The ProLife Team Podcast 101 | Thomas Rudkins & Jacob Barr | Talking about Clicks and Calls

The ProLife Team Podcast
The ProLife Team Podcast 101 | Thomas Rudkins & Jacob Barr | Talking about Clicks and Calls
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Listen to Thomas Rudkins and Jacob Barr talk about marketing work surrounding clicks and calls.

Summary

This is Jacob Barr, and as a prolife marketing expert, I had the privilege of speaking with Thomas Rudkins on the Pro-Life Team Podcast. Thomas shared his journey in the pro-life movement, beginning with his work at Options United in 2009. His motivation was to create a measurable impact in saving lives, leading to the establishment of a call center to track and handle calls effectively. He emphasized the importance of non-judgmental communication and directing clients to the best immediate help, often through ultrasounds at pregnancy centers.

Thomas also discussed various marketing strategies, including Google Ads and geo-targeting, to reach those seeking abortion alternatives. The focus has been primarily on California, but their reach extends nationally. He highlighted the potential of guerrilla marketing strategies, like sticker campaigns, especially in religious institutions, to reach a broader audience.

A key takeaway from Thomas’s experience is the power of unity in the pro-life movement. He stressed the importance of collaboration and spiritual guidance in enhancing the effectiveness of pro-life efforts. The overturning of Roe v. Wade with the Dobbs decision marks a pivotal moment, emphasizing the need for reassessment and a united front in the pro-life community.

The journey has not been without challenges. Thomas shared personal stories, including the inspiring tale of a staff member who offered her suffering for the cause. This story exemplifies the deep spiritual connection and commitment that drives many in the pro-life movement.

Thomas encourages pregnancy clinic directors and teams to seek unity, leverage technology, and remain spiritually grounded. His passion and dedication to the cause are evident, as he sees every day as an opportunity to contribute to the greatest civil rights movement in history – the right to life.

For those in the pro-life movement, consider these hashtags to spread awareness and solidarity: #ProLifeUnity, #LifeIsPrecious, #OptionsUnited, #SpiritualGuidanceInProLife, #UnityInAction, #ProLifeAdvocacy, #ProtectTheUnborn, #SaveLivesTogether, #ProLifeMovement, #LifeSavers.

Transcript

The transcript was automatically generated and may contain errors.

Thomas Rudkins :

Welcome to the pro-life Team Podcast i’m Thomas Rudkins, and I’m speaking with Jacob that I rapture about Options United and how to better serve the pro-life movement.

Jacob Barr :

Thomas, I’m excited to have you on the pro-life Team Podcast. Would you introduce yourself, say a little bit about your background and what? Yeah, How did you get involved in pro-life work?

Thomas Rudkins :

Sure yes. Thanks Jacob for having me. It’s been, I know what we’ve been trying to connect for a while so thank you for persisting and allowing the opportunity. So yeah, i’ve been involved in pro-life as I always say since conception. So I’d like to be involved in all things life, everything I’ve done but I think it’s 2009 I guess was that when I started Options United and really the reason, you know, it’s been you know, 14 years this month and it’s been quite a quite a challenge and what we saw, I was working for another organization for life organization that did advertisements across United States. You know, we’d raise quite a bit of money and put ads on broadcast TV and try to encourage a conversation to think about it, right, to think about the life issue. And if, you know, raised quite a bit of money, we ran ads on MTV and you know, Oprah and all these networks across the nation and I was just a little dissatisfied in some of the donors as well, just because if you know, in terms of how are we saving lives. And so that really stayed with me. And you know it’s good to have a cultural change type of outreach like we saw. But I think it planted the seeds for something more in pro-life that I wanted to do. I think looking back, i saw there was missing infrastructure, something that was just for California. Now we’re kind of expanded beyond that, but i saw that we could spend three hundred thousand dollars and it would go fast it would go real fast you know, those TV companies will take your money and say thank you and it goes within a few weeks, right. So we wanted to see what we could do in terms of metrics, how could we measure something we’re doing on a broad scape and get real life stories. And so we came up with the idea group of us in 2009 to start a call center so we could track where each call went sometimes we generate so many calls, the call center we’re using couldn’t track them, right so we wanted to track and so about that time obviously Google Adwords was up and running and everything Internet so that’s how we got started with options United we wanted to look at the Broadscape of California, look at 170 pregnancy centers how can we help them and also provide data and to donors and metrics without obviously compromising anything on privacy and things of that nature but that’s that was the beginning of options United in 2009 So that’s we’re based in California, and I’m not a native Californian. I originally in Oklahoma. I grew up with in a large family there. I have quite a roundabout way to get to pro-life but when i was studying philosophy and I was in Italy testing a call to the priesthood, I thought I might be a have a call and that never really came to fruition but I was studying philosophy and I came across, I’ve had to do a paper on phenomenology and phenomenology and morality, and I was doing research on why the what influences our decisions, right emotions the interior decision is it values is it And is it just emotions, is it logic, you know? And so I came across something called the lesser of three evils. And it was by the right brain people doctor Charles Kinney, he’s a consumer psychologist. And the short and sweet of that research was, you know, even though logically on the left brain, the woman knows it’s a child, obviously, right? The influence of culture, influence of emotion, values as we know the other finances whatever weighs in allows her to have that cognitive dissonance awaiting 2 opposing values and I really, it really drew me in and I think that’s really where doing that paper and reading that research really kind of I guess I found my calling within that calling i thought I was going towards something more towards service and ministry and I was, but it was just in a pro-life ministry and that’s really where I got what the research was done by Vitae out of in Missouri. And so that’s where I eventually found a position with Vitae and that’s eventually how I got involved in pro-life that it was really from that moment i never had a real experience personally in the crisis part of this pro-life world but I definitely felt the calling something like we’re better than this, right we can help our fellow Americans we can help our sisters, you know our daughters we can help them by providing an immediate help. So that’s how I got involved in the pro-life movement. So that was a while ago i don’t even care to count to count to years, but so when it comes to the phone.

