A Familiar Face

Amongst those who utilize political technology, there is often much talk about big data and microtargeting. Like TV and radio, online ads are often the most high-profile and commonly cited tools to engage supporters and drive the vote. However, a new article from the author of Victory Lab, Sasha Issenberg, seems to suggest that the most effective political campaigns are those that are going back to basics by successfully recruiting volunteers and mobilizing them, rather than relying on paid staff.

Proof Points

In the article, Issenberg cites a number of studies and books that seem to run counter to current conventional wisdom: that volunteers are the most effective at driving support and voter turnout. In fact, the decision to use volunteers may have been the key decision that helped George W. Bush beat opponent John Kerry in the 2004 U.S. election. Read more

Using Facebook Chats To Boost Engagement

In our recent episode of RootsCast, our weekly video podcast, a POLITICO article on a recent social media panel at the 2014 CPAC conference was discussed.  Specifically, what advice both Facebook and Twitter were giving to GOP candidates and campaigns in order to increase engagement and (hopefully) voter support.

One of the examples given by the panel was Virginia representative Rob Wittman, who uses Facebook to interact with his supporters and constituents.   Every Friday, Wittman goes onto his Facebook Page to offer the opportunity for anyone to ask him questions. Read more

Lessons Learned From 2.2 Million Emails

I read with interest a post by my email client of choice, Campaign Monitor, who published some figures after conducting an analysis of 2.2 million emails sent by clients from a variety of industries and countries.

Anyone who spends the time to crafting emails to send to a target audience – from newsletters to fundraising appeals – keep a very close eye on open rates. And for good reason. According to Campaign Monitor, even though the number of emails being sent is growing, the number of clicks is declining. Read more

You Got Them To Your Site: Now What?

Over the last little while, I have observed a number of organizations – political parties, advocacy organizations, non-profits – using social media and online advertising to communicate their message to potential supporters. That’s a generally a positive thing, but what I see too often is that the initial effort doesn’t really lead anywhere once the organization gets someone’s attention.

If you are going to spend the time and money to get visitors to your website, video, Facebook page or any other online asset, it is important that you provide ample opportunity for them to become more deeply involved. In many cases, that isn’t happening. I wanted to provide a few scenarios that I have seen repeatedly to help illustrate. The organizations will remain anonymous to keep the focus on the tactics. Read more