The Campaign Workshop Feed

Online Video Platform Spotlight: Wistia Vs. Youtube Andrea Mucino Online Video Platforms: Top 5 Reasons We Love Wistia instead of YOUTube At The Campaign Workshop, we always love hearing about and trying out new online video platform to help us and our clients. One online video platform we absolutely love and were able to learn more about is Wistia. As video becomes increasingly important in content marketing, Wisitia does what most video tools can't do- help you increase your site’s SEO through their platform. Check out the reasons why we love Wisitia below, and be sure to check out our videos on our website ( spoiler alert: they’re hosted by Wistia!) 1. The main difference between Youtube and Wistia Wistia has the ability to redirect viewers to your website. Youtube is structured so that your video will drive traffic to Youtube and viewers will stay on YouTube watching other videos rather than clicking through your site and taking in your other content. 2. Wistia gives you in depth video analytics There are engagement graphs to show how engaged your viewer is throughout the video, heat maps to see individual viewer insights, and summaries of visitors, play rates, hours watched and the number of plays. 3.Wistia and Calls to Action Wistia gives you the ability to include a clickable call to action any time throughout your video. As discussed in calls, inserting a call to action can help build lists, see if your content can engage members or volunteers, and drive more traffic to your website. 4.SEO & Wistia Wistia’s platform is built to increase SEO of your site via video. Metadata is quick and easy to add, making it easier for your videos to rank on google and other search engines. 5.Wisitia can embed in emails Videos can go directly into your emails with an automatically generated code. A great feature to use that will increase viewership of a video, as well as offer another outlet for people to be redirected to your website. More options:  Check out Vimeo Pro - it has similar functionality to Wistia but the big drawback is that it does not drive SEO to your site - bottom line we like Wistia the best but be on the look out for more reviews.  Have any questions about your digital tools and online video platform? Comment below! If you haven’t yet, check out our online Wistia page here.   Mon, 21 Aug 2017 08:00:16 EDT
Paid Media vs Earned Media: How do they fit into a campaign budget? The Campaign Workshop Author: Kate Jahries  Campaign Budget: Media Basics To Consider When Building Your Budget You’ve decided to run for office - congratulations! You’re probably wondering how to get your message out to the community, and you might be a little overwhelmed by all your options. it's time for your campaign budget to come to to the rescue.  In today’s landscape, it’s not enough to place an ad in one location and assume that potential voters will see it. Using a strategic communications plan involving both paid and earned media will give your campaign the best chance to reach a wide audience, so it’s important to take that into account when building your campaign budget.      Here are a few tips about the differences between paid and earned media, and how you should be using them in your campaign:      Paid Media Paid media includes the more traditional forms of political advertising: Think digital, print, television, and radio ads. This category would also include direct mail. All of these options have their pros and cons, which you can read more about in this breakdown of political advertising mediums. As its name implies, paid media costs money. When planning your campaign budget, it’s important to consider paid media expenses. You should plan to use about 70% of your budget on political communications.  We recommend choosing one dominant paid communications medium, as well as a secondary paid medium. This way, your message is being reinforced across multiple platforms, but you’re also not stretching yourself too thin by attempting to do too much. The best campaigns know that a voter needs to see or hear their message several times (about 12) for it to really sink in, and purchasing enough ad space for that to happen can be expensive. Spending on more than two or three communications mediums likely won’t buy you enough repetition to effectively get your message across and would be a waste of your campaign budget. Keep in mind that paid media does not include any bumper stickers, yard signs, fundraising letters, billboards, or literature. If you plan on buying any of those items, they will need to be a separate component of your budget.  Earned Media Earned media is great because it’s free! When a newspaper writes about your campaign, or a reporter tweets about you, that’s earned media. But don’t be fooled into thinking this is the easier route. Generating earned media requires spending resources other than money: time and effort. You have to invest time into developing positive relationships with local reporters and effort into creating buzz.  Earned media can help your budget stretch a lot further, so it’s important for your campaign to implement a strategy for who is going to make it happen and how. There should be a person on your campaign staff whose role includes talking to reporters and issuing press releases. Other tools they should consider using include op-eds, letters to the editor, and social media. Social media, in particular, is an amazingly simple and popular way to communicate with the public, and you should have accounts on multiple platforms (whichever ones your community members are likely to be on). Just make sure these releases and posts are being written and timed thoughtfully, with specific outcomes in mind.  Remember: The only hard and fast rule is that around 70% of your campaign budget should be going towards paid media. The breakdown of which mediums and platforms you choose to focus on might be a little different than a campaign in another town or state. Find out what’s going to work for you, in your community.     Thu, 17 Aug 2017 08:00:56 EDT
Nonpolitical Books for the End of Summer Joe Fuld Join the TCW Book Club! Check out these end of summer Nonpolitical Books:  When you get into politics, you can have tunnel vision.  Binge watching House of Cards and the West Wing is not going to help you run a better campaign or advocacy organization. The fact is, campaigns are like running a small business. Here is a list of business books that have inspired and would be good reads as you move into the end of the summer.  Delivering Happiness-  Tony Hsieh If you have spoken to me in the past 5 years you know I am obsessed with company culture. Whether you are running a nonprofit, advocacy or political campaign, how you treat your team matters. The folks at Zappos understand the ROI of a good company culture and can teach it better than anyone I have met.  The Art of the Start- Guy Kawasaki Want to build a campaign, a ballot measure, a movement? Go build, don't wait. This simple, clear book stresses doing as much as planning.  The Pumpkin Plan- Mike Michalowicz Get distracted by minor details?  Can't focus on the big picture? This book is for you. It talks about how to build a business or campaign by focusing on what really matters.  The Obstacle is the Way-  Ryan Holiday Turn your problems into solutions. Many times in campaigns and issues we come across perceived obstacles, but we can harness the power of those obstacles to propel us forward.  Setting the Table- Daniel Meyer  Like shake shack? Find out why they have a great team and a great approach. Good customer service is needed as much in a congressional office as it is in a restaurant.  The Dream Manager- Matthew Kelly Another obsession of mine is mentorship. This fictionalized account of a company that invests in the future of its employees translates well to politics, campaigns consulting and nonprofits. By working with your team achieve their goals, you can succeed at anything.  The Charisma Myth- Olivia Fox Cabane Charisma is a gift, but it is not just something that is innate. You can learn and hone the traits that we define as charisma. Check it out.  Trust Me I Am Lying- Ryan Holiday Not exactly a typical campaign book but a great take on the way the media landscape has changed and how reactive it is.  Confessions of an Advertising Man- David Ogilvy It is a great book some of it is very dated but still very relevant as far as how to approach creative and engage with clients.  Never Eat Alone- Keith Ferrazzi This is a great book on building a network and training how to engage with your network.  Standout- Dorie Clark A former Comms director Dorie Clark has done a great job of teaching folks how to build a personal brand. Check it out.  Ask More- Frank Sesno I love this book. Asking folks questions is something we all do in our lives and our work, but it is not something we think about. Frank Sesno guides us through the art of being intentional in the way we ask questions  Bonus book:  The Righteous Mind- Jonathan Haidt Want to know why your born again Christian aunt feels the way she does? This book does a great job of diving into a religious mindset.  I am sure I have missed some good ones. Tell me your favorites here: Mon, 14 Aug 2017 08:00:02 EDT
