BBCon took place outside the Beltway, but we had plenty of Beltway insiders on hand to share tips and tricks of how to run a successful advocacy campaign. Three advocacy superheroes even presented during a session on how to best use the Luminate Advocacy product, right out of the box (no customizations necessary).
Our presenters were Shelby Meyerhoff of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC), Kartik Sribarra of Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, and Kristin Koch of NARAL: Pro-Choice America (all three are truly advocacy superheroes).
During the session, Shelby outlined the work that the UUSC took to build an advocacy program from the ground up. We heard from Kristin about NARAL’s work to grow their housefile through advocacy efforts around healthcare reform. Lastly, Katrik took us on a start to finish journey of Rails to Trails’ campaign to get AAA to fund trails as well as highways. It was a very newsy and informative session.
Here’s a list of my top ten online advocacy tips that I took away from the session.
- Sign up for other organizations’ e-mail lists. Start a sample file.
- Send “tell-a-friend” emails featuring your advocacy campaign along with sample social media status updates, too.
- Set up an interdepartmental online communications team and schedule weekly meetings.
- Start to answer these questions like “What are you hoping to accomplish with your online program?” and “What do you want online action to lead to? How is online action one step in a larger ladder of engagement?”
- Compliment your online advocacy efforts with the use of a survey tool.
- Set up a protocol for reviewing e-mails. Use the “send review e-mail” step to get one or more fresh sets of eyes on your message.
- Include a post-action landing page with social sharing functionality.
- Run paid ads when your advocacy campaign is getting above-average response rates.
- Make sure to showcase an urgent, real-life deadline.
- Go big, or go home.
Shelby even created a handy check-list to help smaller or mid-sized organizations start an online advocacy program. The list can be downloaded at uusc.org/bbcon2012. Who doesn’t love a presentation with party favors?