Jacob Barr :

Calls What is? Well, two questions one is what’s the goal or posture of the operator who’s fielding those calls? And then second question or second part would be what if what are you know for precis clinic directors who are listening, what should they be thinking about when fielding calls into their clinic?

Thomas Rudkins :

Yeah that that’s a good question we we’ve early on we adopted some of the love approach right from heartbeats and we’ve also involved some of the right brain research i’m sure a lot of the audience is familiar with the that research. So obviously it’s non judgmental and what we try to do is redirection, just asking questions, kind of a sales technique as options United we have 1213 we have a staff members mostly bilingual and we’ll take calls inquiries like chat forums and other calls and inquiries and what we’ll do is simply ask questions, right you know, Are you sure you’re pregnant? Our goal is not to counsel. Sometimes that involves a little bit of counseling, but we really want to, I tell the staff as our goal is to sell the appointment, right, where are the best help that we can provide that woman at that moment is somebody in person. And so we do all we can at that moment probably eighty ninety ninety plus % of our calls are abortion minded calls. So we simply just want them to get that ultrasound right and that’s and we don’t do it through counseling and we try to avoid counseling we’re not trained counselors and it’s just very hard to do online anyway on the telephone. So the attitude is simply non judgmental and slowing and creating a pause with questions and charity and never misleading, never offering services that we don’t do i know that’s the accusation out there of you know, false clinics and it never happens that way. We just tell them very openly what we offer and that’s pretty much how we handle it i think you know, do we redirect them back to that For example, we take calls for pregnancy centers directly so if a pregnancy center wants to have their own dedicated phone number, we’ll set up their own dedicated phone number and answer calls for them and refer them back to their pregnancy center within reason, right if they’re 100 miles away, probably not. But you know we see ourselves as a as a pass through we simply to the pregnancy Centers for that client we’re not trying to counsel, that’s not the endpoint service, right and so I know some other services like that exist out there where they consider themselves the endpoint and that we are not we’re just a call center and we want to help imagine that air traffic control and we’re trying to land that airplane and we’re trying to get more and more airplanes to that airport, right so we do outreach, advertising, marketing, Google Adwords, things of that nature on a broad scale. And we try to get that woman in non judgmental and sort of a the calls go pretty quickly you know, once we create that pause and get that woman to think about it, then we say, hey, if you’re, you know, there’s a free location nearby or a location near you, would you like us to schedule that appointment or would you like to talk to them live right now? And so a lot of our calls are live referrals. So we’ll say, yeah, please hold and here is pregnancy center and I don’t know, Tuscadero here is a Tuscadero executive director. Here’s Sally sally, this is what we talked about. And then we do the live connect and then we go on to the next call and from that, each pregnancy center gets a referral email. So you know that we’ve connected so we’ve already have your information online that’s how we were able to refer the client to you so it’ll generate an automatic email and that email will go directly to that pregnancy center. You know we follow up eventually with the pregnancy center as well as a client if consent is given and if that’s how we have the arrangement in that area in that pregnancy center. So that’s pretty much how the handoff works. We again see ourselves and sometimes this is important I think to hear and reiterate that because we hear it that we’re not the end service we don’t want to be that pregnancy center we want to be who we are as a call center.

