Resources by Role

Legislative Correspondent

Legislative Correspondents (LC) log, organize, and manage mail that the office receives. This guide covers batching mail for response, creating form letters, customizing responses, tagging issue and affiliation codes for reporting, and message targeting.

Legislative Correspondent Workflow:

  1. Log into Fireside at https://[MemberFirstLast].emanager.house.gov. Be sure to bookmark this page for easy access.

Inbox

  1. Determine a system for logging and responding to your office’s mail and carry this out from start to finish. Navigate to Mailroom > Inbox to review and log inbound mail from constituents. Mail is submitted to Fireside in three ways: via the contact form on the website, as part of an advocacy messaging campaign, and as scanned physical letters (i.e., digital mail).
  2. When logging mail, you decide how it should be processed. You must select a batch, form letter, and a response type, and tag issue codes and affiliations for reporting and mail targeting purposes.
    1. You can use search and filters to find similar messages for efficient logging. The pin checkbox allows you to log multiple messages at once. 
    2. You must select a form letter when logging mail. Use the form letter selector to search your library of letters. 
      1. If the needed form letter hasn't been written, use the “form letter on the fly” feature to create a new letter from the inbox. If you don't want staff creating new form letters, they can use the placeholder “Blank Letter." Be sure to assign the correct form letter later before sending!
    3. Batching mail from the inbox is optional, but it's by far the most efficient strategy. Use the batch selector to search for existing batches or type in a unique name to create a new batch.
      1. Unbatched mail can be found on the My Mail page.
    4. Account Owners in your office can create and edit your issues and affiliations for logging purposes. 
  3. To keep your inbox count low so you can focus on responses, use automations to route mail to batches if they meet certain criteria. Mail logged via automation automatically applies the batch, form letter, issues, and affiliations.
    1. Note: Any staffer logging mail from the inbox can set up automations for campaigns. When logging a campaign, look for the “Do this always” option, which tells Fireside to remember that campaign and log future messages in the same manner. 
    2. Only Account Owners can review, enable, and disable existing automations. You can also create new automations on the account owner page.
  4. Be on the lookout for requests that need to be directed to other staff members. These include casework, tour requests, flag requests, or scheduling requests.
    1. In addition to alerting the staffer who handles those requests, you can assign them to the batch that collects them. Search “routing” to see the batches connected to your webforms.

My Mail

  1. All logged and pending mail, both unbatched and batched, can be found on the My Mail page with the filters to the right.
    1. This is the best page to do a careful audit of all pending mail awaiting response, particularly if you need to monitor mail assigned to other staff.
    2. You can modify/reassign mail en masse, customize individual responses, and print/send responses from this page.

Batches

  1. Navigate to Mailroom > Batches to view your batched mail. Batches are outbound folders containing similar messages. Ideally, all of the mail in a batch should be processed the same way, with the same letter and issue codes. 
    1. Use the columns and filters on the right to sort and view different batches. The column headers are clickable and will sort your batches according to the data in that column. The column filters let you choose which batches to prioritize for further processing.
    2. Using the snowman icon on the main batches page, you can reassign batches to staff, edit batch details like name, or delete batches.
    3. Using batch tools, you can modify and send mail en masse. When modifying mail, choose the response type, tag bills/issue codes, reassign mail to a specific staffer, select a different form letter, and move the mail to a different batch. Whichever options you choose can be applied to the selected mail or the entire batch.
    4. Batches can contain dissimilar mail items with different form letter responses, but you should strive for uniform processing across most batched mail.
  2. Everyone who logs mail should be familiar with your batching strategy. Use a standard naming mechanism across batches, form letters, and issues to streamline the logging process for you and coworkers.
    1. Use a naming structure that notes the Congress, general issue, bill number/micro issue, and policy stance: ex. “117 - EDU - HR 145 - Pro.”
      1. This strategy is helpful should you want to reuse the batch in the future.
    2. You can delete empty batches using the snowman icon.

Form Letters

  1. Form Letters are the starting point for all outbound responses to constituents. Navigate to Mailroom > Form Letters to access your office’s mailroom form letters.
    1. To create a new form letter, click on the blue “+” button in the top-right corner and start editing the letter from the “Edit” tab.
    2. To edit an existing form letter, simply click on the form letter’s name to open it. Once you are viewing the letter from the “Edit” tab, click the body test and start typing! 

Sending/Printing Mail

  1. Once a form letter is approved, you can send out responses through a batch or on the My Mail page by clicking the snowman button and selecting “Print/Send entire batch.”
    1. On the next page, select the items to print and/or send, choose your desired printer (if printing letters), and automatically process and close duplicate messages, if the constituent has already received a response.
    2. Choose “Queue” if you would like to review and close the mail yourself. Choose “Queue and Close” if you want the mail to send and be automatically closed/removed from the batch.
  2. If you need to set up a printer for network printing of letters, email help@fireside21.com with the requested info.
    1. If network printing isn't an option, you can print letters as PDFs to a printer installed on your local computer. 
    2. You can cancel print jobs that haven’t been sent to your printer or review any letters printed that day in the Fireside Print Queue.

Reports

  1. Navigate to General Reports to view stats and visuals on the mail that your office has received and processed.
    1. The blue question mark in the top-right corner of the screen will give a full description of the report in question.
  2. Our advanced reports provide information of a greater depth. To access the page and download the reports, click on the blue “Advanced Reports” button in the Reports menu. 
    1. You can favorite advanced reports (click the star) to save time and group your most frequently used reports together.

Fireside Guide

To learn more in-depth details about using Fireside, check out our comprehensive Fireside Guide. As an LC, we recommend you review the Mailroom section, but you will find info relevant to your role throughout the Guide. Another page of note is this one on bulk mailings, which will provide you tips on setting up your office's 499 program.

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On-Demand Training Videos

Everyone needs a little help now and then. To help you out, we have on-demand videos on every component in Fireside, including the inbox, mailroom tools, casework tools, web and newsletter tools, and live events. Best of all, to be flexible with your ever-changing schedule, these videos are available to you at any point during your day!

Introduction to Fireside

Inbox Training

(for CRM Clients)

Mailroom Training

(for CRM Clients)

Casework Training

(for CRM Clients)

Newsletter Training

(for Newsletter Clients)

Website Training

(for Web and Legacy Newsletter Clients)

Live Events Training

(for Live Events Clients)

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