For those working on the U.S. midterms, the homestretch has arrived! If we were visiting your offices, we’d bring loads of coffee, snacks, and encouragement. But since we’re on the internets, we're filling all of your cups with new features. Enjoy!
RELAY TIP O’ THE MONTH
We strongly recommend avoiding links in your initial messages, especially from link shortening services like bit.ly. We have a growing body of evidence that links in the initial message make it more likely that cell phone carriers filter out your messages as spam. So leave those links for your replies!
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GUIDE FOR AVOIDING BAD ACTORS
As you may have seen, last week a troll infiltrated Beto O’Rourke's texting program and sent out a small number of spurious messages. Though events like this get outsized media attention, they are exceedingly rare. Nevertheless, it’s a good reminder to have a plan for preventing and identifying bad actors. Here’s some suggestions for how to do so.
- Reassign Overhaul -- We've released several new ways to reassign conversations, increasing flexibility in how you can move conversations around. There are now three ways to reassign conversations: Reassign Some, Reassign All, or Unassign All. You can also reassign conversation by status: Any, Needs Reply, or Not Started. And you can move conversations in bulk, e.g., moving all open conversations to one sender or reassigning conversations equally to all senders. Read more here.
- New Invitation Process -- We've made the process easier for your staff and volunteers to accept invitations to use Relay. These changes are focused on email invitations, and will not impact your use of the permanent invitation link. You can read more here.
- For Existing Users -- If the email address you use to invite a user is already registered in Relay, they will log in and be directed to their Organization Page, which lists all the organizations that their user account is associated with. The user just need to click "Accept" on the new organization invite at the bottom of the page to complete the process. Read more here. NOTE: Invitations to existing users must be sent to the email address associated with their Relay account in order for them to be claim the invitation without setting up a new profile.
- For New Users -- If a user has never texted with Relay, or the email address you invite them with does not exist in Relay, they will be sent directly to the Signup page. Here, they will be able to create their account and will be sent automatically to their Assignments page.Read more here.
- Sortable Survey Question Order -- By popular demand, you can now modify the order of your survey questions. Cloned campaigns will carry over their order into a new draft, but the order in each campaign can be independently controlled. If question order is changed mid-campaign, admins and senders will see the new order the next time they refresh that assignment. Read more here.
- Update to Inbound MMS View in Admin -- In the admin conversation view, MMS messages now come in as hidden. Your admins, like message senders, can now choose whether to reveal the media or not.
- VAN Sync updates -- We recently made a number of enhancements to our VAN integration. These include the ability to customize status/role for your event sync, filtering out past events that you can sync into Relay survey questions, and making it possible to sync canvass results such as “moved,” or “refused.” You can read about all aspects of our VAN integration in this support article.
- Admin Conversation Tab Jumpiness -- We fixed a bug where conversations page would continue to refresh and jump to the bottom of the conversation thread within the admin console if you were working in a conversation while replies were coming in. It will now keep you wherever you are working even as texters are actively texting with replies rolling in unless a new message arrives in the actively viewed conversation
- VAN Events -- We fixed a bug keeping admins from viewing additional pages of events from VAN within the Survey section if admins had more than 50 in VAN. You can again view and add all of your events to your campaigns.
- Bulk opt out uploads with over 10 phone numbers will now again process normally. Thanks Josh w/ Red2Blue for the report!
- Carrier requirements for Australian phone numbers have changed, and phone numbers will again be automatically acquired during campaign launches for Australia.
- The script creation boxes are once again focused after selecting a custom field variable during script creation.
- We resolved a bug with a recent update that caused some imported survey questions to fail to import if that same survey question was already present on another campaign.
- We fixed a bug that was causing the not functional delete button to display instead of the edit button on active campaigns surveys.
- We resolved a bug that was restricting new users from registering with 1 or 2 character last names.
- We resolved a bug with creation of VAN canvass result survey questions when the organization's API key had no campaign data file access.
- Group uploads were running simultaneously instead of in order of upload, which would slow down the validation processes on some groups. We have modified the size of the group import queue. Admins may see a slight delay in the processing of their groups, and speedier group validation times, during high volume times for group import requests.
As always, please send any questions or comments, preferences or props firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Daniel, for Team Relay
PS: You may have read about Serena Williams’ recent argument with a U.S. Open umpire. But you might not have seen video of so-called tennis "bad boys" like John McEnroe or Nick Kyrgios, who are rarely penalized as stringently as Serena was. Just sayin’. Also, congrats to Naomi Osaka, the first Japanese player to win a Grand Slam!