FAQs – Using the PDI dialer integration

  • PDI integration
  • How do I add calling services to my PDI account?

    Once your calling system account has been set up, you will receive a welcome email from us.  That email will have information about how to set up your computers to use the system, and it will also have your "tenant id" number.

    You may have opted for the PCT Compliance Calling system, or the legacy predictive dialer system.  Either system will work with the PDI integration and the setup and operation in your PDI account are the same.

    Contact your PDI account representative or PDI Support and ask them to connect your calling system account to your PDI account.  They will need your tenant id and the name of your PDI account, and then can add the calling service to your PDI account.  When the service has been added to your account, you will be able to access it from the Phone Canvassing menu in the PDI system.

    If you get an error when you choose Compliance Call or Predictive Dialer, your user account may not have been connected to your calling system account.  Contact PDI Support for assistance with this.

  • What other steps should I take to get ready to use the PDI integrated connection to the dialer?

    In the Account Configuration section of the PDI Admin menu, you will need to take two steps to prepare your account to use the dialer.  If you do not have access to the Account Configuration section of your account, you will need to ask a user with that access to do this.

    Acquisition type - the PDI system uses the acquisition type to help you track how you contacted voters, whether it was in a door-to-door canvass, by email, or on the phones.  If you do not already have an acquisition type set up for your phonebank contacts, you should create one - see below.  Make sure that you associate it with PHONE.

    PDIacqtype

    Non-contact question - the PDI system uses non-contact questions to set up codes to indicate what happened in conversations that did not result in a contact with the voter you were looking for.  This can include wrong numbers, language barriers, voters who have moved, etc.

    The calling system requires that your non-contact question have at least 4 specific responses:

    • NH - Not home
    • AMM - Answering machine
    • BNH - Bad number, home
    • BNM - Bad number, mobile

    You can add any other codes you choose.  Some common options are Moved, Deceased, Language barrier, and Refused to participate.

    The responses in your PDI account can be seen on the ID Flags tab - see below.  You can add standardized flags by clicking on the Copy ID Flags From Parent, or create new ones by clicking on Create New ID Flag.  Make sure that these flags are associated with one of the "non-contact" categories.

    PDIrespcodes

    Once you have verified that your account has all of the response codes that you need, you are ready to create the non-contact question.  See below:

    Give the question a clear name and description - like "Non-contact - dialer".  Associate the question with Non-Contact - Predictive Dialer.  Choose from the default responses and/or add your own options and then click on Save - remember, at a minimum your question must include the NH, AMM, BNH, and BNM options.

  • How do I set up the survey for the dialer?

    The calling system uses the PDI "Printed Survey".

    PDIprintedsurvey

    Typical campaigns will use a survey with a support question - "Can we count on your support for our candidate? Y-N-U".  There may also be separate follow-up questions like "Would you like a lawnsign? LS" or "Would you like to volunteer? VOL".

    Do not use a "response code set" from your PDI account - you want separate questions for support and non-contact.  If you are not sure about how to do this, contact PDI support.

    Questions on the calling system screen only allow one response to be chosen per question.  If you want to allow phoners to mark multiple responses - for example, "What are the top issues that concern you?" - you will need to have a separate question for each of the options.  Each of the options will then appear on the phoner's screen as a check box.

    On the calling system, phoners will be required to mark a response to the first question, so make sure to place the most important question in the #1 position if you have more than one question in the survey.

  • How do I create a calling campaign?

    Once you have prepared your PDI account, set up your survey, and created a universe of people that you want to phone, you are ready to create a calling campaign.  Go to the Compliance Call or Predictive Dialer area of your PDI account and click on the Create New Caller Campaign button in the lower left.

    PDIpreddialhome

    When you create a new calling campaign, you will also load a list of target voters into that campaign.  Later, if you want to, you will be able load additional lists of voters into that same campaign, using the same settings and script.  Those new lists can be in addition to the first list, or instead of the first list.  You will control this in the calling system's admin area.

    Choose your calling system account in step 1.  Name the campaign and the first list in steps 2 and 3.  Choose your target universe in step 4.  Step 5 allows you to choose the candidate or ballot measure whose support status will be available to be displayed in the voter information.  In steps 6, 7, and 8 you will choose the survey, non-contact codes, and acquisition type for this campaign.  Step 9 asks you to choose the team of users to be assigned to this campaign.  You can create and manage the teams in your calling system's admin area.  You can also later assign this campaign to a different team in the calling system's admin area.  In step 10, specify the 10-digit phone number that you want voters to see on their caller ID when you call them.

    You can now click on the Save button to create the campaign and load the voters' information into the calling system. This process may take a minute or two.

    Information about the additional settings and how to customize the information that is displayed on-screen about each voter is provided in separate sections of this FAQ.

  • How do I add a new list to an existing campaign?

    Calling system campaigns can hold a single list of targets, or there can be multiple lists loaded into a campaign. As long as you are using the same survey, you can keep using the same campaign and just add new lists to it.

    There are different reasons that you might want to do this.  For example, if you have several tiers of priority targets, and want to work one list first, while having the next list ready to go instantly, you can load the two lists into the campaign, and turn on the second tier list as soon as the first list has been called.

