You're running a grassroots campaign with little money or staff in a district which loves WhatsApp. How do you reach them? Use a chatbot.
Bots are programs that can field inquiries, provide information and build opt-in contact lists. Bots are affordable. Set up in minutes. Work around the clock and can handle any number of inquiries. Bot can handle voice calls, SMS messages - and now WhatsApp messages.
WhatsApp is the most popular messaging app in most countries especially with Hispanics. Almost half of Hispanics use the app, according to a new report from the Pew Research Center. It’s the dominant messaging platform in Latin America. Immigrant communities use it to communicate with family and friends abroad and in the US because of its low costs compared to SMS or calls.
Ethnic Media Services is testing how WhatsApp could be used to provide information broadly. This is how it works.
Try it out. Text 'lalani' to 6282200111 or click on this link https://wa.me/16282200111?text=lalani
You'll be shown a privacy message, asked for your name and then provided details on Dr. Lalani. The same approach can be used with any keyword and to provide any type of information. You can can also collect different information or conduct surveys through the WhatsApp bot for about 5 cents per saved response. Learn more about WhatsApp bots here.
What are bots? How do bots work?
Uber uses bots to match drivers with passengers. They're fast and easy to use from phones. Similar technology works just as well to match absentee ballot voters with volunteer witnesses. Bots are affordable and can be set up in an hour with the script you'd like them to ask. You choose the questions for the bot to ask, the information to collect along with the answers or coupons to provide. Bots can handle any number of inquiries and work around the clock collecting information to make organizers more efficient. Ideal for grassroots groups with little money or staff. Learn more about using bots for social justice and voting rights here.
Dr. Suleman Lalani
Dr. Suleman Lalani has been in private practice in the Greater Houston area for the last two decades and in Sugar Land for 17 years. Throughout his career, Dr. Lalani tried to shorten that gap through his own practice and charitable endeavors—always wanting to do more. Now, after decades of practice and thousands of patients, Dr. Lalani has decided to do more for his fellow Texans. Who better to advocate for the healthcare and betterment of a community than it’s trusted physician?
As a lifelong physician, Dr. Lalani has seen the effects of poor health care access firsthand. Texas is the least insured state in the Nation. Amid a global pandemic, we see even more clearly the disparity of healthcare access. In Dr. Lalani's Geriatrics practice, this is evident in the preventable ailments his patients suffer due to a lifetime of inadequate healthcare. As your State Representative, Dr. Lalani will bring decades of experiences from his practice and the real-life ramifications that his patients have suffered.
Ethnic Media Services
Ethnic Media Services is a news outlet that works to enhance the capacity of ethnic news outlets to inform and engage diverse audiences on broader public issues with the goal of building a more inclusive participatory democracy. They say they do this by:
- Convening roundtable briefings that bring ethnic media together with experts, officials, nonprofit leaders, and advocates to exchange perspectives on urgent issues, generate media coverage, and expand cross-cultural and cross-sector communications.
- Organizing professional training and fellowships for ethnic media reporters that expand their knowledge of key issues, connect them to sources and provide financial support for in-depth reporting.
- Coordinating social media and marketing campaigns that enable government agencies, foundations, nonprofits, and public affairs firms to customize messaging that resonates with diverse audiences and expands ethnic media’s access to advertising revenue.
- Producing, translating, and syndicating multilingual, original news stories to ethnic news media partners on how policy issues impact their audiences.
- Developing communications projects with underserved groups that deepen their engagement with and amplify their voice in the public realm.
TakeAway: Campaigns get more done, faster, with less money and staff using smart technology like WhatsApp chatbots.
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Image credit: The Simpsons by Matt Groening