This month’s political consultant is Stefan Hankin
The Evolution of Advocacy Strategies
Advocacy strategies have changed a lot over the last 20 years. When I was a chief of staff in the New York State Legislature, I don't remember there ever being a real advocacy campaign around public support of an issue that focused on legislators. The main way groups moved legislation was to hire a lobbyist and that was really it. There were occasional print ads and lobby days, but day-to-day mass contact from constituents that were driven by member groups were few and far between. Today, we spend a lot of time running advocacy campaigns on the state level. Issue advocacy tactics that were once only used on large, federal issues are now seen on smaller federal issues as well as state and municipal issues.
Good Voter File = Good Democratic Direct Mail
Most Democratic candidates should be able to get access to a good voter file, with some useful models, through your state party. (Depending on your state party’s rules, you may need to look for another source for some non-partisan city races and/or primaries.) Your state party file is likely your first and best option as a candidate – and it likely uses many of the data sources below – but if that isn’t possible take a look at these firms. After all, your Democratic direct mail is only as good as the data you use to send it. All of the descriptions are directly from the firms’ own websites.