How do we track conversation and interactions for a grassroots campaign?
August 13, 2019 5:28 PM   Subscribe

I am part of a campaign to get a company evicted from a building. Part of our campaign is asking the other tenants to publicly join our campaign. What is the best way to track our communication with these tenants?

The company we are targeting is an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) subcontractor, that has been directly terrorizing our community.

Later this week, we will be emailing the other companies in the building, asking them to join our campaign to have this ICE subcontractor evicted. (Or for their lease not to be renewed, etc.) We will have lots of ongoing communications that we need to keep track of with all these businesses.

In the coming days, we will be flyering inside and outside the building. We will be emailing requesting the other tenants publicly join our efforts, and offering meetings with them. We will be calling them. etc.

How do we track all of these conversations and interactions?
My strong sense is that there is a way to use Excel for this, but also I could be totally wrong. Maybe an Excel template already exists that could handle this.

Some caveats - we're basically broke. We have some tech-savvy people, but we would like this to be accessible to tech newcomers. I suspect a serious commercial product wouldn't work for us.

How are grassroots groups tracking this kind of thing?
posted by andoatnp to Technology (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Have you looked at Airtable? You can roll your own low-fi CRM with that for free
posted by soren_lorensen at 5:40 PM on August 13, 2019 [2 favorites]

How steep is the learning curve for Airtable?
posted by andoatnp at 5:44 PM on August 13, 2019

For the person setting the whole thing up initially, you have to grok the very most basic basics of relational databases. For everyone else using it, it is extremely user friendly (and you can do things like create forms for entry that makes it even easier). It's all WYSIWYG with drop downs and check boxes and text entry cells. We use it heavily at my office where we've got a broad range of technical ability (from wizard right on down to replies-all-on-every-email).
posted by soren_lorensen at 5:53 PM on August 13, 2019

If you don't want to have to set up your own in Airtable, try a free CRM (customer relationship management tool). Here are a few recommendations; I've personally used Hubspot with a couple of different teams and found it easy to set up and use (including a good phone app). About Hubspot:
- Out of the box, you can use it to record details on organizations and people, and keep record of everyone's communications with them.
- For your purposes, you'll probably also want to customize your Deals Pipeline with stages like "Not Yet Contacted," "Contacted," "Signed Petition," "Soft No," "Hard No," etc. That way, you can track who is in what stage and what type of communication they need next.
- You can also use Hubspot to manage email lists and send email blasts (it's not as robust as something like Mailchimp, but it'll likely work for what you're doing).

Good luck!
posted by ourobouros at 7:02 PM on August 13, 2019

If you’re using a gmail address, the free version of Streak is dead simple to use and a small bit of work to set up.
posted by third word on a random page at 8:27 PM on August 13, 2019

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