Our Fireside CRM (Constituent Relationship Management) software will be the tool your entire staff will use each and every day to:
Keep track of constituents
Organize agency casework
Log incoming calls and email
Send email newsletters
Manage legislative mail
Manage your website
All staff members should follow the steps of this Quick Start Guide and then take advantage of recorded, on-demand trainings.
Should you need help at any point, we recommend using our chat feature at the bottom righthand corner of Fireside. Simply click the red “Chat with us” button and ask your question! We can also be reached by phone at (202) 621-5121, or by email at email@example.com.
Okay, let's get started!
Step 1 - Activate Your Account
Fireside is completely web-based (and only available on the House network for security purposes), so you will sign in to your account using an Internet browser such as Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Microsoft Edge. Fireside’s software can be accessed anywhere. There is nothing to download; as long as you can connect to the Internet and get on the House network, Fireside is always at your fingertips.
You will receive an email from Fireside that prompts you to activate your account by setting a password. Once you’ve set your password, you can log into Fireside!
In your favorite browser, go to your account URL and sign in with these credentials.
Having trouble finding or signing in to your account? Jump on our chat by clicking the “Chat with us” button in the bottom righthand corner of your screen. We will be happy to assist you!
Now that you’re in your Fireside account, let's take a quick look around. Across the lefthand side of the page, you will see a navigation bar that allows you to navigate the site.
Step 2 - Navigating Fireside
It’s easy to find what you’re looking for inside of Fireside because it is organized into different modules: Add, Search, Mailroom, Casework, and Reports are used for the Fireside platform. Outreach and Website are also commonly packaged with Fireside. Depending on your account settings and user permissions, you will see a combination of these sections in the Fireside navigation.
The menus are all displayed in the navigation bar. Each dropdown is filled with pages unique to that application. Try clicking through the pages and applications. You will notice how easy it is to switch between the modules in our fully-integrated software.
Search and Add Overview
This module is where all of the constituent records in Fireside are stored. The search flyout allows you to search for and add constituents to the system. The add button lets you import new people, log a new message, or start a case. The add and search flyouts are useful for all parts of Fireside so they flyout over any existing page you are on.
This module is where legislative mail is stored in Fireside. The "My Mail" page keeps mail organized so you can see what mail has been assigned to you for response. The other primary pages include your Inbox, Form Letters, Batches, and Mailroom Search.
This module is where all of your constituent Casework information is stored. Fireside's Casework tools allow for multiple interactions and correspondence to occur between your staff, constituents, and Agency Contacts. All of these activities, plus all of your notes and reminders, are organized within the "My Cases" page. Additionally, any constituent projects or requests (tours, internships, etc) can be managed using the tools in the Casework module.
Step 3 - Search / Find People
From any page, you can click the search icon for a flyout overlay to search for people. You will most commonly search a first and last name, but you can also include an address (partial or full), email address, phone number, or other information to narrow your results. Be sure to check out our great tutorial on using our people search feature!
Try searching for Franklin Roosevelt. Did you find him? You will note that Franklin is flagged as DC-00. You will see that "out of district" flag throughout your account and will be warned whenever you attempt to add a person to your Fireside account who resides outside of your Congressional district.
From the Search results screen, let's take a close look at Franklin's profile by clicking his name. From this screen you can see a snapshot of Franklin's contact information and a summary of all of the interactions your office has had with Franklin: Notes, Correspondence, Newsletter, Casework, Surveys, and Live Events.
Feel free to click the edit button on the sidebar around the Contact Information, Profile Summary, and Affiliations tabs to make changes to Franklin's information. We'll use this person to test out more of the Fireside tools later.
Having trouble finding people? Just click the “Chat with us” button!
Step 4 - Add New People
Your constituent database will greatly assist you in targeted outreach and save you some time from data entry. That said, you will receive calls, emails, and letters from constituents who are not already in your Fireside account.
To add new people to your system, follow the instructions below. We recommend adding yourself, perhaps your home address, and personal email account (don’t use your House email account) as a test.
Hover over the Add “+” Button and then click on Add a Person.
Fill in all the prefix, first and last name, email address, and address information. You will be able to add more information on the next step. Click “Save.”
How did that go? You are doing great! Let's move on to Step 5 so you know how to log all those calls your office is receiving from your constituents.
Having trouble adding people? Just click the “Chat with us” button!
Step 5 - Log Phone Calls
Your staff needs to talk internally and make a couple of decisions about how you want to handle the calls, emails, and letters you receive during your first couple of weeks using our platform. It is going to be hard to draft letters on every topic, but over time, you will build up a vast form letter library.
In the meantime, and especially during your first week, your goal should be to capture as much constituent personal information as possible. Be sure to ask every caller if they would like to receive email updates from your office. That verbal authorization satisfies House rules related to opt-in email messaging.
Try using Franklin Roosevelt or the person you added in Step 4 to test out logging a call in Fireside.
Hover over the Add “+” button in the navigation and select Log a Message.
Start typing the message as you’re on the phone with the constituent in the Message box at the top.
If you have their name, phone number, or other contact information you can search for the person on the top right hand side to signify that this call came from this particular constituent.
Next choose how you’d like to queue up a response. If the call does not warrant a response, change the response type from “email” to “none.”
If they want a response, fill in the fields below.
Template: This will default to placing all calls in a phone calls batch with the blank letter. For most calls this is sufficient and will pre-choose many of the following items. You can create additional logging templates for calls on specific topics as well.
Batch: Put the letter into a batch with other pieces of correspondence receiving the same Form Letter.
Issues: You can tag the correspondence with a specific issues by typing the issue and selecting it from the dropdown.
Form Letter: This is the text of the response letter for that topic (you can select the Blank Letter as a holding place until a Form Letter is written). Start typing in the name and a dropdown will appear if it already exists.
Assignee: This is the person who will be responsible for responding to this person.
Once you’ve chosen the person the call came from and how you want to log the message, click the blue ‘log as Phone Call” button at the top. If you want to log it as a different inbound type instead, hit the dropdown and choose the other inbound type you’d like to use instead.
Do you have questions about logging calls or other activities in Fireside? Just click the “Chat with us” button!
Step 6 - Sign Up for A Training
Now that you have completed all the steps of our tutorial, you are ready for an in-depth training session. Click the help icon second from the bottom on the lefthand navigation menu for more tutorials and to watch our on-demand videos! You can also visit fireside21.com/training.