5 Steps to Follow for a Strategic Advocacy Campaign The Campaign Workshop Author: Kate Jahries Using Strategy to Design Tactics and Achieve Goals in Your Campaign If you’re trying to plan an advocacy campaign, it means that you must be pretty passionate about something. Advocacy campaigns, while often long and frustrating, have had a huge impact on our political system. With some careful planning and a lot of resilience, you can make the change you want to see in the world actually happen. But planners beware! If you don’t take the time to carefully pinpoint your exact goals and examine what the landscape currently looks like, you risk designing an advocacy campaign that’s unstrategic. In order to make sure each tactic you employ has the best shot at leading you towards a win, follow these 5 steps (in this order!) from the Midwest Academy: 1.Goals Start by writing down your overarching goal, but don’t stop there! The most strategic advocacy campaigns recognize that change is incremental. You should identify several short term goals that fit into the larger picture and can count as wins along the way. Make sure you’re clear about what achieving your goal will actually do. Try to make your campaign about more than spreading awareness whenever possible: What will be the outcome? Who will it effect? What’s the point? 2. Organizational Considerations This step should result in a giant list with lots of numbers! List out every single resource you have: staff, facilities, tools, etc. What’s your budget? How much do you think you’ll be able to raise? Everything on this list should include quantity. This will give you a baseline idea of who and what you have to work with. Next, take a moment to consider whether there are any problems internally within your campaign that need to be addressed if you’re going to succeed. Don’t start off on the wrong foot. 3. Constituents, Allies, and Opponents First, think about who will have a positive interest in your advocacy issue. Which groups might be willing to partner with you? What kinds of resources or support might they be able to contribute to the campaign? Next, consider who will likely be opposed to your advocacy campaign. How much power do they have? Are they likely to fight back, and how? Who do they influence? 4. Targets Who exactly has the power to make what you want happen? I say "exactly" because this needs to be a single person, not a group or organization. If you’re worried about fake news on social media, it would be pretty difficult to try to influence all of Facebook. You wouldn’t know where to direct your efforts. It’s a lot easier to say you want to influence Mark Zuckerberg. Know who you’re targeting. Sometimes, you don’t have much clout with your primary target, or your efforts aren’t working on them. That’s why you need to identify a secondary target. This person is someone who has more of a connection to, or power over, your primary target than you do. By working with them, you might have a better shot at ultimately getting through to your true target. In the Mark Zuckerberg example, your secondary target might be a senior level engineer at Facebook. 5. Tactics Tactics are an action that is planned based on what you know about your goals, your organization’s resources, support and opposition, and targets. Do not decide on a tactic before thinking through the other categories! Your tactic will not be as strategic for your advocacy campaign. Tactics are directed at a specific target for a specific purpose. Ask yourself: Does this make sense? Doing something just because you can isn’t a good enough reason to do it. Your advocacy campaign should be designed to trigger the desired response from your targets. Possible tactics include, but are not limited to; press events, meetings with key influencers, elections, marches, hearings, etc.   The Midwest Academy has been at the forefront of progressive organizing for decades. Follow their strategy for designing a great advocacy campaign, and you might just have a shot.       Thu, 10 Aug 2017 08:05:09 EDT
7 Questions with Jason Mida Joe Fuld Jason Mida Answers Your Non-Profit Questions Jason Mida is a seasoned fundraising and political professional, having served in a number of roles throughout his career. His work has been focused in the areas that truly motivate him, including LGBT causes. Jason Mida is the former Vice President of Development for the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, the Vice President of Development for the American Association of Peoples with Disabilities, and the President of Mida Associates. 1. What is the biggest mistake nonprofits make when it comes to fundraising? Many times, non-profits allow perfection to be the enemy of good, which happens because they believe there's a "secret sauce" to fundraising or that they need to emulate another organization as it relates to their own development efforts. The truth is that fundraising is messy, and it's imperfect. Once an organization decides to boldly start asking their stakeholders, whether they be board members, social media followers, friends of friends, or strangers that might entertain support, it all comes together. It takes time, but it all comes together. 2. How do you fix an anemic fundraising program? If a fundraising program is anemic, it's a diagnosis of a larger problem, which is that it's not a daily priority for the organization. This could be that someone is not "owning" fundraising on a daily basis, that a staffing change needs to be made, or that it's simply a topic of discussion that's been pushed to the side. Regardless of how an organization got to this place, the first step in fixing this is to make sure that fundraising becomes part of the daily discussion, ideally through a dedicated meeting. If fundraising is being discussed on a daily basis, it will immediately become a stronger program. 3. What is an overlooked source of revenue for non-profits? The biggest overlooked source is individuals. Non-profits become very reliant on support from foundations and corporations when the most available support is right in front of you - individual donors who want to support your mission with unrestricted general operating dollars. 4. Is foundation and celebrity money a sustainable way to build a non-profit? Absolutely not. Foundation funding is definitely part of the mix, but you can't effectively grow an organization with restricted dollars that may or may not come through. Additionally, foundation support is the hardest and most time-consuming way to raise money. As for celebrities, we all love them, and they can certainly add to an event or a special occasion, but they are no substitute for a daily and substantive behind-the-scenes fundraising operation. 5.  How should organizations capitalize on the current political situation for fundraising? As much as you can, work to weave in the current political environment to your messaging, whether that be through e-appeals, newsletters, or even remarks at an event. The important thing to remember is that your messaging be steady, not hyperbolic, and within reason. You can't claim to be able to solve all the problems that might arise in the current environment. To pretend to do so would be an unfair representation to your donor base. 6.  How can non-profits use their fundraising to build overall capacity? General operating/unrestricted dollars allow you to find new talent and increase human capital. You can't grow your programs or their reach without a talented and dedicated staff that are well-paid and taken care of. Non-profits lose talent all too often because they overwork and underpay their staff. Finding and keeping dedicated and passionate staff is crucial to building overall capacity. Your greatest asset is your team - never forget that. 7. How do you turn your one-time donors into sustainable givers? Ask them and thank them often - it's that simple. Bonus 8.  What do you do if you feel like nothing is working with your fundraising? Ask people who have successful fundraising operations how they got to where they are. Just understand that there's no "one size fits all" when it comes to fundraising. 9. What is your favorite book on fundraising? Managing to Change the World. While this is not a "fundraising book" so to speak, it taught me how to manage a team, as well as how to manage upwardly. Whether it's the MOCHA model or other suggestions on how to delegate and how your team accountable, it's a very helpful read.   Check out more of Jason Mida 's work  here Mon, 07 Aug 2017 08:00:08 EDT