Jacob Barr :

So going back to like how the appointment is scheduled by someone on your team, are you using like their the other the pricey clinic that’s nearby to that potential client or that client? Are you using their public facing schedule appointment form or how do you know what day and time they are available to assist in that direction?

Thomas Rudkins :

Yeah, That’s a good question primarily, we use Plus Link if you’re on Plus Link, you add us as a call center and we can see those slots that you provide for us. There are a couple that do their own website scheduling. If it’s smooth and provides us the openings to schedule, we can do that as well. But that would be if you’re a Plus Link or Ikaros or way cool, just add us as a call center and that would be the easiest way to allow our staff to be more efficient for you. And if there’s other ways of doing it and mostly it’s word of mouth and we do the live referral and a couple of pregnancy Sooners have pretty good interfaces on their own website so we’ll use that. We can customize a little bit that type of service you know, if you want to reach out to us and ask, we just have to be careful not to overload staff, right we get dozens and dozens hundred and plus calls a day, right so we don’t want to do too many customizations and how we handle calls or clients or scheduling, but we can do what’s needed at that moment, Of course we just don’t want to do too many things at once and if there’s 170 pregnancy centers of California, we don’t want to have 170 different ways of scheduling appointments, in other words so.

Jacob Barr :

Yeah. What about next level? Does that one connect with plus link or is that not connected as of yet?

Thomas Rudkins :

Yeah, not that I know of. That’s a good I’ve heard of it and we’ve worked. We’ve worked with a couple of others. Yeah, their names are slipping me but slipping my mind but I know we’ve worked around Next level, but I’m not sure how it’s actually functioning right now and.

Jacob Barr :

I think, yeah, Ekaros and Wake Cool I would expect is like 70 %, maybe slightly higher, maybe 70 % of clinics are probably using Ekaros for Wake Cool, I would expect.

Thomas Rudkins :

Yeah, we, yeah, we’ve experienced, yeah, a little bit with something called full stack, right so it has all the services of pregnancy center, whatever need on one website including reputation management, scheduler, chat, phone, everything. So we experienced, experimented, sorry a little bit with that in Northern California so if ever comes this moment of Epiphany where everybody wants to work together on the same platform, but we found that it was just too much, too much. Well, as you know, it would take a lot to get everybody on that same page, but there’s technologies out there where we could easily insert a scheduler if a pregnancy center needed and but we had, we’d have to do that on broad scale to make it scalable, you know, achievable.

Jacob Barr :

Yeah. So tell me about your Google ads targeting, I guess for are you focusing on the entire state of California or do you go beyond California what’s that look like?

Thomas Rudkins :

Yeah, we’ve mixed it up mostly the entire state of California. We’ve done nationwide as well just to give ourselves a bigger footprint and a little bit bigger budget which is required, but it also gives you better clicks and better exposure. Primarily it is California we’ve noticed a downturn and effectiveness of AdWords conversions etcetera, but it’s always been a mainstay of ours since 2009 we haven’t turned them off and it’s one of our primary generators. We’ve used other search engines. There’s just no real, as you know real return or metric that’s really exciting. So right now it’s Google Adwords and we have used other methods, index marketing as you know and a little bit of optimization with your with your help and that’s helped a lot so we’ve tried different things and we’ve been getting clicks and calls from all over the nation. You know, we’ve got for whatever reason the East Coast has been picking up for us. We have just a light exposure and it kind of follows, doesn’t follow our budget it follows some weird reason why certain areas get more exposure even though they have the same amount of buy. So but it’s been our main state since.

Jacob Barr :

Yeah. And personally or we all professionally and personally I find your team member Kevin to be like the expert of experts like he is like the of the upper echelon of he’s like you know the of the highest level when it comes to Google ads expertise and creative thinking and so I have learned a great deal from him and I just, yeah so I know that your Google ads work is, yeah, I would say beyond phenomenal because like it’s literally, yeah, it’s top level.

