In June 2021, Action Network released a new mobile messaging feature, Click to Call for Call Campaigns, which allows activists to connect to their target(s) to leave a message at the click of a button. This new feature was also an essential piece for the digital mobilization work at the AFL-CIO, the largest federation of unions in the United States.
The AFL-CIO is a founding member of the Action Network Development Partnership Program, an innovative, cooperative model for building technology that uses the expertise of practitioners to build tools that meet movement needs.
With this new feature deployed and ready to use, the digital team at the AFL-CIO decided to migrate their entire mobile program to Action Network, facilitating digital mobilization across all AFL-CIO State Federations and Central Labor Councils. Their email program was already on Action Network, so the AFL-CIO was ready to consolidate day-to-day data flow and member engagement on one fully integrated program.
Kyla Hsia, Senior Digital Strategist at the AFL-CIO, shared her experience project managing the migration. Starting with a kick-off meeting, Kyla established a timeline and checklist that included cleaning up data, updating mobile opt-in language, and rolling out the new tool across the entire federation. Kyla and the AFL-CIO team were supported by Mari Vangen, Action Network’s Product Manager. With both teams on board, the migration of the largest federation of unions in North America was underway.
Engagement on One Platform
Migrating their mobile program to Action Network gave the AFL-CIO an opportunity to contact and follow-up with union members through two channels: email and mobile messaging, all on one platform.
“Mobile messaging is literally the same as writing an email [on Action Network],” Kyla explained. “It’s all just very familiar to [us].”
In addition to the ease of using the same platform for email and mobile messaging, the AFL-CIO can now easily track engagement and follow up across multiple actions and union campaigns. By tracking engagement such as email opens or actions, Kyla and her team can easily follow up with additional, targeted asks to drive deeper engagement with just a few clicks.
“Mobile messaging is the same as writing an email on Action Network. It’s all just very familiar to us.”
“Now we can easily track an email we sent saying to call your Senator about the PRO Act and then send a follow-up text a week later to everyone and ask, ‘Hey, did you do this yet?’,” shared Kyla. “Just to be able to contact them on two different mediums is so helpful.”
Kyla envisions this as an opportunity for more State Federations and Central Labor Councils to get involved in engaging more union members using mobile messaging. “We’re taking away the barrier of learning two different platforms,” noted Kyla. “ We are anticipating that more people will start using mobile messaging as a result.”
For any federated organization seeking to migrate to Action Network, Kyla recommends having a Getting Started guide to walk through each step for anyone involved in the mobile program.
“We made a guide that heavily adapted the training that we did, in anticipation that people are going to want to get started,” said Kyla. She noted that it is important to communicate constantly through the migration process with all members of the team and to build in deadline reminders to ensure that everything takes place in a timely manner.
Looking back, Kyla expected a difficult and time-consuming migration process. “I remember thinking, ‘This is going to be a huge thing,’” Kyla recalled. “But I feel, much like a lot of big problems in life, that having a plan that is broken out into steps is going to make it easier.”
Action Network was there every step of the way in the AFL-CIO’s migration process. From the very first kick-off meeting, our team advised and provided support throughout timeline scheduling, team trainings, and mobile checklists. The result is a stronger digital program that’s even more effective at mobilizing activists around progressive causes.
In the end, Kyla believes it comes back to that timeless phrase: “Teamwork makes the dream work.”