Nonprofit Content Marketing: Harness The Power of Published Content Joe Fuld You are already Doing Nonprofit Content Marketing Getting your issue out organically through blog posts, videos and infographics might seem like a lift, but most organizations are publishing content all the time. The big issues organizations have with publishing material is harnessing the content they already produce.  What departments of your organization are publishing content? What kind? When? A true nonprofit content marketing strategy will help all parts of your organization come together and focus on publishing content to promote your key issues. A Cross-Department Problem: Nonprofit content marketing is a challenging for organizations large and small because content is created across multiple departments. Building a process to organize content is essential to any organization. A universal content calendar (some of our favorites: coschedule, teamup, Hubspot) will help you look at content being produced and scheduled across all your departments. Change the Way You Write Folks have developed bad wiring habits over the years and they don’t understand the new reality of non-profit communications.  Research Your Issue Understand how people search for issues and how they phrase those issues. The actual way people talk about an issue is more important than the way you say it. Most of the time, how groups discuss their issue is not how people search for it. To be effective with nonprofit content marketing, you need to talk about the issue in a way that it is easily found.   Create Engagement and Conversions Around Your Issue  Think about what a good call to action for your cause would be? Is it writing a check? Calling a lawmaker? Volunteering time? Remember to create urgency, and to ask for action at the beginning middle and end of the post.  Optimize Your Content Research keywords surrounding an issue you would like to talk about in your content. Optimizing around keywords will help you increase your SEO ranking and show up in Google searches Produce Content Often If you wan to build engagement for the long term, you will need to publish content at least 2 times per week.  Ranking for Keywords It may be really tough to rank for certain keywords, but that should not matter if it is issue that you write a ton about. Eventually, your organization will rank for it, if your site has a following, credibility and you engage on the issue.   Have questions about how to get going on Nonprofit Content Marketing? Drop us a note…    Thu, 03 Aug 2017 08:00:36 EDT
5 Books to Consider When Shaping Your Campaign Strategy Elena Veatch Read up to inform your Campaign Strategy  A summer lull in campaign action means extra time to gear up for the electoral battles ahead of this fall, in 2018, and beyond. As Democrats across the country deliberate party priorities and the best ways to communicate our values after a series of losses, you can sit back and do the same with these porch reads. Whether you’re a casual observer of the circus that is the Trump administration or a seasoned strategist plotting next steps, these five books can help inform your campaign strategy.   1. Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign (Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes) Most of us have long since exited the fetal position that November 8 left us in, but only a thorough examination of the 2016 election will set Democrats up for success at the polls in years to come. Shattered is the ultimate campaign post-mortem; a narrative bolstered by anonymous insight from Clinton staffers with little to lose. The authors build a persuasive case that high-level staff in-fighting, excessive trust in analytics over direct voter contact, and above all else, the absence of a clear message plagued the Clinton campaign from the start and turned manageable problems into insurmountable obstacles. The authors’ take on the campaign should be required reading for anyone looking to shape campaign strategy on the left in state, local, and national contexts. 2. Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72 (Hunter Thompson) Thompson’s vivid, rambling account of the 1972 election is endlessly entertaining in its scathing critiques of Nixon and the slate of Democrats looking to challenge his re-election bid. The gonzo journalist laments that candidates too often fail to present voters with a real choice, leading them to resort to voting against someone rather than voting for someone. After the Clinton campaign focused on convincing voters to reject Trump rather than giving them a clear reason to embrace Hillary, Fear and Loathing serves as a timeless reminder for any candidate to know why they’re running for office and to be able to authentically articulate what they stand for. 3. Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People? (Thomas Frank) In 2004, Thomas Frank published What’s the Matter with Kansas? about how conservatives persuaded rural voters from lower socioeconomic backgrounds to vote against their interests by prioritizing their stake in the culture war over their economic circumstances. In Listen Liberal, Frank elaborates on the notion that by failing to continue fighting for the working class in recent decades, Democrats have allowed Middle America to turn solidly red. He charts the changes in liberal ideology over the years and emphasizes the alienating nature of elitism on the left, helping to explain why Trump won. If you’re looking to craft your campaign strategy with an eye toward reeling in folks the party has lost, this is a must read. 4. Losers: The Road to Everyplace but the White House (Michael Lewis) With hilarious anecdotes from the 1996 Republican presidential primary, Michael Lewis makes lovable heroes out of the lower-tier candidates who never had a real shot at the presidency (namely Morry “The Grizz” Taylor). Aside from inspiring my undergraduate thesis on the presidential nomination process, Lewis’s account highlights the absurdities of American presidential primaries to get at the reasons why voters grow apathetic and disengage, serving as another campaign strategy reminder that only authenticity will generate real enthusiasm. 5. Primary Colors (Joe Klein) The initially anonymously published Primary Colors is a classic novel based on Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign. The struggle between idealistic rhetoric and political reality is at the heart of Klein’s work as campaign staff characters seek to reconcile the idea of Bill Clinton as the candidate they revere with the flawed human being behind the facade. With its James Carville-like character frequently crying out that they’re “flying blind” into Clinton’s scandals, Primary Colors provides the ultimate reminder to do thorough opposition- and self-research in any campaign.   Need some more political books to put on your summer reading list? Check out 6 Political Memoirs to Inspire You to Effect Positive Social Change Mon, 31 Jul 2017 08:00:23 EDT
