent with everyone you contact. OutreachCircle is the tool to help you take advantage of personal connections in an efficient, uniform way to win on election day.

Episode Notes

Personal contact is what drives voters to the polls. That’s why in this Tools Episode, Joe speaks with Sangeeth Peruri about how your campaign can use OutreachCircle to best take advantage of relational organizing. OutreachCircle integrates multiple platforms so that you can have an easy to use, streamlined process to connect with your friends, and their friends, and even their friends. If you want all of them to take a certain action like donate or post on social media, OutreachCircle can help you get the message out quickly and consistently. Listen to this Tools Episode to find out how OutreachCircle can help your campaign!



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Joe Fuld

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Martín Diego Garcia

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Presented by The Campaign Workshop

Episode Transcription

Joe Fuld (00:01):

Welcome to How to Win a Campaign: Tools Edition. These are podcast sessions that are supplemental to our regular podcast, How to Win a Campaign where we're just going into detail about tools that our clients like and use. And that we've used to give you a deeper understanding of how to win a campaign using the most current up to date campaign tools on the market. And this week we have sang from outreach circle and uh welcome to show sang.

Sangeeth Peruri (00:34):

Thanks so much for having me.

Joe Fuld (00:36):

Hey, happy to have you. We've been talking for a long time about your tool and the evolution of it, and happy to share it with folks who have looked at it at The Campaign Workshop's tools list and have, you know, maybe not had a chance to kick the tires yet, but love to know more about outreach circle and what sets it apart from other tools out there.

Sangeeth Peruri (01:00):

Thanks so much really appreciate you asking. So outreach circle, we started originally as a relational organizing platform that had a simple feature set that would allow supporters to find their friends that were registered voters in a given district and reach out to them via email. And then we added text messaging. Since then we've broadened out the platform quite dramatically. Relational organizing, where we started is now, only about 20% of the platform. There's basically three things that Outreach Circle offers. One is a volunteer or supporter portal. We call it our supporter action hub, and this is where you can have everything you want your supporters to do and all in one place. And what we mean by supporters, this can be donor, staff, volunteers, friends, family, et cetera. And with this, you can have people attend events donate, share on social media, recruit friends. And the great thing about our portal here is that you can create multiple different feeds. So you can create them in different languages, for different partner organizations, for different staff members or regions. You can also track everything your supporters are doing and assign them tasks to complete. And then the other really powerful thing about the platform is it's an integration platform that's meant to be a one stop shop. So you can embed third party tools into our platform. So you don't have to keep on rolling out new tools for our platform uh for your organization.

Joe Fuld (02:35):

Yeah. So talk to us when you say different feeds, what do you mean by that? How does, how let's say I signed up for it today and I am, you know, working on a political campaign, let's say for school board, and I want to utilize this for my volunteers. Give me just like a small, like what would I do if I'm starting campaign with you? How does it begin?

Sangeeth Peruri (03:01):

Sure. So if you're a smaller organization, the use cases are a little bit different. So if you're a small organization, you might want to have one feed in English and one in Spanish, you may want to have one for your comms team, one for your fundraising team and one for your field team, but a more powerful and typical use case for the groups feature that we have is let's say you're an advocacy organization or a nonprofit, and you have 13 different States that you're working in. Maybe there's one action you want everyone to complete in all those States. And then you can have that be available to all the different groups or all the different states and maybe there's two or three unique actions that you want people to complete for each of the different states. So based on who the individual is, that's coming in, it's basically large scale personalized organizing based on who they are, they get a custom set of actions.

Joe Fuld (03:55):

So talk to us a little bit about how, you know, often you see people completing the actions and you know, how is that like engagement and follow up? I mean that, especially with advocacy organizations and even with smaller political campaigns, getting that volunteer engagement sometimes can be difficult. So how, how has your tool helped people get completed engagement?