Thomas Rudkins :

Yeah it’s I do I do his work a disservice by not describing it more but he’s yeah, he’s performed in terms of performance indicators he’s scored in the top of the nation so he’s he knows his stuff. So yeah, pardon that if Kevin ever listens to this pardon the disservice i’ve done his work.

Jacob Barr :

He’s one of those behind the scenes guys that is you know just epic and part of how like you know this engine and body of Christ works because there’s so many amazing people that you often don’t, you know, you don’t see them working diligently but they are they are there working diligently. So out of curiosity, I mean you know Google well out of out of what types of marketing do you do like, is there anything beyond Google that you’re currently doing or yeah, and what is it perhaps?

Thomas Rudkins :

Yeah we’ve done Geo targeting, which is you know, probably a bad word now in California. So we’ve done some of that with Frank McGuire, He’s on the East Coast, I’m not sure if you’ve met. So we’ve done some of that we’ve done, which is kind of broad, more of a broad not search engine marketing, but it’s a broad click. What is it called? Yeah, it’s the name’s escaping me so we’ve done.

Jacob Barr :

Geo fencing.

Thomas Rudkins :

Geo, some Geo fencing as well and Geo targeting. We’ve also done just you know yext, you know the index marketing things of that nature just to get a bigger footprint out there. But we have several. Our main mainstay website right now is options for pregnancy and so we’ve used a number of different tools trying to get that out there and optimization free women’s clinic is another that we had. If you go there now it’s kind of a, we haven’t updated it in a couple years, it’s was on a different we set a different A record so it’s showing as free ultrasounds and so we’re the website has gone over many different tests and retest of strategy so we’re trying everything we have another site, a real option which has we tried to use that just as organic, you know SEO and a lot of video that’s regarding adoption and that hasn’t really taken off but primarily, yeah, I think the best bang for our buck or at least measurable would be Google Ads. So we tried again that optimization as well and that’s helped a little bit but for the type of call that we’re looking for which is that urgent, you know need help now that Google ads has really paid off for us so it’s been our main sting.

Jacob Barr :

Yeah, that makes sense yeah, out of all the different marketing vehicles, yeah, it seems like Google slash Internet is number one for appraisal clinics get found and then word of mouth is number 2 and then after that it’s probably signage. And then it seems like it, you know, you know very further down the list we’re % wise would be social media and then usually not recognized would be like newspaper, TV, radio and in some of other areas but that those all suddenly are not really used by most clinics for yeah, or they don’t show up on most intake form measurements.

Thomas Rudkins :

We’re going to try, We’ll probably try something. We’re going to try something a little different. It’s just now launching, if you will, and it’s called guerrilla marketing or analogue marketing we’re going to try to, we have certain key endorsements with the Catholic Church here in California and we’re going to try to launch something what we’ll call a blue brand, which is specific for institutions like Catholic hospitals, schools and parishes and try to get just stickers like a sticker campaign because there’s, you know, 11000000 Catholics attend these institutions so we’re gonna try something and hopefully I can give you an update where it’s non cancellable, it’s friendly towards that audience, kind of kind of branding towards that type of audience where you can go to a school or a church and say, hey, here’s a sticker that says, you know, pregnant, need help. So we’re gonna try that hopefully in a big way and just more guerrilla marketing and maybe we’d maybe we don’t need Google that’s you know, But I yeah, if it ever comes to that but if we ever go back to the, you know, non digital marketing, so we’re going to test that We with the endorsements and the open doors, I think we can try to do that statewide, but that’s a prayer intention so if you guys in your audience would pray for that, We’re trying to get some open doors and help.

Jacob Barr :

Yeah, that makes sense. And we need more creative ideas to be well piloted and tested in order to, you know, because you know Google. Yeah, Google changes the rules, or has changed the rules over the years and the certainty of except, you know, being you know, of access. To that platform is by far not guaranteed and we still need to use it while it’s available I believe. But at the same time there’s no guarantee that availability will be here in three years because it’s definitely changed over the last. Boy, I think the last major change might have been five years and then again in two or three years ago, but they’ve yeah, they have definitely have shifted in availability for advertising.