Join our Campaign Training Calendar – Share Your Favorite Campaign Trainings Joe Fuld Progressive Campaign Training Calendar: Help Train Candidates and Managers for 2017/2018  Ever since I was a campaign manager, I have been in search of ways to learn better campaign skills. For an industry that has grown and become more sophisticated, there are surprisingly few campaign training options out there. Some awesome progressive groups and organizations have set out to rectify this. Please tell us about your training so we can spread the word about it on our progressive campaign training calendar. Because if a campaign training happens and nobody knows, did it really happen? Just fill out the form and tell us the name of your progressive group and when your training is happening and we will reach out to you.    The Campaign Workshop runs campaign and advocacy trainings, but our trainings are not a fit for everyone based on budget and location.  But don’t worry – there are plenty of great trainings out there that can help you hone your campaign, tactics, strategy and overall knowledge. We promote and encourage trainings run by other groups and organizations. We are committed to ensuring everyone who wants to get trained for political and advocacy strategy has access to great training opportunities. Add to our Progressive Training Calendar We are in the process of updating our progressive campaign training calendar for 2017 and 2018. If you know of an upcoming progressive training, please let us know, and we will include it in our progressive campaign training calendar to spread the word. No matter the topic – campaign management, advocacy, field, digital, labor organizing, LGBT campaigns, pro-choice campaigns, national races, down-ballot races, environmental activism – there is a training for everyone. Let us know how we can help spread the word about yours. Have questions? Need help running a training? Want permission to use some of our awesome materials? Just want to chat about campaign trainings and why we need them? Feel free to drop us a line, we'd love to talk to you Check out our Advocacy Training coming up here!     Thu, 27 Jul 2017 08:00:29 EDT
The Power of Advocacy Video Storytelling Joe Fuld Advocacy Video Storytelling: The New Nonprofit Super Power Video storytelling is an “it” topic in advocacy and advertising circles. The strategy of delivering a story in the digital age that will get people to engage seems to be the latest goal for many nonprofits. But how can you do it in a consistent, scalable way that achieves your goals? Here are our tips to make an impact with advocacy video storytelling:  1. Video matters now more than ever  For nonprofits and anyone trying to stand out in the digital world, written content is just not enough anymore. Video content has an emotional advantage over written content – it gets higher engagement levels and is put ahead of written content on Facebook and other platforms. 2. Can really you do it? Yes, you can. For advocacy video storytelling, planning is really important. Understanding the message you want to get across in video and building a script could be as easy as taking your highest viewed post and converting it into video or listing five questions and getting someone to answer them.  3. Message matters The true power of advocacy video storytelling lies in the message delivered with emotion. Video allows you to bring emotional content to life in a way that it is hard to do with a blog post. You can see, hear and feel what is going on. That is why it is so engaging. You see your organization's message come to life, and that can help with engagement and donations.  4. The right messenger Who delivers the message matters as much as what the message is. Especially for advocacy video storytelling, you want to make sure the messenger relates to the subject matter in a way that connects with folks’ emotional level. A strong delivery of an easily understandable message can persuade and engage people quickly. It is more important to get the message right and delivered effectively than to have great production value, though it is always nice to have both.  5. Not a big production The cost and time of video production can seem daunting, but with serious editing tools like Adobe Premiere Pro out there, as well as iMovie, we have seen nonprofits produce solid work without spending a lot of money. There may be times where you want to shoot something with higher production value, but there are also times where footage captured on an iPhone 7 is just what you need.     6. The biggest mistake folks make Folks think making a television spot is the same as creating a good digital video; it's very different. Most folks will watch your video on a mobile device. That means they have an even shorter attention span than on their desktop, so you need to front load content. It also means that they may be watching some or all of your video with the sound off, so captioning is really important.  7. Tips for equipment Most folks don’t have a big equipment budget and have pieced together their equipment. Basics start with an iPhone and a wired mic. More advanced – We use a few different pieces of equipment: A Cannon camera, a Mevo camera, a wired lavalier mic, a blue raspberry mic and a wireless mic. But we have bought this equipment over the years and still feel like we are just getting proficient at using it.  8. Platforms we use We use Wistia to host our videos, but I am a fan of Vimeo Pro. YouTube is a fine place to start with video, but if you are serious about it, you will want to host the videos on your site and get the benefits of metrics and keywords that YouTube does not give you.  9. Video styles To name a few ideas: - Testimonials with a strong, thought-out message - Short interviews broken up by captions - Interviews between staff members - Photo animation 10. Practice at digital storytelling Just do it. The more you make video a part of your routine, the better you will be at it. There is a lot of technology out there that can help you deliver a good, clear product.    Have questions? Need help with your advocacy video storytelling? Want to chat about your latest video? Drop us a line.  Be sure to check out our Wistia channel for our video content! Mon, 24 Jul 2017 08:00:48 EDT
Why Snapchat is a Valuable Political and Advocacy Campaign Tool Andrea Mucino Snapchat has created a new way to have conversations—from consuming content and messages to creating and broadcasting it. Through Snapchat, conversations are held in video and picture form rather than through texts, messages, posts, or speech; making Snapchat not only a creative way to get your political and advocacy campaign's message out but a new way to communicate it to a specific group of people. In just the past year, Snapchat’s daily views and users have grown by over 400%. Per day, the average number of video or picture views can be anywhere over 10 billion (surpassing Facebook’s 8 billion daily video views) by the 150 million users (surpassing Twitter by 10 million users). Although Snapchat filters are the main way to reach a lot of individuals, it will specifically help engage a younger user group. Millennials account for 7 out of 10 Snapchat users, and around 60% of all users are between 18-34 years old. This makes Snapchat a unique digital tool to reach a growing and important demographic. Snapchat for an Advocacy Campaign One of the best aspects of Snapchat is the ability to engage a younger demographic of people to jumpstart their involvement in the advocacy campaigns your organization is conducting. Snapchat is easy, it’s accessible, and most importantly, it’s relatable. Think of it as the digital yard sign. Creating a Snapchat account and live-snapping a protest, a conference, or taking pictures of a recent volunteer event and sharing them through a direct communication method is a unique way to reach a new base of people and keep them engaged. Further, geo-fencing a legislative district or state capitol with a unique filter that showcases or highlights your issue can be an effective way to spread your message to key targets. Snapchat for Political Campaigns As campaigns explore more mediums to further their campaign message and objectives, Snapchat has become an increasingly popular tool. The 2016 election is a prime example of using Snapchat’s popularity with a certain demographic. Throughout the Republican and Democratic primaries, Snapchat users could use a special filter with vote totals that updated as they were being counted, in real-time. Snapchat also had special filters to help engage young voters and help get out the vote before election day. When significant political events are happening, like the Democratic or Republican National