The 45th President of the United States will be inaugurated on January 20, 2017. With all the attention paid to the most dramatic presidential election in recent memory, it’s easy to overlook all the new members of Congress and state elected officials that are also taking office that month.
Engaging Networks software is designed to be a simple tool that allows constituents to engage with their government. Our nonprofit clients can designate advocacy targets through a user-friendly interface and their supporters can expect their letters to be routed to the right place with little more information than an email address and zip code. But behind the scenes, a tremendous amount of energy is devoted to making sure our target databases (for the United States and around the world) stay up to date and that constituent messages are actually delivered.
Here’s a look at how our dedicated team members are updating our U.S. database in the wake of the 2016 election.
House of Representatives – Engaging Networks delivers messages to U.S. House members through an integration with the Communicating with CongressAPI (application programming interface) – which was launched last year. This service provides us with an efficient means to deliver your supporters’ messages to all 435 individual Members of the House of Representatives. Communications are readily identifiable through the use of a secure delivery path that is integrated with software in each Representative’s office. Officials at the House of Representatives manage this API and have told us that they will update it to reflect the election results by January 3, 2017 at 12:01pm.
U.S. Senate – The Senate does not maintain an API to process constituent messages. Instead, Engaging Networks maps your supporter communications to webforms on each senator’s website. As newly elected senators launch their own congressional websites, we will make updates to the targeting database. Bear in mind that the web sites of a small group of U.S. senators use captcha challenges and other barriers to submitting messages automatically, so to deliver messages to those particular senators, we either send an email to their official address or we revert to a faxed message.
U.S. Executive Branch
The White House does not maintain an API for incoming communications. Engaging Networks instead maps supporter messages to a webform on the White House website (it’s similar to the way that we deliver messages to U.S. Senators). We do the same for delivering to federal agencies. Our in-house data team will update the targeting data if the current federal agency webforms change. We’ll also stay abreast of any technology changes that come with a new administration that may impact your ability to send supporter messages to the President and to federal agencies.
State Legislative and Executive Branches
For clients using Engaging Networks target data to deliver supporter messages to state legislatures and governors – our in-house data team uses a combination of webform mapping, official email addresses, or faxed messages to reach these offices. To the best of our ability, we will update this target data before newly elected officials are sworn-in in each state.