Thomas Rudkins :

Yeah i can give you many examples where they just, you know, it doesn’t make any sense at all. Right why do we get a call a day from one region and then for the next five years we never get a call right, from Google. So it’s a it’s not a fair platform and in fact, you know, you missed you mentioned the Mystical Body you know how much how many of our fellow Christian brothers sisters have the abortion And we’re not. You know, we forget to mark, to market to our church community, our communities, our mystical body and see if those who have already, you know the truth, right but they get picked off. So we’re, you know, it’s a it’s a spiritual thing it’s a it’s a spiritual violence more before it’s politics as we know. And maybe so our hunch is and maybe we’re right, maybe we’re wrong we just need collaboration and open doors and a greater sense of unity because that’s really it’s in our name options united and if we tend to lean on those who and you know they’ve been captured by the secular right and not the Christian so we have to use them use these tools but are we missing something within our own body right our own mystical body and the those Christians that need help and so they’re being picked off and pummeled and we’re being isolated and divided and conquered and so is there something we can do just on a spiritual level on a you know so it’s not it’s non-technical but it’s might be something that we have ignored. So I’ll maybe I’ll report back to you with some good results to help.

Jacob Barr :

So two questions or two parter. First, is there a cost to join this network and be on your list, like for a prancing clinic to be listed? Second part would be what’s the, what’s the qualification to be listed? You know, do you require someone to provide ultrasounds, do you know or do you include non medical centers that do referrals? You probably need the ultrasound location I would expect but yeah, how? What what’s the cost and what’s the requirements to be a part of this?

Thomas Rudkins :

Yeah the requirements are to be pro-life so we don’t you know we don’t discriminate past that and we want to our thinking is if there’s somebody that needs help and you’re pro-life and have a center we will we will refer to you know and now we’ll break it down by what they need if they need ultrasound is at a clinic, right so we’ll have that information ready but there the bar is, you know, there’s already enough organizations out there that certify, qualify and offer training. Our mission is to get as many pregnancy centers onto our network as possible so we’ll refer to everyone and work with them. Obviously if that pregnancy center we had a few times that just haven’t trained their staff and so we’ve had the pause service and sometimes just take out service because they were offering referrals to things that were just, you know, obviously not in the pro-life realm. So the qualifications are that the cost is free if you if we get a call and they’re in your area, we’ll refer to. We’ve made referrals to all States and the Lower 48 well Alaska, Hawaii, Guam just now. So we’ve offered referrals everywhere there we do have a fee based if you need more services like I talked about the dedicated phone number where you want reports and scheduling. So that’s you know that starts at a monthly fee, a subscription basis so we have gosh 30 or 40 locations that are using the subscription fee. But it’s not a big part of what we do, but it’s certainly there if you need enhanced services after hours, for example, phone call support like if it’s on vacations or you have a long meeting and you have no one answering your calls or whatever’s happening, then you can contact us and we’ll take care of the calls with you know, as a subscription. So that’s kind of how we work. It’s pretty low friction and low cost. And we again, we just believe if you’re pro-life there’s enough good out there, many good pregnancy centers that we’d like to take advantage of. And so that’s how we work.

Jacob Barr :

So when it comes to clinics beyond California, you said that you’ve done, you’ve done referrals so do you have people on your network beyond California, or do you just look them up based on, you know, looking for where someone’s at?

Thomas Rudkins :

Yeah, normally they look us up you know, we have pregnancy centers signed up on a subscription fee from Rhode Island, Florida, you know, Tennessee all over the place so yeah, they find us, they find out that our services are more customizable, not just that quote unquote national call center, even though we are national so we it’s word of mouth really through conferences and other things that we people start pregnancy centers and directors start calling us and looking for help. We don’t always provide what they need but we just another opportunity I think for the for their for their ministry that they can rely on we’re not a twenty four seven call center we’re we basically it’s eight in the morning till 10 at night Pacific Standard Time and we can expand those hours we just haven’t once that need comes we can expand it we just haven’t seen the need yet and normally after a certain hour you just get the prank calls or no calls at all And so it doesn’t make sense for us as a smaller organization. Eventually we’d like to get there and be twenty four seven, but it’s not right now. It’s again if we were missing lives and obviously we it expand, but we just don’t see that right now.

Jacob Barr :

Is there like an online directory of sorts where someone can you know go to the website and search for a you know, search for a clinic that’s currently listed within your network or you know, network of clinics?

Thomas Rudkins :

Yeah if you go to optionsforpregnancy.com and search and if you if you’re not listed, let us know and we’ll add you. And it’s it comes with the standard sort of text with every listing you might you probably can click through the listings and see it and just for optimization and keywords but if you want something different than your website and other things let’s just let us know. And so we’re pretty flexible on that. You know we’ve only had, you know one out of thousands. You know, one, maybe you know one that I can think of that just didn’t want to be listed at all. And you know maybe they haven’t realized that there are search engines and websites that list them anyway. So, but we’ll cater to what you how you each director wants to operate.

