Form letters are pre-written responses on a vast array of legislative topics or for working on casework. Each form letter is the starting point for responding to any mail record, as any letter or email that goes out of Fireside must have a form letter assigned. You can send out the form letter as it's written, or you can customize it so that it answers the constituent's each and every question. Forms can be shared by both DC and District staff handling legislative mail in the Mailroom platform and cases in the Casework platform, respectively, or they can be separated so that DC staff only have access to Mailroom form letters and caseworkers Casework forms.
Head to Mailroom > Form Letters (or Casework > Form Letters if working on forms for cases) to get started!
Creating Form Letters
Creating a new form letter is a two-step process:
Create a blank form letter.
Add content to the form letter.
Create a New Form Letter:
Navigate to Mailroom > Form Letters.
Click the blue “+” button in the top-right corner.
Choose a template. Pick one of the form letter templates for your office and select “Create.”
Give the form a name. Click where it reads in italics “Form Letter Template” in the top left and start typing out the name.
You will find this form by name in the future, so be as clear as possible, and provide enough information to differentiate it from similar form letters.
Many offices have naming schemes like "117 - Broad Issue - Name of Form – Pro."
Adding Content to a Form Letter:
Adding content to a form letter is as simple as clicking into the template text on the left side of your screen and starting to type!
Edit: The “Edit” tab is where you edit the text of the form letter.
Print Preview: The “Print” tab allows you to get a preview of what the text will look like before it’s printed.
Send Test: The “Send Test” tab allows you to enter email addresses to get a preview of what your form letter will look like to a recipient.
Print Test: The “Print Test” tab allows you to print a copy of the form letter to preview it.
Settings for your form letter are found on the right side of the screen under “Properties.”
Assignee: The staffer who creates a form letter is the default assignee, but if you need to change that you can do so with this setting.
Visibility: Mailroom only will make it so it’s only seen when assigning form letters from the inbox. When a form is Casework only, the form will only show up when working on casework. For Anywhere visibility, the form will be available for use when working on legislative responses or cases.
Subject: Subject is the subject line that will appear when sent via email.
Issues and Bills: Here you can assign issue tags or bill information to track the usage of form letters to give you better understanding of your interactions with constituents.
Template: If you need to change the template you selected when drafting the form letter, you can do so by editing the line here.
Print Scaling: You can manually adjust the size of the text on your page using the scaling bar or use “Auto-Scale to Fit” so the system automatically edits the text to appear on a single page (or two pages if you’re over a second page!).
To view the changes, use the “Print Preview” tab in the left-hand side of your screen.
Print scaling will account for space on your letterhead in the preview based on the specifications we have for it, but it will not render that text specifically.