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By Tawanda W. Johnson
The APS Office of Government Affairs (APS OGA) is moving to a new advocacy software platform called Phone2Action to provide APS members a more user-friendly way to impact change in science policy.
In the new APS Action Center, APS members can sign letters to Congress on key science policy issues.
“Many of our members are busy teaching classes, conducting research, or even finishing PhDs, and APS OGA wanted to ensure our advocacy software is as accessible and user-friendly as possible. We want to further expand our impact on Congress and grow our base of members participating in advocacy,” said Callie Pruett, Senior Strategist for Grassroots Advocacy.
Pruett added, “By placing a focus on accessibility and mobile-friendliness, Phone2Action gives us the platform to create those opportunities and engage a larger portion of our membership. Through Phone2Action, APS OGA will continue to advance the most modern and effective ways for APS members to engage in advocacy.”
Pruett explained that an Action Center is housed on the APS OGA webpage and features the office’s active advocacy campaigns pertaining to current science policy issues. These issues are chosen based on input from APS members and the Society’s leadership. For each campaign, advocates will be given the option to write a letter, tweet, or make a call to their congressional representatives’ and senators’ offices, and they can choose to take any or all of these steps.
When APS members click on a campaign in the Action Center, they will be taken to a screen to view issue details and edit or personalize a pre-written message that will be sent to their members of Congress. A personalized message has proven to have a greater impact and gives the advocate an opportunity to highlight a unique story about a particular issue.
After the advocate clicks “send,” a page opens with the option to tweet the advocate’s members of Congress.
Finally, the software provides a single phone number to call. After listening to a short introduction from APS OGA, callers are automatically connected to each of their Representative’s and Senators’ offices, one at a time. A script is provided on that screen to help the advocate communicate the issue’s key points when calling a congressional office.
“In other words, you can stop when you want to, and your actions will still be counted to that point. The entire process should only take a few minutes, and there are also options to share the campaign on social media or opt-in to receive emails or text messages about that particular issue in the future,” explained Pruett.
The technology embedded within the platform is designed to get fast results.
APS OGA staff is excited to have the new Phone2Action platform available for APS members to use during this year’s DAMOP meeting (June 1-5).
“Phone2Action provides the best service possible to our members, and our office looks forward to using the platform to partner with APS members who are committed to using their voices to effect change in science policy,” said Pruett.
Mark Elsesser, Associate Director of Government Affairs, offered kudos to Pruett, office intern Sam McCormick, as well as the APS Communications and Information Technology departments for being instrumental in bringing the platform to fruition for the Society.
“Switching platforms wasn’t a simple task. This new and improved advocacy platform for APS members is the result of the hard work and dedication of APS staff across multiple departments during the past few months,” he said.
Added Francis Slakey, Chief Government Affairs Officer, “We are thrilled to use Phone2Action and look forward to keeping our members on the cutting edge of ways to effectively advocate for issues that are important to the physics community.”
The author is the APS Senior Press Secretary.
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Editor: David Voss
Staff Science Writer: Leah Poffenberger
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