Jacob Barr :

Yeah, personally I’m not the biggest fan of some directories, but I like your directory, and there’s several directories that I do like and. But all that to say is yeah and I and I think your directory does it include Well does it include a link to their to their website is that part of the directory listing, or is it just what do you list as part of the information about a given clinic?

Thomas Rudkins :

It’s mostly just the pen, the map pen that’s available to all and then some basic, you know, boilerplate text that we do have links to a lot of pregnancy centers that say, hey, can you add our website that we will even add a phone number. It’s good for our site that we had more information and links so let us know. We just haven’t done it for everyone just because of the time evolved and also we’re not sure you know what they want so we just kind of leave it kind of a generic site but at the in terms of specific information right to the to that pregnancy center but we will if you’re interested our staff members call our hotline and we’ll get you we’ll get we’ll get your text set as you wish the as you go to that yeah. Yeah i was gonna say as you go to the website, you’ll see that it’s kind of a, it drives you to the contact tools rather than searching so well, a lot of times if depending on where they’re at, they simply just call, right you can go through and look at the analytics like they’re just like bada boom bada Bing call or bada boom chat, you know, or request call back or fill out a form so they don’t necessarily all go to that, but it does help in general for a better, like you said, better directory then we’ll accommodate.

Jacob Barr :

Ok, Yeah, I’m a big fan of directories helping Prancy Clinic get getting more backlinks. And so every time you’re linking to a clinic, you’re really helping them show up better on Google and so that’s, you know, that’s a big plus in my book. And so I really appreciate you doing that, the offering those backlinks.

Thomas Rudkins :

Absolutely, yeah and if there’s any customization requests in them our way, yeah, we’ll definitely do that.

Jacob Barr :

Awesome. So one of the questions I like to ask in these podcasts is where have you seen God’s fingerprints and the work that you’ve done this pro-life.

Thomas Rudkins :

Work. Oh boy. Yeah, every day i think the fact that we’re even here every day we’re sustained. It’s true. We do have you know we operate it’s app for life so you know app for life’s out of work we have a mobile app, prayer app, and I don’t know, just going through some of the stories that the staff members talked about, some of our staff themselves, I can talk about Crystal. She passed away, died of cancer very young, in her twenties, and it impacted us a lot where she offered her suffering, you know, for to save more babies and that’s really impacted us she’s even refused pain medication, right to offer more pain into suffering for these. So the people that work and that you bump into are just amazing. Amazing and then I said every time I give a talk it feels like before I’ve been here the Holy Spirit has been working because it’s just a great group of people. I can, I can give you a dozen stories, but it really it really I was just walking into the office the other day and just the fact that we can do this work and still be funded and still find donations and still be doing it for 14 years. I just sent a report with a partner that we partnered with since 2015 until now. And we’ve fielded for in this Southern California area just for this partner 71,000 thousand. Inquiries and you know, if you look behind the scenes and how much struggle and pain and doubts and unknown you know, dark times, it’s. I could say without His Grace we wouldn’t be here today instantly, you know, instantaneously so it’s been a real, and I can add this, I think it as I’ve been doing this, it’s just helped my spiritual life so much, you know, in the sense that just come to the realization that holiness is the way to be pro-life like what can I do to do techniques and practices and websites you know, we probably have 5 too many websites already so what can we do and it just comes back to the fact that the closer we get to our Lord and let him do the work that the better we will be. And so that was done in a very powerful way. I know I was in a very tough spot personally, financially, business wise and I’m just like, you know, you don’t even need me anyway, you can save all the babies you want. And it just hit me as I was walking in the church, almost like AI don’t know, like a Frisbee caught me on the forehead you know, it was just like so clear that you are my hands, you are my feet, you know. And so i was really struck by that and I apologize to our Lord for doubting, you know, that our work is he needs us for some strange reason he picked us to collaborate. And so it’s an honor and it’s also a cross, as I tell my wife and one of the prayers we go through is Halo cross our only hope and so we kind of laugh, you know, like, oh, you know, what are we asking for now? But it really is a source of grace and but also a source of, you know, offering, right we can offer these things up. And so this work has not just been pro-life work, it’s been the work of the Lord, the giver of life. And so I was writing something about that just recently, how in Genesis, how the Holy Spirit moved over the waters and created life, right so life itself, we’re not just fighting to preserve life like life as an animal or a creature of i don’t know. We’re actually a body and soul. So our eternal life is what we’re saving. We’re not just saving our life we’re saving God’s plan for that soul that last for eternity. And so anyway, so I it’s very it’s a very spiritual type work for me now. Before, it was more of a need to do this, got to do this you know, this is my mission and I’ve been humbled so many times that I finally realized that it’s not about me, right it’s about others and serving so yeah, so maybe that was more than you asked for, but.

