On Friday, New York joined the ranks of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, New Hampshire, Vermont and Washington, D.C. in legalizing same-sex marriages. The fight for marriage equality is far from over, but the victory in New York is a wonderful step in the right direction. There was no doubt, plenty of blood, sweat and tears to help make this happen, so I wanted to use my small little space on this blog to tell you all CONGRATULATIONS and thank you! I cannot even imagine the amount of work it took to bring together the coalition of organizations, legislators, volunteers, celebrities, voters, passionate constituents and dollars to pass this bill. I hope you all are celebrating like crazy because you deserve it!
At the cornerstone of this history-in-the-making moment, was of course, the Human Rights Campaign and their genius use of people and technology. Their effective constituent engagement strategies from mobilizing their supporters and the coordination of staff, field teams to their use of their web properties, social media sites, mobile, Google, video, and much more – is a perfect example of how multi-channel campaigns should work. Let’s take a look at their numbers:
- An unprecedented 30 full-time field organizers across the state have generated over 151,608 constituent contacts to targeted legislators
- Delivered more than 75,515 postcards from constituents to state senators
- Generated more than 47,199 emails from New Yorkers to their state lawmakers
- Generated more than 25,622 phone calls from constituents to their state senators
- Ran twice-weekly phone banks
- Sent 3,272 hand-written letters to targeted state senators
- Released 51 video testimonials featuring celebrities, sports and media figures, everyday people and politicians, all in support of marriage equality
- Sent 460,000 election-related action alert e-mails
- Contributed more than $145,000 through the HRC New York PAC to support pro-equality state Senate candidates
After you’ve lifted your jaw of your desk, remember that it doesn’t stop in New York. According to a recent HRC blog post, “the decisive leadership of Governor Cuomo combined with the strong bipartisan support in the legislature will likely influence other states—New Jersey, Maryland, Rhode Island–that are considering extending marriage equality to their residents. In the past year, a number of national polls (Washington Post/ABC News, Gallup, and CNN) have shown, for the first time, that a majority of the country supports marriage equality. Support for marriage equality has increased by 19 percentage points since 1996, according to the Pew Research Center.”
HRC is capitalizing on this recent shift in public opinion, and their campaign continues on – they are urging people across the country to text notes of support of marriage equality and the message displays on a very cool Google Maps mashup. And check out their New Yorkers for Marriage Equality microsite outlining the details of this monumental effort.
Regardless of cause or size of org, HRC is a leading example of what can be achieved through an integrated, multi-channel approach. They came at the issue from all different directions with a throng of engaged constituents and used a unified, consistent message to achieve their desired outcome. I’m not saying its easy, but they’re a shining example of what’s possible.