In late April, Phone2Action won Campaign & Elections’ 2017 Product of the Year award for our recently developed Amazon Alexa skill.
This product is laying the groundwork for a new way of engaging in digital advocacy.
The next time you’re listening to the news while making dinner, you won’t have to stop what you’re doing to let your elected officials know how you feel about the decisions they made that day. We’ve developed an Amazon Alexa skill that integrates with Phone2Action, making hands-free civic engagement possible.
Using voice activation to power grassroots advocacy is one of the latest ways that we’re making communication between constituents and decision makers as simple as possible. The speed at which news moves today makes being able to rapidly respond to legislators’ votes, policies, and statements critical to keeping them accountable to the people they serve.
As I explain in this piece from MediaPost: Politics Daily, voice is the interface of the future. People today don’t have time to wait until they are in front of a computer to look up the contact information for their representatives to make their voices heard. They need the tools to contact their legislators immediately.
Now, Alexa can find out who your legislators are and make the call for you, so you can be part of the civic process.
How our Amazon Alexa skill changes the advocacy game
I started developing our Amazon Alexa skill during the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), organized by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA). While at the event, I saw that everyone was integrating Alexa with new and innovative technologies, but no one was using it to help people engage in advocacy and politics.
As technology becomes more seamlessly embedded into our lives—our watches, appliances, cars, and more—we have to use it to help people find out what’s happening in government and, in turn, make it easy for them to speak up on issues that matter to them.
So, at CES, I participated in a hackathon and spent two whole days coding. The result: the very beginning of what would become Phone2Action’s Amazon Alexa skill.
Alexa seamlessly connects advocates with their federal officials through simple voice commands. All users have to do is enable the skill from the Amazon Alexa Marketplace. Once installed, users just have to say “Alexa, ask Phone2Action to call my legislators.” Alexa will then ask for a zip code and phone number, and Phone2Action will call the user and patch them through directly to their elected officials. It’s as easy as that.
Integrating Alexa with Phone2Action started as an idea inspired by the innovative tech at CES—now it’s a fully functional skill that’s going to change the game when it comes to advocacy and civic engagement.
For more information on our Amazon Alexa Skill, click here.