Jacob Barr :

Yeah, one of the phrases that we use as a company value and then I pulled from my church it’s called dual wield and essentially it’s based on Nehemiah where he was essentially building a wall with one hand, you know, he had the plow or the brick in one hand working on building and in the other hand either had a sword or a spear or a shield because he was under attack. And so I feel like this space we’re often doing a dual wield. Meaning we’re building whether it’s marketing or you know, counseling or we’re doing the work in one hand. But meanwhile we’re also having to use energy in our second hand for, you know, carrying our sword or shield or something to that effect where we’re having to, yeah, fight and build at the same time because it’s a spiritual fight that’s mixed with counseling, that’s mixed with marketing and it’s weaved into our culture. And we have, yeah, spiritual enemies who are active in this space and our God is so good to sustain us through really hard, dry times where we always, you know, are always taken care of.

Thomas Rudkins :

Absolutely i’d like, I like that so it’s Nehemiah i will go there and look at it. You know, i don’t know that the citation, but I will. I like it. I spend a lot of my day now finding different, yeah, verses and prayer, inspiration, so.

Jacob Barr :

Yeah so my next question for you is what based on your experience and based on this journey, what new idea? You know when I say a new idea meaning something that’s less than 10 % adopted, like what’s something that you’ve come across that’s really good that most pricey clinic directors or most, you know, maybe pro-life leaders may not have adopted yet or may haven’t, maybe they haven’t seen or heard. What’s something that you’ve come across that would be worth sharing that’s relatively new?

Thomas Rudkins :

Oh boy, I’d have to dig here. Yeah, I’m not sure i think, you know, we’re always trying new things. We’re always trying new communication tools, you know, text, for example, we have, we started our text to hotline so your 800 number can be converted into a text line. And so we started that just recently so hopefully we’ll see if that pays off so call our text, eight seven three nine eight seven three four because a lot of our communication is now our chat and text with it so much easier, more accessible techniques. I don’t know, just more actually just more face to face meetings. You know that that’s really helped build team more so I know we had our first Christmas party after the lockdowns and it was just like a everybody in a simple party, beautiful party but it was just, you know, face to face we’re like, oh, yeah, we forgot how important this is. So we’re as a call center, We don’t do it as much like a pregnancy center, right they’re always there at, well, you’re there at the at the center so for us that was, you know, Oh yeah, we’re human we should meet and talk, you know. So other than that, I think some of some of the Geo targeting, Geo fencing, I know, i can tell you know don’t you know my California sensors, but you know outside of California there a lot of the phone calls that we got were people in the parking lot of Planned Parenthood. So the Geo fencing can be very effective and if you know like a couple of people I know if you need referrals let me know that could do that for you on a non cancellable platform. So that is kind of unique you know because that’s a Holy Spirit moment when they’re actually looking for help right at that moment they’re having doubts so that’s been obviously we can’t do that in certain states or techniques or you know some people don’t agree to them and we don’t do that anymore is we just did it as a test but I can tell you those are different techniques that do work and it goes everybody has their flavor and risk assessment to make right but in California obviously we have a little bit different risk assessment and threats going on now so we just have to be careful so we’re pretty streamlined now and what we do so no more tests like that but until we’re get a get in a better position you know so.

Jacob Barr :

You’ve done a lot of work. No, that’s good. That’s a that’s, yeah. Those are really good tidbits for the people that, yeah, to consider and reflect on. So when it comes to all this work that you’ve done to drive traffic to a pro-life organization, whether it’s in California or abroad, tell me like, what is something you know, what drives you to, you know, what are your thoughts on the leadership teams and these teams who are essentially these pro-life teams who are working to serve on a daily basis like what encouraging story might you want to, you know, have them here Because essentially it sounds like you’ve devoted was it 14 years or how long have you been? You know, you know this long journey and motivate you know, you’ve dedicated this work, this passion and this excitement. You know, all of this effort to drive traffic to these pro-life centers, you know. Yeah what’s the, what’s the why and then what could you say that might encourage them you know, it’s sort of like with your passion behind it for white, you know, because you’re essentially like, to me, it sounds like you’re one of their largest fans, along with myself and several other people in the pro-life world. You know, princely clinic directors and leadership teams and volunteers are, you know, sometimes if I look at myself as like the part of the support team, who’s supporting the hands and feet in those clinics? And I know that, you know, the support team also is part of the hands and feet, but yeah, what would you say to those directors and leadership teams and you know, pregnancy clinic teams for you know, what’s driving your passion to support them in such a big way?

