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What is a telephone alert?

The telephone alert is a method of getting critical information about an issue to advocates in order to let elected officials know how advocates feel about the issue.

When does a telephone alert work?

A telephone alert is most effective when issues are so time sensitive that a mail alert would not allow sufficient time to take action. When used effectively, the telephone alert will also yield a larger number of responses from grassroots advocates, consumers, and others in the community.

When doesnít a telephone alert work?

Telephone alerts are not as effective when an issue is too complex to be addressed in a brief, concise message or when the number of elected officials to be contacted requires a large commitment of the advocateís time.

How does a telephone alert system work?

You create a telephone alert tree. Leaders identify issues, prepare the alert message, and put the alert into motion by calling the next person in line. Members of the alert system receive the message, write it down precisely, and then pass it on to the next member in line. The last person in line calls the leader who initiated the alert and passes the message back precisely as it was received. After each member passes the alert along, he or she calls the elected official with the alert message.

What can I do to make sure my telephone alert system will work?

Follow these few simple rules:

Always make the message concise and to the point.

Make sure the information is correct (title, name, phone number, bill number, etc.).

Make sure key members of the tree have back-ups.

If the alert tree member (or the back-up) isnít available, leave your phone number and call the next person in line.

Give alerts a high priority!

Permission is granted by the author for use of this material. Credit/acknowledgment is required.

Bob Michaels, 65 E. Kelly Lane, Tempe, AZ 85284-4066 (480) 961-0553 [V/TTY] (480) 961-0533 [FAX]