Conventions, debates, and even State of the Unions, special snap filters are created for each event. Further, a few campaigns have strategically targeted attendees of an opposition party’s event by geofencing their filters to the event’s location. Create Your Own Political Filters for your Political or Advocacy Campaign In February 2016, Snapchat built a feature to make it easier for users to create their own unique filters. From businesses to weddings to an advocacy campaign, anyone can now can design and implement their filter in any region for any amount of time. Of course, the larger the area and the longer the time, the more it will cost to implement a filter. You can personalize pre-made filters, which have various templates to choose from, or design your own. The latter might be a little difficult if you are not a graphic designer, but thankfully there are many gifted artists who can turn your vision into a visually-appealing filter. Here at The Campaign Workshop, we have some of the best graphic designers in DC. We have successfully implemented one-of-a-kind, creative, and unique Snapchat filters for different organizations, and we look forward to creating more filters in the future. Want to learn more about Snapchat as a Political or Advocacy Campaign Tool? Check out our ebook, The Ultimate Guide to Snapchat, here!       Thu, 20 Jul 2017 08:00:11 EDT
Strategic Communications: How to Write a Persuasive Political Speech The Campaign Workshop Using a Political Strategic Communications Plan to Win Over Audiences All candidates for political office should have a strategic communications plan in place, but not all candidates need to worry about writing lots of speeches for their campaign. For local office races, you may only find yourself wishing you had a speech during your announcement and on election night. In those moments, don’t panic! Writing a basic speech is easier than you think. Monroe’s Motivated Sequence There’s a format used by most political speechwriters, whether they realize they’re using it or not, called Monroe’s Motivated Sequence. Using the five components of the Monroe Sequence, you can develop a persuasive argument to communicate just about anything your campaign might need - GOTV, asking for donations, defending a policy - in no time! All you have to do is place your argument into these five strategic steps: 1. Attention: This is where you draw the audience in at the top of a speech. It’s often necessary to welcome people and thank certain members of your audience right away, but try to keep that part short. Instead, focus on engaging your listeners. An attention grabber could be anything from a short personal anecdote to a rhetorical question. It allows the audience to connect with you and settle in for the rest of the speech. 2. Need: The need step could also be known as the problem step. This is where your argument truly begins. In the context of a strategic communications plan, the need step often lays out how a certain elected official or policy isn’t doing the best job. In this phase of the speech, you want to invite the audience to question their current situation. 3. Satisfaction: Satisfaction comes when you provide a solution to the problem that was laid out in the need step. You want to calm the audience’s anxieties by explaining how you are going to make their lives better, and how the problem doesn’t have to exist. Is the problem that the district’s representative is failing to support small businesses? Lay out your plans to promote the local economy.  4. Visualization: The visualization step can be a little bit tricky because it’s fairly similar to the satisfaction step. In the satisfaction phase, you are presenting the details of your solution. Visualization ramps things up a bit by inviting your audience to imagine what their lives would look like if your solution (most likely you getting elected) actually happened. You need to paint a clear picture that the audience can see themselves in. 5. Action: It’s all built up to this - asking your audience to actually DO something about the problem in order to help achieve your solution. In a strategic communications plan, this often means asking for a vote or a campaign contribution. The most strategic action steps are clear and simple. You want the audience to understand exactly what it is that they can do, and then feel compelled to do it. The action step should sum up what the purpose of your speech was all about.  While this is the most standard sequence used in political speeches, feel free to play around with the order of the steps. Just remember that ultimately, each of these steps is helping you prove a point. Don’t be afraid to break minor grammar rules, either. Writing for the ear is different than writing for the eye. If you spoke in the same style as most great writing, you would probably come off sounding a little distant or robotic to your audience. Starting sentences with conjunctions and using common language can actually work really well in a political communications.    Have any questions? Comment below. Check out our other blogs on political communications here! Mon, 17 Jul 2017 08:00:15 EDT
6 Political Memoirs to Inspire You to Effect Positive Social Change Elena Veatch Not every political memoir is just an excuse to remind people you’re running for office; some help inspire positive social change. I’m a sucker for great political memoirs – ones that make me laugh audibly, cringe through vicarious embarrassment, or re-evaluate my life goals. Whether you’re looking for reassurance that things usually work out, validation of your political path, or pure entertainment to help you keep your sense of humor (and sanity) during the Trump presidency, these political memoirs will inspire you to effect positive social change in whatever context you see fit. 1. Who Thought This was a Good Idea? And Other Questions You Should Have Answers to When You Work in the White House (Alyssa Mastromonaco) If there’s one book any young person who cares about politics and government should read, it’s this one. Mastromonaco doesn’t hold back in sharing the moments of self-doubt, anxiety, and frustration that come with the campaign and White House (post-2020) jobs, so many of us aspire to experience. This hilarious account of Mastromonaco’s years spent working for Barack Obama will inspire you to work tirelessly to advance the voices and visions that motivate you. More importantly, her stories will remind you that it’s genuine passion and an attitude that no job is too small that will take you where you want to go in life to effect positive social change – not an Ivy League degree or a five-year plan. 2. Giant of the Senate (Al Franken) Al Franken is among the most refreshing voices out of Washington today, so it’s no surprise that his latest book is full of anecdotes you’d find tough to get out of any other sitting U.S. senator, even off the record. Franken’s hysterical memoir details his path from Saturday Night Live writer to progressive talk radio host to underdog candidate to U.S. senator, and his chapter on what it’s like to work alongside Ted Cruz is underhyped. Franken’s journey will get you excited to work on 2018 campaigns for candidates who you’re genuinely passionate about, remind you that your vote really does matter (Franken won his seat by 312 votes in 2008), and potentially even restore your faith in elected officials. 3. The Speechwriter: A Brief Education in Politics (Barton Swaim) Jon Favreau’s rise may have convinced some of us (namely me) that speechwriting for a candidate is a dream job, but Swaim’s memoir serves as a stark reminder that the voices the rest of us may be asked to channel will rarely be as eloquent as Obama’s. Swaim’s reflections on having to write deliberately badly to capture then-governor of South Carolina Mark Sanford’s voice will help prepare you for every worst-case scenario you may face when you’re working on the creative side in politics or acting as a spokesperson for an elected official (and potentially encourage you to quit an uninspiring job). 