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Setting up Your Announcement Call

Scheduling an Announcement Call is a quick and easy way to increase awareness and participation in upcoming events. When scheduling an announcement call prior to a Telephone Town Hall, we commonly see a 15-20% increase in participation for events that were announced via iTownHall’s Broadcast system. This advance dial-out also has the added benefit of ensuring the quality of your phone list.

NOTE: Additional costs are involved, so be sure to consult a Sales Representative for further details.

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO TO PREPARE FOR YOUR CALL

There are several things you need before setting up your call: 

SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS

 Please make sure that the Firefox or Chrome web browser is loaded and installed. The iTownHall dashboard is fully compatible both browsers, which can be downloaded for free at Firefox and Chrome 

CALL  RESTRICTIONS AND REGULATIONS

 Prior to setting up a call, be familiar with any rules or restrictions that must be observed: 

  1. Follow requirements for campaign calls. If this is a campaign call, you must include the “Paid For” disclaimer text in your outgoing message. All campaign calls must announce who paid for the
  2. Follow any Congressional requirements. If you are a Congressional client, any outgoing message must be approved by Franking prior to recording the
  3. Do not include mobile numbers in your list. This is against FCC regulations unless you have prior express consent of the called party. This is NOT recommended. Mobile numbers will be scrubbed automatically from your dial out list if you include
  4. Be aware of and observe any call time restrictions in your call area. Some states do not allow calls on certain days or after certain times. If you are unsure of calling restrictions, review the “Calling Restriction Times” list by logging into http://itownhall.iconstituent.com and selecting My Account and Documentation.
  5. Maintain a DNC State List if calling across state lines. If you are calling across state lines, you may wish to set up a DNC (Do Not Call) State List by selecting Files and Do Not Call States. You will be able to select Create DNC State List from the menu on the left. Give the list a name and add any DNC states to the column on the
  6. Maintain a DNC List. While not a requirement, it is a best practice to maintain a general DNC (Do Not Call) list. Some individuals may notify you that they’d prefer not to be contacted by your office or organization. You should add these individuals to your DNC list so that you can scrub their numbers from any future dial out lists. You can easily add individuals to a DNC List. After logging in, go to Files and select Do Not Call Lists. Find “DNC_List.dnc,” and click the “Manage” icon. Add the phone number to the “Add Phone” field and click GO.
  7. Include required text in message. Every recorded message should identify the speaker and include a call back (See the bolded text in the sample announcement call message below.)

RECORD  ANNOUNCEMENT CALL MESSAGE

NOTE: Your message must be recorded and in place 24 hours in advance of launching an Announcement Call. 

WHAT TO INCLUDE IN THE ANNOUNCEMENT CALL MESSAGE 

This is the message that will play when a person answers the phone or when an answering machine or voicemail is detected. 

Here is a Sample Announcement Call Script announcing an upcoming Telephone Town Hall Meeting.

NOTE: Bolded text must be included or the broadcast cannot be sent!

Hello. This is Congressman/woman Smith. I will be hosting a live toll free Telephone Town Hall Meeting regarding (issues) next Tuesday the 25th. I will be calling you at this number around 5:00 pm. All you will have to do to be connected to the call is stay on the line. Again, I will be hosting a live toll free Telephone Town Hall event regarding (issues) next Tuesday the 25th. I will be calling you at this number around 5:00 pm. To be removed from our calling list, please press 9 now. For more information, visit my website at (web address) or call my office at 555-555-5555. I look forward to speaking with you.”

 “Paid for” Disclaimer required for campaign calls: All campaign calls must also announce who paid for the call. Be sure to include text similar to the following example in any Announcement Call Messages you record:

“This call was paid for by Friends of XX.”

NOTE: If you are a Congressional client, you MUST get prior Franking Approval for all scripts that will be used for outbound messages.

HOW TO RECORD SOUND FILES 

NOTE: For proper sound quality, these messages should be recorded using a landline with a headset. Avoid using speaker phones or cellular phones.

Follow the instructions below to record your sound file: 

  1. Call our automated recording line at 800-619-5518.
  2. Enter your PIN followed by the # (pound) (If you do not know your PIN, contact support@iconstituent.com.)
  3. To begin recording, press
  4. Recording will commence at the sound of the Press the # (pound) key when you are finished.
  5. Recording will stop and you will hear the following options:
    1. “To save and record a new message, press 5”
    2. “To listen to the recorded message, press 1”
    3. “To erase and re-record, press 2”
    4. “To continue the recording, press 3”
    5. “To finish recording, press 4 or just hang up” 

REVIEW AND RENAME SOUND FILES 

If you would like to review your sound files, log into http://itownhall.iconstituent.com with your username and password. (If you don’t know your username and password, contact support@iconstituent.com.) 