Sangeeth Peruri (04:20):

Great question. Part of it is the tool and the ease of use. And then part of it is also how you plan out and roll things out. And so you really want to build engagement and that's not just a tool, right? That's a plan. You want to have a good message. You want to map things out properly. You want to have good engaging content, but then there's also how you use the tool to build that engagement. So one of the things we really built into our platform is the ability to have a ladder of engagement. We want people to come in really easily and discover what's there that they can do to help your organization. So, one thing, for example, you don't need to download an app in our platform. 90% of the functionality works on any browser on a tablet browser, desktop browser, a mobile browser, and only the advanced functions do you need to download the iPhone or Android app. So if someone can come in in two seconds and start up, that creates engagement and then you want to give them simple things to do. And so that creates engagement. And then the last thing is the ability to nudge supporters as well. So in our platform, you can nudge them by email. You can nudge them by a text. You can nudge them by in app notifications. So when you put all of these things together, it creates a platform that can create longterm engagement

Joe Fuld (05:34):

And Sang, so what's the cost of that, right? How does for, if you're a national organization using it in 13 States, or if you're a smaller organization just using it in one county, what does that cost?

Sangeeth Peruri (05:47):

Yeah, great question. So we have a pricing for all types of organizations. We have a free platform that works great for uh really small organizations, you know, are small and low budget organizations are generally going to be on our free or $30 a month platform, kind of midsize organizations are a kind of 150 to 500 a month. And then we have our enterprise organizations that could be 500 to, you know, many thousands a month. It really depends on your need.

Joe Fuld (06:17):

And you talked a bit about integration. Can you talk to us about the different tools that OutreachCircle integrates with?

Sangeeth Peruri (06:25):

Yeah, absolutely. So in our core platform, we have our supporter portal. We have relational organizing and we have affinity texting. The affinity texting is actually been the most powerful thing that we've seen a lot of interest now, especially with uh Corona virus, et cetera. Other integrations that we have live in the platform, there is Every Action. There's my campaign. There's VoteBuilder. There is phone to action. There is new mode. There's YouTube, there's Facebook pixels. There is uh and then there's a whole slew of other ones coming in in the next few months.

Joe Fuld (07:01):

And so you, you mentioned COVID and so in a time of social distancing in a time in which there are other natural disasters that make, it might make it hard to do traditional door to door canvasing, talk to us about how your tool fits in to that remote engagement, where it's hard to reach people face to face and how this tool can help.

Sangeeth Peruri (07:26):

Absolutely. we put out a number of resources. So if you just go to forward slash social distancing, we have tips, a guide, a webinar, a blog post with a whole bunch of resources. But one big trend that we've been finding is organizations and campaigns are running a lot of virtual meetings and webinars. So we have a nice tool set that makes those a lot more powerful. You can use affinity texting to increase attendance at the webinars. You can use affinity texting to follow up efficiently after the webinar for follow on engagement. And then the supporter hub is perfect because during the webinar you get people to sign on to the supporter hub, engage them, get them excited, and you can give them things to do after the webinar in a very convenient way.

Joe Fuld (08:13):

And so what is your favorite innovation for Outreach Circle for 2020 that you're most excited about?

Sangeeth Peruri (08:21):

So in this environment, you know, all I can think about is social distancing and, you know, trying to stay safe. You know, so first and foremost, you really need to stay safe, you know, and, you know, go to the CDC, follow all the guidelines et cetera. But in that environment, what we're finding is affinity texting. It allows you to create texting trees across an entire organization. So you can almost do disaster response, or you can do VIP updates, rapid response, but in this environment, we think affinity texting. This is basically to peer texting, but the messages come from your own number. So it allows you to form personal one-on-one texting relationships. It's not a short code, it's not a computer generated number. So it's a really nice personal touch, which makes it it makes it easy to deploy outreach circle tools, but also makes it easy to deploy any other tools. So it makes text banking better. It makes phone banking better. It makes social sharing better. It improves all other forms of organizing

Joe Fuld (09:22):

Well Sang, thanks so much for chatting with us about OutreachCircle and folks, if you want to find out more about it, you can go to the OutreachCircle website, or you can check out our writeup on it at and go to our tools list. Sang thanks so much for your time. Stay safe.

Sangeeth Peruri (09:42):

Awesome. For more information, it's client dot outreach circle dot com. That's where we have most of the information that you'd want to take a look at.

Joe Fuld (09:49):

Great. Well, we really appreciate the time.

Sangeeth Peruri (09:51):

Thank you.

Joe Fuld (09:53):

Thanks for listening to this episode of How to Win a Campaign: Tools Edition. To learn more about great campaign tools, check out our blog and remember to like review and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.

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