Author Archives: Brett Bell

4 Things You Need To Know About NationBuilder

In the political tech space, NationBuilder is a very popular platform for building around online mobilization. I have used NationBuilder on campaigns and have completed the “Certified Expert” course. So I have had a chance to explore tool and its capabilities. Because NationBuilder seems to be the “go to” platform for political and advocacy campaigns at the moment, I thought I would offer some thoughts for those who are looking at building a site using NationBuilder or incorporating it into their digital advocacy programme. Read more

Traditional Campaigning Needs Scrutiny

In many ways, traditional campaigns haven’t changed in 30 years or more. Anyone who has ever run any kind of political campaign know that there are fairly consistent pillars of contemporary campaigns: brochures, signs, print/TV/radio ads, phone banks, canvassing and (more recently) digital. As an individual who advocates for a robust digital presence, I am constantly asked to provide evidence that money spend on online campaigning will produce concrete, measurable results.

That is understandable. Politics is about managing scarcity; so it is not a surprise that those managing a campaign would want to ensure that allocated funds are spent wisely. And one of the more compelling reasons to spend on digital is because of the ability to track and test everything you do. With standard analytics you can determine – with a great degree of accuracy – what does and does not work. Read more

How Not To Defend Yourself Online

Long-time Mayor of Brampton Susan Fennell is in a tough campaign to be reelected. According to a poll conducted in the spring, Fennell is polling at around 18%, putting her in third place. One of the key reasons for this, observers say, is an expense controversy that has dogged Fennell for quite some time.

In response to this reality, Fennell has launched a Brampton Truths initiative, which looks to counter some of the allegations around her. The Mayor has tweeted a link to an email her team sent to the media responding to allegations. Her team has also decided to take the fight to social media, setting up a Twitter account and Facebook Page. Read more

Rethinking Hashtag Campaigns

If you have been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that I approach hashtag campaigns very cautiously, as I have talked about here and here. But recently I have started to rethink the utility of hashtag campaigns, primarily in the area of raising awareness.

There is plenty of data to support the statement that hashtags work. I wrote about some of that data here. As I noted in that post, even Twitter itself has data to show that hashtags increase engagement for both individuals and brands. As my colleague Mark pointed out last week, it makes more sense to jump on an existing hashtag than try and start your own one. Read more

Crowdfunding For Political Campaigns

Everyone in the political space knows how hard it is to raise money. This week, I read an interesting article in TechVibes about how more and more non-profits are turning towards crowdfunding, as more traditional donation campaigns see declining results: “Internet-facilitated fundraising methods, such as crowdsourcing, allow people to raise money for niche causes that might be closer to the heart than those supported by large, amorphous entities such as the United Way, which has seen a steady decline in donations over the past five years in Greater Vancouver.” Read more