  1. Select Files from the top menu, and then select Sound Files.
  2. You will see all of your recorded messages To listen to them, select the megaphone icon.
  3. If you’d like to rename your sound file, click the “Rename” icon that looks like two rotating
  4. If you’d like to delete the sound file, check the box that appears at the end of the row and click the “Delete” icon that appears at the bottom of the 

UPLOAD  TELEPHONE DIAL LIST

The telephone dial list is the list of phone numbers that will be called when you launch your announcement call. You have 3 options for getting your telephone dial list in place for your announcement call: 

PURCHASE A LIST 

This list will be automatically uploaded for your call. For more information, contact your Sales Representative. 

SEND THE SUPPORT TEAM YOUR OWN LIST 

You can use your own dial out list and request that our support team upload it for you. 

  1. Save your list in .csv
  2. The list must contain a name column and a phone number
  3. Telephone columns can contain parentheses, dashes, and spaces, but any letters or any extra/not enough numbers will render the number
  4. Send the CSV file to support@iconstituent.com and request that our support team upload this into your Telephone Town Hall

UPLOAD YOUR OWN LIST 

You can use your own dial out list and upload it yourself. 

  1. Save your list in .csv
  2. The list must contain a name column and a phone number
  3. Telephone columns can contain parentheses, dashes, and spaces, but any letters or any extra/not enough numbers will render the number
  4. Go to http://itownhall.iconstituent.com.
  5. Log in with your username and password. (If you do not know your username and password, email support@iconstituent.com.)
  6. Hover your mouse over the Files tab, and then click on List Files.
  7. Click Browse, and select the file on your
  8. Click Upload.
  9. Once the file is uploaded, click on the Manage (This icon looks like a wrench and a screwdriver.)

  1. Select the appropriate columns for the name and phone number:
  • If First and Last name were 2 separate columns, using the Combine Column tool, combine the column letters containing the first and last name in the order that you want them to be, then click GO.
  • If the columns have been mislabeled, use the Change Phone Column To tool and select the column letter that contains your phone numbers, and use the Change Name Column To tool and select the column letter that contains your

  1. Click the Finish and Back to List
  2. While you will be given the opportunity to scrub your list when launching your call, you may wish to get an accurate count of the final list, so click the black eraser icon, check all the boxes and click OK.
  3. Your list will be scrubbed, and you will be given the final list

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO TO LAUNCH YOUR ANNOUNCEMENT CALL

When you are ready to set up your Announcement Call, go to http://itownhall.iconstituent.com, and log in with your username and password. (If you do not know your username and password, email support@iconstituent.com.) 

  1. From the system menu, select Broadcasts and Launch Standard.
  2. You will see your account name and your time Note that the system is set to Eastern Time.
  3. Type the title of the call in the “Broadcasts Description” text

SCHEDULE  YOUR CALL

You will have several options: 

  1. Immediately: The system will start dialing as soon as
  2. In 10 Minutes: The call will begin in 10 minutes.
  3. Specify Time: This will bring up a calendar for you to choose the time (in military format) and date you want the call to go out. (See the illustration on the next page.)
  4. You can also opt to end your call at a specified If you do not select an end time, the announcement call will go out until the entire list is finished.

NOTE: You must select the time first, setting both hour and minute, before selecting the date. If you are scheduling the call for today, you will still need to select today’s date from the calendar.

SELECT THE TELEPHONE CALL LIST

SENDING A TEST ANNOUNCEMENT CALL

 If you would like to send a test to yourself, select “Ad Hoc Numbers Only” from the Phone Numbers drop down, click the + sign next to “Test/Ad Hoc Numbers,” and add your phone number in the “Number” field and label it with a description. Click the + sign next to “Test/Ad Hoc Numbers” to add up to 3 phone numbers.

NOTE: Phone numbers should be ten digits, including area code, and names should be no more than 50 characters long. Do not select your call out list if you are just sending a test broadcast.

SENDING THE CALL TO YOUR SELECTED CALL LIST

If you are not sending a test and are setting up the actual Announcement Call, then select your Call List from the “Phone Numbers” drop-down menu and check the “Save Original List Data” option.

 

  1. Mobile numbers are automatically scrubbed from the
  2. You may have a DNC (Do Not Call) list that you would like to scrub against the Call List before launching the If so, select it from the DNC Lists dropdown. (If you’re dialing across state lines, you may also wish to select DNC States list.) 

SELECT YOUR SOUND FILE AND LAUNCH THE BROADCAST 

  1. Select your pre-recorded announcement call sound file for both the “Live Answer” and “Voicemail” message.
  2. Once your call is set up, scroll back to the top and click the Launch Broadcast button on the upper left. Your call will go out at its scheduled

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO  TO CANCEL AN  ANNOUNCEMENT  CALL

If you need to cancel your announcement call for any reason, you are able to cancel the broadcast prior to launch using the broadcast report. 

  1. Select Broadcasts from the top navigation
  2. Select Find Broadcasts from the left navigation
  3. Use the criteria at the top to find the correct
  4. Click the ID number to open the
  5. Click the X at the bottom of the report to cancel

 

Click the link below to download the guide:

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