Thomas Rudkins :

Yeah, definitely i’m a fan of, I mean the pro-life movement as such as the, you know, as many would say or have said, it’s the greatest civil rights movement in history, right, in terms of the civil rights of our of the unborn, right and so unity, it’s and it’s in our name. And I, you know, our adversaries work so well together, right and so at every level I would encourage unity and prayer. Yeah, you know, prayer through unity because we’re all Christian based motivated, we’re motivated by something bigger than us. And so i would say that’s what motivates me that’s what gets me up in the morning i’m just thinking, well, if we can just get better unified, you know, in some sort of informal or formal relationship to that have reach more tools, right. Those who need help. So I’ve really been, you know, advocate and fan of the pro-life movement so I’m honored to be a part of it and just a small cog in the machine, if you will but the pregnancy centers are the front line, always have been and that’s who we want to help and that’s where we know that life can be saved so anything we can do to get more traffic, more feet through the door, right foot traffic, that’s what we’re going to do and that i would encourage more unitive strategies. I think it’s historically, we’re at a very unique time in history where we’ve helped over turn Roe, V Wade and Casey and now we’re looking at with Dobbs now we’re looking at a whole new set of circumstances and now is the time to reassess and understand better that we have the technology, we have the means and we have the Holy Spirit. And so we should try to find better ways to unite because it’s not a 0 sum game in terms of fundraising, right if there’s enough money out there, the better the product, the more money will raise, right and you know, i tell the story that or the description of, you know, we have a thousand pregnancy centers and a thousand websites and a thousand phone numbers and our adversaries have thousands of locations and one website, one phone number just in the press release that the attorney general sent out here in California at the end of the press releases you know, promoting the abortion provider’s hotline and their directory, right and so we should be better at hotlines and directories and finding ways of uniting those and getting better. Yeah, one of our programs, one number one solution simply just to re a retake on what we do every day. There’s one phone number, one solution doesn’t mean we get all of the credit it’s just that it’s easier to market, easier to leverage, easier to get out there and different it’s actually different phone numbers but at least one communication hub if you want. So just openness to and asking for guidance for unity within the pro-life movement is, you know, many times they’re heading in different directions and with different strategies but it’s one more to give her of life, right so maybe we should, as a movement, get closer to him so we can get better guidance from him and become more of a spiritual movement the darker our world is getting right now with all the crazy things we can kind of laugh about or like, oh, lament that it’s actually the better that the better way. The best way to address darkness is through light, right and so if we can come together and be better reflections of the Lord in our work and better united, it’s if we have one father, then we are one family. So we should have better, you know, it flows from that we have better strategies and openness towards the others to make sure we are doing all we can as a movement.

Jacob Barr :

Yeah. Well, I really appreciate you being you sharing these thoughts and ideas and your story. If you have any final thoughts or yeah, would you maybe if you have any final thoughts, I’d like to hear them and also if you if you could close our podcast in a prayer, I’d really. Yeah, I’d like to have that be the, you know, the rap, the rapping at the end of this podcast piece.

Thomas Rudkins :

Yeah thank you yeah. Well, I just appreciate very much your work and what you’re doing and trying to be innovative and reaching out. I know it takes a lot of energy so I know you’re close to the Lord in that sense because you’re there’s not a lot of payback sometimes, you know, it’s a more pushback than payback so our payback sounds a bit worse, you know reward I should say so thank you for that and we can close with a prayer if you want, that ‘d be that ‘d. Be fine, yeah god, we ask for your continued blessing over the pro-life movement. Send the Holy Spirit to unite us give us life give us inspiration and let us be better at what we do better servants, better ministers of Your grace, help us to unite our families at home and unite our ministries and work more efficiently in your Kingdom, the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of life and its life eternal. Help us to be better servants to that we ask that in this and all of our all our intentions, in the name of Christ our Lord, amen.

Jacob Barr :

Amen.

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