Hi, all, and happy Lunar New Year, which I forgot to say this morning! 🧧
I've been getting a lot of questions recently about Resistbot, and while I've been trying to answer them individually it's gotten to a point where it’s more efficient for me to just write about it here, all at once, and try to answer everyone's questions in the same place.
So here we go.
Resistbot is a great way to reach your reps—they receive what you send as a letter on letterhead with your name and address, so they know you’re a constituent and take your opinion as such. It’s not quite as potent as a phone call, but it’s way better than a mass-mailed petition, as it comes from you alone and has your contact info on it.
The original intent of having a Resistbot text in CWCW was to enable us to send lengthier letters to our reps, and/or write them about additional issues on top of the ones we touched on in our calls. While it is convenient, it was never meant to be a replacement for calls, although some do use it as such. And that’s fine!
I added the “Quick Send” option recently for a reader who couldn’t figure out how to copy and paste the Resistbot text into her phone and send it manually. While it’s enabled her to send her Resistbots more easily I fear it has muddied the waters a bit for the rest of us. I’ve noticed an uptick in the number of questions I’m getting, and every time I try to clarify with new verbiage I seem to miss the mark.
So let me try again.
The great thing about using Resistbot’s Quick Send codes to send our letters is that it’s fast and easy. The problem with it is that those letters aren’t editable. You must send the exact same text as I did. (They offer a chance to review, but not change it.) When our representatives get a lot of letters written identically they may be more likely to discount them.
For this reason I have started including a bit of verbiage encouraging you to personalize the text, but—and here’s where it gets confusing— you can’t do that using the Quick Send method. You have to send the Resistbot the old fashioned way. Which means taking the following steps:
Highlight and copy the text in the Resistbot section of my newsletter
Open your iMessage app, Twitter DMs, or Facebook Messenger, depending on which of those you use to send your Resistbots.
Send the word “Congress” to Resistbot if you are writing to all 3 reps, “Senate” if you are writing to your Senators, or “House” if you are writing only to House members.
When Resistbot asks what you want to say you can paste my verbiage into the text field, customize and edit it as you wish, then press enter.
Separately send the word “done.”
Resistbot will allow you to review your letter. If you’re happy with it you can hit “Send.” If you want to change it there are prompts for that, too. Then send it.
So there are a few more steps, but you gain the ability to edit and personalize, which means there’s a greater likelihood that your reps will pay attention.
So that’s it. Quick send and no edits, or “old-fashioned” send and edit away. Your choice! All things being equal the latter is the way to go if possible, but if not don’t worry! Any communication is better than none!
And don’t forget, you don’t have to use my scripts at all! You can say whatever you want! Resistbot is there for YOU!
OK I hope this is helpful. I’ve tried to answer all of your various queries, but if I haven’t feel free to post more in the comments and I’ll respond. That way the answers will be visible to everyone!
P.S.—If you want to know what more Resistbot can do, by the way, I highly recommend checking out this jawdropping list. It’s a LOT!
Just signed up thanks to you. In addition to helping get the word out, Resistbot has a quirky and "fun" visual grab with lots of options. Nicely done.
Thank you, this is enormously helpful! I thought Resistbot was only for sending text messages. Little did I know it could do so much more!