4. Locked in the Cabinet (Robert Reich) Witty and wonky with lots of dialogue (both real and imagined), Reich’s memoir on his time working as Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration is always relevant and entertaining. Detailing Reich’s disillusionment with changing priorities among Democrats shifting to the right to better their electoral chances, this one will help you better understand some of the roots of contemporary debates within the Democratic Party that reappeared during the 2016 presidential primary. It’ll also get you as fired up about addressing income inequality as Reich gets on Facebook Live these two and a half decades later. 5. Fire in my Soul (Eleanor Holmes Norton) Whether you know her as your congresswoman or as a dauntless civil rights crusader, you’ll be inspired to get more involved in resisting the Trump administration’s agenda after reading Eleanor Holmes Norton’s incredible life story (partly in her own words, partly through a biographer’s). It’s hard not to channel her passion for fighting for the most vulnerable among us to effect positive social change after this read. 6. The Opposite of Woe: My Life in Beer and Politics (John Hickenlooper) Few things put a hop in my step (sorry) more than an elected official who got their political start after making a name for themselves in the craft beer scene. After opening his own brewpub, Colorado governor John Hickenlooper revitalized downtown Denver, brought people together, and then served his community as mayor for years before running for governor. If you like (good) beer, this story of positive social change is the one for you.  Have any questions? Comment below! Be sure to check out our other blogs on our favorite books here Thu, 13 Jul 2017 08:00:14 EDT
Sourcing Great Photos of Trump Without Breaking the Bank Sophie Thurber Trump Photos to Up Your Digital Advocacy Game  Digital advocacy in Trump’s America means (for many of us) a near unending need for trump photos. Unfortunately, buying rights managed photos of our fearless Commander in Cheeto means running up an epic tab pretty darn quickly. But fear not (at least with regard to photos… I can’t make any promises regarding the rest of what’s going on at this point) – compelling photos of Trump are still available to those of us who don’t have deep pockets and an unlimited Getty account. Obviously, Trump photos abound on the interwebs. The key is making sure that you’re using the photos in a way that doesn’t violate a license and end up costing you down the road. First, never ever just pull an image from a Google image search without figuring out where it came from. Simply including an attribution won’t mean you’re in compliance and protected. Second, if you have a lawyer on staff, double check with them regarding their recommendations for sourcing Trump photos while complying with licensing requirements. My first stop for Trump photos is Creative Commons. It’s a great search tool that will pull options from across a variety of platforms (from Flickr to Wikimedia Commons to YouTube) and has a simple license structure that makes content simple to use, adapt and share as allowed. One of our favorite Flickr sources is Gage Skidmore’s account (you’ll also find all sorts of other politicians there as well). We’ve also had luck with Michael Vadon’s Flickr account. Again, make sure you’re checking the license associated with any photos you want to use to make sure you’re following the letter of the law. Alternately, you can look for public domain Trump photos. Photos that are paid for using taxpayer dollars are considered to fall into this category. This means that official White House photography is generally up for grabs (though this gets a bit more complicated if you’re using photos for purposes related to electoral work). At the end of the day, finding great photos of Trump that won’t break the bank will take some time, but it’s well worth it, in terms of creating quality communications materials and preserving precious resources. So get searching and then have some fun in Canva! Mon, 10 Jul 2017 08:00:44 EDT
Facebook and ActionSprout: Integration for Digital Advocacy Sophie Thurber Digital Advocacy Integration for Action Digital advocacy is about engagement and capacity building—likes are just a starting point. Over the last few years, Facebook’s algorithm has evolved, as has its advertising options, making it easier than ever to capitalize on the audience you’ll find there and turn likes into actions that advance your advocacy goals. One of the best ways we’ve found to help take clients’ Facebook programs to the next level is to integrate ActionSprout into the picture. Digital advocacy works best when you can reach people across multiple platforms. ActionSprout will help you turn Facebook followers into email subscribers and action takers with the click of a button. What’s more, it offers helpful tools designed to maximize your Facebook presence and engage your supporters. Petitions and Pledges ActionSprout works within the Facebook environment so your audience members can use their Facebook credentials to sign actions, and they won't have to leave Facebook to sign up for a featured petition (hosted as a tab within your Facebook page, as well as via its own URL). When Facebook users see your petition on Facebook, they can sign the action with the click of a button, so there’s a lower bar for conversion overall. We find that the best way to really drive traffic to these sorts of petitions is a combination of organic promotion and paid Facebook conversion ads. To run the ads effectively, you’ll need the $99 per month Gold ActionSprout account, which will allow you to place a pixel on the petition to track conversions and help optimize your campaign. Curated Content A successful digital advocacy strategy on Facebook hinges on people seeing your content and engaging with your organization. But it’s increasingly difficult to stand out in the Facebook newsfeed. What you post on Facebook does not automatically show up in the newsfeeds of your followers. Facebook simply doesn’t show every user every post. Some articles estimate that about 5% of your fans will get any one post in their newsfeed. If they don’t see or don’t interact with your post, future posts are even less likely to be distributed/pushed to the top of someone’s feed. What’s more, in June, Facebook announced that it would be prioritizing posts from friends and families. All of this means that to gain traction, you have to post regularly and multiple times per day. Most organizations don’t have the capacity to create unique, original content multiple times per day – this is why curated content is so important. Best-practices for an active Facebook page suggest posting 2-4 times per day with an 80/20 ration of curated to original content (obviously, this can shift if you have more capacity). This is where ActionSprout is really useful. You can follow similar organizations and ActionSprout automatically collects posts that are top-performers, allowing you to share content that you already know has been successful. It will also tell you which of your own posts are performing well (and by how much, comparatively speaking) so that you can analyze what works and build that into your overall strategy. Track Action-Takers Lastly, integrating ActionSprout with your Facebook page can help you track individual action-takers within the Facebook ecosystem. Knowing who is doing what and the frequency with which they’re engaging is an important part of any digital advocacy program. Keeping an eye on which of your followers are engaging and how they’re doing it will help you to identify people who may be ready to take offline action, as well as providing you with a roadmap for the types of Facebook engagement that work and where you may need to invest more time and effort in order to show improvement. Have questions about adding an ActionSprout integration to your Facebook presence for your digital advocacy efforts? Feel free to reach out. Want to learn how your organization and better utlize Digital Advocacy? Check out our Advocacy Training Program here, and sign up today! Thu, 06 Jul 2017 08:00:39 EDT
