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Mass Texting a Value Not Used –

We are going to lay out the comprehensive strategies of Labor Rising/Labor Combat training. It will be done in parts and is for organizers and activists to evaluate.

We have said since 2012 that what the Trades need to do in order to win back market share and restore Middle Class Values is to become a MOVEMENT and not a business union.

Let’s start with a component of the overall strategy that can be done, in a hurry, by senior leadership who continue to live in the caveman era of communications – mass texting platform to talk/instruct/educate R&F membership to take action. Mass texting is but 1 of 3 parts of an overall communications platform long overdue in the 21st century. The 3 parts are mass texting, e-mail & smart phone app. Various unions and internationals use some of these communication parts; however, none are used effectively. Without a mass texting platform by the respective internationals to directly communicate with the R&F, we are going nowhere in leveraging membership numbers.

The issues of the day are threats to the future viability of our Apprenticeships using the Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs the anti-union wants, the NLRB cannibalizing workers’ rights, putting shared FACTS into members’ hands in a timely fashion and being nimble to stay ahead of the curve in education and activism. The senior leaders of the Building Trades are HOPING that the new proposed rule doesn’t find its way into construction. Hope isn’t a strategy to anyone but the trades senior leaders! These are just SOME of the avalanche of issues pressing the trades today – and, they exist by design from anti-union forces with non-union forces taking the ride too.

So, the trades’ primary way of pushing back on these attacks is to use passive forms of communications in a world of instant communication. Let’s look at the very real attacks on the Apprenticeship programs. While our training is the flagship of training, our ability to advance and defend it is still in the cave person era of communication!

The trades as a group have senior leadership that relies on members sending emails or signing petitions that are presented to them thru passive communications methods.

They use passive forms of social media, such as Facebook and others. They are passive because someone posts it and it is HOPED that members take an action. It is the old mentality of build it (social media platform like FB) and they will come. How many have actually signed the petition is measurable and those numbers are next to zilch compared to the total membership number plus everyone they know.

Enter an International level use of a mass texting platform. Quite literally the entire membership can receive a mass text delivered to their phone requesting action. This is NOT a group text which we all hate. The mass texting platforms have been long established and are readily available to use and they are cheap given what they can deliver. Translation is the trades DO NOT need a customized BS mass texting platform built by someone’s crony at high dollars and long timetables. They are available as in NOW!

Since the unions have most members’ phones numbers, they can be dumped into a main data base – landlines can be removed from the phone numbers through automation. The unions and R&F depend on cell numbers to get work and provide information. So, the odds that we either have or can continue to get nearly 90% – 100% of members’ numbers is excellent. Mass texting is a one-way communications platform typically. However, internationals can get feedback, if they want, by including a poll and/or a questionnaire. There is zero politics in a properly designed mass texting platform.

This is a proactive, cost effective and timely means to address very important issues, such as getting massive amounts of signatures signed for a petition.

Since most texting services limit number of characters, or even worse split the message into several frustrating parts, the trades, just like any good user, can add a link to a mobile website or landing page; so needed information can be provided and acted on!

Passive FB communication reaches approximately 5% – 10% tops, per the analytics of interaction/clicks. On the other hand, mass texts have the real potential of reaching nearly 100% if the member doesn’t opt out. According to the numbers we have seen, and we’ll provide those numbers from the few locals that use mass texting, most members not in the mass text system opt IN and very seldom opt out of the platform. Should the action requested by senior leader help ensure their ability to earn a living, the likelihood of action, such as signing a petition or responding to a call to action, is high.

Mass texting can be custom tailored to the audience, so the mass texts do not inundate/spam the members’ phones. It can be tailored by group, category of member, zip, area code, county, state and more; and for the most part any subset. For example, in the case of signing the Apprenticeship petition, potentially 2 million members, all retirees and ALL of their contacts can be informed and asked to consider signing the petition in one direct proactive way!

For example, the mobile website contained in a mass text can provide the direct portal to submit comments on in why a member supports a real apprenticeship program. And this link can be sent to millions of members, retirees and friends vs. putting a post on FB and it soon disappears on the timeline. Get it!

Now that is power in numbers – and yet for over a decade, the internationals will NOT do this! Cavemen! Texts would be approximately .01 – .04 CENTS per text, a number that depends on the number of members and components of the message. If we in the trades are paying more than that, we are not too smart. And we are not being smart because as of this blog the trades continue to use mail and/or PASSIVE social media platforms at the same or higher costs with next to zero in performance.

Today’s mass texting platforms are incredibly powerful ways that groups with numbers like the trades can leverage their collective power. Businesses and politicians will certainly take note of this ability – as will the anti-union without any ability to counteract!

Retirees and member on the road can still be a powerful force because they have their phone in their pocket.

Mass texting has huge benefits for an organizing department and also for a marketing department, and yet we fail to use it in even one international. We will teach you in upcoming blogs.

The fact that NO internationals use mass texting and/or any membership-wide proactive, structured communication platform to leverage our numbers is suspect to a big degree. We will discuss that in the future blogs.

There are literally scores of other good uses of a mass texting platform, like scrapping emails and keeping membership information up to date. No more calling someone in the office to do this. This is and has been automated for decades.

Next blog will deal with the structure of raising market share and will be very detailed.

“if you see a good fight – get in it”

Danny L Caliendo


Labor Rising/Labor Combat

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