UTAS O Week Mission 2016 — Part 7: Phonecalls, SMS and email

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On each day we made all our contacts we aimed to enter the data in 'live' and then make contact that afternoon with everybody we had met that day.

We began on the assumption that phonecalls were more personal and effective for personal connection than SMS or email. So the plan was to try to call, and then if that didn't work, send SMS and email. If they didn't give a number, then obviously email was it.

But what we soon found is that phonecall is not just more awkward for those staff and students making the call. For students today, receiving a phonecall from someone they don't know is not welcome. It's invasive, akward and largely unwelcome.

So our project manager, Laura, made the 'call' (;-P) to stop calling, and rely only on SMS and email. Not only was this more efficient for us, it was also more effective, we believe.

[Dave Moore's blog 'Ministry Principles and Pragmatics' has a good blog post on this topic here.]

What we are still thinking about is the role of automation in this process. After all, we could do a lot of our email and SMS stuff in bulk through Elvanto, and still have auto-fill fields that personalise the address.

For next year, we will do all our emailing through the automated system. However, since we don't want to give the job of field all replies to SMS to one person, we will probably keep the SMSing from individual phones, so that there can be a whole spread of people who interact. But we might change our mind on this: watch this space!

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