    Also, if you have voter contact happening at the doors and through other efforts, you may want to turn off the current list in your calling campaign and replace it with a fresh list that includes only those people who still have not been contacted.

    To add a list to an existing campaign, on the Compliance Call/Predictive Dialer Home screen, click on the View link on the right side of the list of campaigns for the campaign that you want to add to.  This will take you to an information screen about that campaign.

    Click on the Add New List button in the lower left.  Name the list, choose your saved universe, and adjust settings if necessary, then click on Create.  Your new list will be added to the calling campaign - but not turned on.

    You control when to turn on your new list (and possibly turn off other lists) in the calling system's admin area.

    You can access the lists on the Projects | Monitor page.  Click on the campaign name.  This will take you to a page that shows all of the lists that you have loaded into the calling campaign.  Lists that are currently turned on will have a green icon; lists that are stopped will have a red icon.

    Click on a list row to select the list, and then click on the button above to start or stop it.

    You can have more than one list active at the same time.  The system will pull leads from all active lists.  You can turn lists on and off without interrupting the phoners.

  • How do I customize the information that is displayed about the voters?

    When you create a new calling campaign, a standard set of information and display layout about each voter is sent from PDI to the calling system.  The default information is the voter's full name, party, sex, age, and permanent vote-by-mail status.  The information will be displayed in the upper-left area of the phoners' screens.

    You can modify that information when you create the campaign in the PDI.  To make the changes, look at the bottom area of the campaign creation screen.  You see the default setup, and a list of fields that you can add to the display, along with labels.

    To add a text label or a field on the next line down, click on the PDInewline new line icon next to the label or field name.  To add a label or field to the right of the last item, click on the PDIsameline same line icon.

    Geographic or district information: you can display the city, congressional, state senate, and other district information by selecting the appropriate field from the list.

    Support status: to display the current support status for each voter, make sure that you choose the appropriate Candidate/Ballot Measure in step 5, and then add the support field to the Display Layout.  The abbreviated support status will be displayed (SS - strong support or yes, LS - lean support, U - undecided, LO - lean opposed, SO - strongly oppose or no, R - refused to state).

    PDIcalldata_support

    Custom fields: you can configure up to 20 custom fields, based on Saved Universes.  (Accounts that have custom data fields can also display the contents of those fields.)

    To set up a custom field, click on the Custom Fields tab.  Choose the Saved Universe from the dropdown list, and then type in the text that you want to display for all voters in that saved universe.  In the example below, all voters in the "PVBM maybe early" saved universe will be marked with the text "Early PAV".PDIcustomfield

    Once you have set up and saved the custom fields that you want to use, you can create the campaign.  In the display information area, you will now see your saved custom field(s) at the bottom of the list of fields, and you can add them to the display layout for the campaign.

    PDIcalldata_customfield

    When you have finished setting up the information to be displayed, you can complete the calling campaign creation as usual.

  • ***I already created the campaign - how do I display polling place information for each voter?

    If you want to keep using the same survey and campaign settings, and you know that polling place information is available in the PDI system (and was already available when you loaded the list into the calling system), you can modify what is displayed about the voter to show the polling place.

    In the calling system's admin area, go to the Projects | Monitor page and click on the campaign row to select it.  Click on the green Edit button above, and then click on the Call Data tab.  You will see this:

    Scroll down the field list on the right until you see the polldesc1, polldesc2, and polladdress1 fields.  You can click on them to move them into the window on the left, or you can type the field names directly.  If you type them directly, the field names are CASE-SENSITIVE (lower-case letters) and are enclosed in { } - curly brackets.  You can type labels (like "Polling place:"), and adjust the font size, bold, italics, etc. using the controls in the lower-left.  This is an example of how you may want to set it up:

    Click SAVE, and then Yes to "regenerate IVR" - your changes will appear on phoners' screens as soon as they get their next calls.

  • ***I am creating a new campaign - how do I display polling place information for each voter?

    When you are creating a new calling campaign in the PDI integration, you can modify the information that will be displayed for each voter when you create the campaign.  You will see the standard layout at the bottom of the screen:PDIcalldata

    To add a text label or a field on the next line down, click on the PDInewline new line icon next to the label or field name.  To add a label or field to the right of the last item, click on the PDIsamelinesame line icon.

    This is an example of how you may want to display the polling place information:

    PDIcalldata_wpollingplace

    When you have finished setting up the information to be displayed, you can complete the calling campaign creation as usual.

  • New campaign? New list? Which do I want?

    Any time you need to change the script that your phoners are using - to add a question or change the response options, for example - you will need to create a new campaign.

    In all other cases, you can just add new lists to your existing campaign.

  • Will my calling system lists be updated automatically when the data in my PDI account changes?

    No. When you load a list into the calling system, that list is static. That means that it will not change until you change it.

    If you want to have "fresh" data in the calling system - to take out voters who have returned their ballots or who have been contacted in another part of your campaign, for example - turn off the existing list in the calling campaign, and load a fresh list into the campaign, using your target universe.