New tools: Constituent management software

Back when I was a San Francisco City Hall reporter, I saw lots of little pink pads in lawmaker's offices. They were printed with a phone call message form and interns ran them back and forth from front office to back and stacked them up in tidy organizers.

Lawmaking may get most of the press attention, but consistent constituent service is the hallmark of a truly successful government office. Staffers spend most of their time answering questions, following up with departments, and otherwise making sure the people who voted for the boss or might in the future get what they need out of their government.

But those pink pads just don't cut it, and neither does a spreadsheet or email folder. Tracking issues and followup effectively in an age where tweets and emails can initiate a new requests takes sophisticated constituent management software. For the past several months, I've been working with iConstituent, which focuses exclusively on government communications and efficiency software tools - unlike other products that try to pick up government business for tools designed for sales teams. Can we make government better through software? I think so.

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