Twitter for Your Next Advocacy Campaign Andrea Mucino For Your Next Advocacy Campaign, Don’t Underestimate the Power of Twitter. The simple concept of Twitter is to post short thoughts- 140 character thoughts to be exact. In a just a sentence or two, millions of people worldwide (310 million monthly active users) engage in conversations, find information, and express their feelings on a multitude of relevant topics. Whether it be a large event like a presidential debate or a local issue like a ballot measure, Twitter can be a significant social media platform for your advocacy campaign. Twitter is a unique platform in that it is a constant stream of live, mostly public thoughts or conversations. Think of it as a digital Town Hall- it allows all voices to be heard, organizes how these voices are heard, and most importantly, it offers lawmakers or influencers a platform to listen and engage. Through hashtags, Twitter allows users to hyperlink keywords that pertain to a certain topic. Hashtags organize thoughts; they lead to the discovery of information, conversations, concerns, and feelings surrounding an issue. Successful Advocacy Campaigns tend to have a hashtag, and it’s a powerful tool. Some great examples are #BringBackOurGirls, #WhyIStayed, #LoveWins, and #Ferguson. Twitter for Advocacy Best Practices: A central part of an advocacy campaign is garnering that grassroots momentum to induce a change in a community, town, state, nation, or the entire world. Understanding what Twitter has to offer in your Advocacy Campaign is essential to overall strategy. Here are some best practices to keep in mind when using Twitter for Advocacy. 1. Relevancy is Key- The best and the worst part of Twitter for Advocacy is the importance of staying relevant. Strong campaign targeting through ads, targeting keywords, and staying on top of your tweet game is critical. Most well-known Twitter accounts tweet at least 2-3 times a day. 2. Optimize your Tweets- Optimizing for a social media platform you are using is a given when expanding efforts of engagement. Twitter rewards Tweets that include an image or video; the platform is integrated to bring those tweets to the forefront of a user’s timeline. Include hashtags. Specifically, provide a hashtag that will be used as the keyword surrounding your advocacy issue so people can organize their thoughts and find information. 3. Be Authentic- Tweets that appear scripted tend to be sidelined for tweets that are authentic and show the true voice of a campaign. Although there are plenty of best practices to use for Twitter, it’s important to remember that Twitter is constantly changing. Keeping up with Twitter and its updates is the most important best practice for your campaign to follow! For more tools to use on your next advocacy campaign, check out the 100 Best Political and Advocacy Tools list here. Have questions for us? Comment below   Mon, 03 Jul 2017 08:00:09 EDT
Digital Advocacy Opportunities Under a Trump Presidency Joe Fuld Under a Trump Presidency, Take Advantage of Digital Advocacy Opportunities With Trump as president, nonprofit organizations have an opportunity to use digital advocacy to grow engagement and reach donors and constituencies. This doesn't make it any easier to get legislation passed, but it does present an opportunity for growth that may not have existed in the past for your organization. No matter what your issue is - the environment, women's rights, immigrant rights, or infrastructure - there is something that is being done or not done on the federal level. This is a great engagement opportunity right now. Like it or not, the Trump presidency has created unseen issue opportunities. Reach more people: Issue conflict and engagement creates a strong potential to build lists with multiple benefits. You need to plan for the long and short term. Having a proactive strategy is key. When it comes to advocacy, many folks will only think of a reactive strategy. Having a proactive strategy is even more important than a reactive one. List building: Now is the time to list build now more than ever. Engagement is on the rise. Build a coalition: Having more than one organization working on an issue can be a galvanizing force. It may be tempting to go at it alone, but coalitions can help add to power and capacity. It can also aid in joint list building activity. Build your presence: Conflict over issues create lots of opportunity for outreach engagement. Raise money: People who care about your issue will be willing to give money. Have questions on your issue and Trump's digital advocacy opportunity? Comment below and we'll have a team member answer your question. Want to learn how your organization can better utilize digital advocacy? Join us at our next Advocacy Training. Find out more information about our training here. Thu, 29 Jun 2017 08:00:03 EDT
Political Data: Don’t Let Perfect Be the Enemy of Good Lizzie Kendrick Find the Right Mix When Using Political Data for Digital Advertising One of the biggest benefits digital advertising can bring to a campaign is data. Unlike TV and mail, you can hone in on your targets, pay attention to metrics mid-campaign and adjust as necessary, and analyze what worked and what didn’t when the campaign is over. In the past few election cycles, using that political data to micro-target has become increasingly popular. And with good reason. The ability to serve ads to the same list of voters that you are sending mail to, knocking on doors, and calling on the phone is incredibly valuable to your political campaign. You can amplify your message and create continuity between your digital advertising and other communication methods. However, there is a fine line between getting too targeted and casting a wide net. Many campaigns, regardless of size and scope, are hoping to use a very specific list of voters to serve digital ads to. What is important to keep in mind with digital advertising, is that even if you are matching a list to first party data rather than cookies, your match rate will never reach 100%. Often, it will be in the 30-50% range (and that’s a good match). This means that your original list of 100,000 people has now shrunk to 33,000 – 50,000. And that smaller pool of people is not identifiable on the individual level due to privacy laws. An issue you may run into is narrowing your audience too much and missing a large swath of potential targets because they do not necessarily fit within your list of matched online profiles. Outside of first-party political data lists, there is a ton of data that is available for digital advertising. You can create an audience based on consumer history, education level, demographics, household income, location and much more. We have found the most successful campaigns use a mixture of first-party political data and third-party data to reach a wider audience (especially when the target area is small). This mixture of data is integral in a digital strategy so that you aren’t leaving a good portion of your audience on the table. Finding the right balance when it comes to targeting for digital advertising can be tricky, but it’s worth putting in the extra time and thought to make sure your ads are being seen by the right people. Want to learn more? Check out our other blog posts on Digital Advertising here.       Mon, 26 Jun 2017 08:00:57 EDT
7 Questions with Rick Ridder on Campaign Strategy Joe Fuld A Political Pro Talks Campaign Strategy, Per His Latest Book. Rick Ridder chatted with us about campaign strategy and the 22 rules for campaign management outlined in his new book.  Rick is the president and co-founder of RBI Strategies and Research, and the author of Looking for Votes in All the Wrong Places: Tales and Rules from the Campaign Trail. As a former presidential campaign manager and long-time political strategist with experience in American and international elections alike, Ridder has seen it all when it comes to political campaigns and campaign strategy.  1. You have 22 rules for campaign management and campaign strategy. Which one or two are the most important? Probably the rule for candidates that is least followed, but is the most important: "Know Why You are Running." There are scores of candidates from the Mosquito Control Board to the President of the United States who are unable to cogently delineate why they are running for public office. From a management standpoint, this translates to: Know why your candidate is running and be certain it is reflected in the campaign. I've seen campaigns where the management has one idea of what the campaign is all about, while the candidate has a very different idea. 2. Any other campaign strategy rules that didn’t make the cut for the book? There is an implied rule in the book: "Humor is Necessary in a Campaign." Too often, campaigns are run as if the candidate is running for Pope and the only voters are the College of Cardinals. Humor in communications is important. Humor in the campaign office is also important, and please, work for a candidate who can understand and enjoy humor. 3. Did Trump’s win change your perception of some of your rules or change the way you think about campaigns in general? It actually reinforced many of the rules, such as knowing why you are running (Make America Great Again, for example). In the book, I mention the Democrats’ desire (need) to talk tactics such as GOTV capabilities in the last weeks of a campaign. I would now make that into a rule: Never talk tactics. Nobody cares. This only takes you away from focusing on message and strategy. For 18 months, we heard about the Clinton campaign's web operation, field operation, analytics team, research technology, and on and on. Hell, somewhere there must be a story on the required thread count for the sheets in a hotel when Hillary slept there. But there was no message, and the strategy was reflective of the Generals’ strategy in the movie "A Bridge Too Far." 4. Which campaigns that you’ve worked on did you learn the most from? Which losses taught you the most? I have always learned more from European campaigns than from U.S. campaigns.  In Europe, the message has to be more concise because of limited TV, the communications more focused because of the shortened election period, and the definition of the contrasts greater between the candidates/parties because of the multiplicity of parties in a given election. In terms of losses – as a very young staffer for George McGovern, I learned that voters have to want the change you want. So, in a sense I learned the important lesson, "It is not about you. It's about them - the voters." 5. What’s your favorite part about working on campaigns? Least favorite part? My favorite part of working on a campaign is working with many like-minded individuals for an issue/organization/candidate/party in which we all believe in the same cause.  The worst part of campaigns is the ridiculous hours most senior staff think they have to put in and require their subordinates to do the same. The false sub-text is that the longer you work, the greater your capabilities. The result is too many mistakes made by a tired staff. A rule I did not put in the book, but to which I try to adhere with campaign staffs: There are no good ideas after nine at night. 6. Any campaign strategy mistakes that you particularly dwell on? In one of my first years polling, we conducted a survey for a party caucus in a legislative district in Greeley, Colorado. The candidate was a young Hispanic man, and it was conventional wisdom that he did not have a chance in the largely white district against a favorite of the Capitol lobbying crew. Our poll came back with the Hispanic candidate 10 points down (48% to 38%) with six weeks to go. I confirmed conventional wisdom to my client upon reading the initial data. He was taken off a target list. On Election Day, the Hispanic candidate lost the race by 12 votes. At first, I tried to dismiss "our miss" to the margin of error - 1 out of 20 times, you will be outside the margin of error. But when I took a closer look, I found that of the 14% undecided in the race, 90% were Hispanic. Two lessons:  1) Don't be cavalier and let conventional wisdom influence a thorough analysis of the data. 2) Minority respondents often won't tell an interviewer their voting preference. I think about that poll every time we conduct a survey, and wonder whether if the party caucus had put a modicum of resources into the campaign, he would have won. 7. What advice do you have for young people looking to start working on campaigns? I tell them to start out in the field. This surprises many because most young people are attracted to headquarters positions. They want to be a press secretary, the candidate's aide de camp, or a media consultant. But most of the really good operatives start out as field operatives. Why? Because field speaks to voters and listens to their concerns. So when it comes time to communicate, those who have been in the field have a better sense of the real language used to say something and what to say.    Thu, 22 Jun 2017 08:00:33 EDT
Grassroots Strategies: Relationships Matter Joe Fuld Grassroots Strategies Work when You Focus on the Relationship There are many grassroots strategies out in the world, but not all of them work.  So when it comes to grassroots, what actually works? The most effective strategies are built around personal relationships with legislators. When organizations build real relationships between their members and elected officials, their engagement lasts longer and their phone calls get returned. Getting a constituent who has a long-standing relationship with a lawmaker to reach out is a great grassroots strategy but not always easy to accomplish. Making it a priority for your members to have relationships with lawmakers should be the long term critical goal, but very few organizations track the activity of their members and even fewer prioritize that activity. For many, the extent of personal connection is a patch through call or lobby day. A more powerful tactic is asking your legislator to meet for a cup of coffee in your district. Within your existing team, you should be tracking how many of your members have reached out personally to your key legislative officials on a month-to-month basis. You can also use list building to find members and voters who care about your issue, then ask the most willing and active to personally contact an elected official. We call this an engagement funnel. By getting the volunteer to take action, it will engage the volunteer and build a better relationship with them for the future. If your volunteer can then build a rapport with an official, you’ll have an awesome go-to person and a great way to communicate directly to legislators. Check out some of our favorite post on grassroots strategies: https://www.thecampaignworkshop.com/digital-advocacy-metrics https://www.thecampaignworkshop.com/political-campaign-metrics https://www.thecampaignworkshop.com/grassroots-strategy-actionsprout   Have questions on grassroots strategies? Check out our latest ebooks and blogs, or comment below to reach out to one of The Campaign Workshop's team members.      Mon, 19 Jun 2017 08:00:23 EDT
Advocacy Defined: What is Advocacy and what is not? Joe Fuld How Do You Define Advocacy? As state legislatures across the country end their sessions, it is time to plan for the next session and use your set of advocacy tools. We have worked this year to build a one of a kind advocacy training in Austin, Texas October 23rd & 24th, join us! Check out more information on the Advocacy Training here.  Defining What is Advocacy:  According to Mirriam Webster, advocacy is defined as the act or process of supporting a cause or proposal. In the time I have worked in advocacy, the process of supporting causes has changed. From needing lobbyists to meeting with legislators, all the way to how we promote causes, a lot has changed.  These days even the smallest of issues are running multi-year offensive or defensive campaigns.  Even though advocacy tactics have changed with new technology and better targeting, the premise for advocacy remains the same.  No matter what form advocacy; legal advocacy, health advocacy, community advocacy or political advocacy, it is still about supporting an issue or cause and defining your specific goals around that cause.   What is the difference between an advocacy campaign and a political campaign? The difference these days seems less and less clear, but it boils down to express advocacy vs. issue advocacy. Express advocacy means you are asking folks to vote for or against a candidate. Issue advocacy means you are talking about issues.  Why is advocacy so important? Advocacy matters because people are a lot more aware of advocacy issues rather than the back and forth of political campaigns because the issues relate to them more on a personal basis than most political campaigns. Well-thought out advocacy strategies will allow you to expand your member and fundraising base. It will also allow you to tell your story in a way that is less political and more issue-focused.  Have more questions on what is advocacy and how to define it? Drop us a note or come to our training to up your skills.    Thu, 15 Jun 2017 11:00:47 EDT

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