Online Campaigning Workflow

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Facilitated by Matt Holland, True Majority

Session Description

Matt will share his processes and workflows for launching, managing and winning online campaigns. He'll talk about the tools he uses to manage data, communicate and collaborate, and how he automates his work to remain sustainable and focused on what counts.

Session Notes

Online Campaigning Workflow

Session Lead: Matt Holland from True Majority (US based, 600k members, works on moving policy in DC); 7 yrs exp, also does consulting with smaller state-based npos.

Matt’s Assumptions: you do online pol. organizing or make software for folks who do; About the other participants: work on advocacy (not necessarily online), work at an intermediary org for community grps, works on language advocacy (mother tongue education as a political organizing strategy)

3 zoom levels:

1. Macro level, how do you run an ongoing campaign year after year? - has three big goals to keep list alive: 1) political effectiveness – what is it we want to achieve?; 2) growing the list; 3) raising money); *4) Some people suggest 4th leg of stool (member cultivation/retention). The legs are almost never the same length. - Online campaigning is more like operating a sailboat than operating a motorboat. - Pol effectiveness vs fundraising. Immediate asks for $ after actions has tested better than waiting and asking for $ later. We put a soft ask for $ at the end of everything. - David@ Rainforest Action Network: has noticed that smaller grps focus on effectiveness and member engagement, larger grps with 10-100ks have broader focus. RAN has been focusing on using online tools to supplement campaigns and action tactics. You have to train your list to do something every time. Build from action to action. Inform and educate while you engage. 4 tactics: pressure campaign (calls, emails, demonstrate pressure, find and flood); meme campaigning (brand jam a corp logo, not many people involved but more focused on influentials); online to offline (get people to do things in the real world); documentation activities (doc and report on our own activities, push out our own reporting or activities). Doesn’t think you can change anyone’s mind online – turn out your base or give a channel to pent up energy. - Credo intentionally spent time to double their list last year (because they decided they needed more people to take effective actions) and then used the list when Prop 23 came along (they were ok about losing list subscribers). Why have a list if you’re not going to use it?

2. How do you run a particular campaign? What’s the goal we want to achieve (pol effectiveness)? What’s the tool(s) we need to achieve it? Usually, target a member of congress to do something. We know only a fraction of our list will act. Sample, real, Goal: extend unemployment insurance. Easy to understand issue (families wont have money for Christmas). That understanding/emotion can generate the action of supporters picking up a phone. Campaign style organizing vs social movt organizing: lines aren’t clear but generally movt organizing is more durable and leaves capacity behind. We don’t start with tools, we start with what we want to do.

3. What’s the day to day? Q: how do you measure effectiveness? How do you compare the effectiveness of emails vs phonecalls on impacting politicians? Sample Workflow: Maps out three day flow of actions. Each time people act their actions are tracked thru urls. The people who respond get custom follow-ups (like tell a friend). Then send an email that asks people to sign up for call-in day and asks for their cell number to receive a text reminder. People are being cycled ot a web page throughout because it makes it easier to track. People who take the call action are going to get an email w/ an ask to tell a friend after they do it. The email gets written, edited, custom urls inserted, landing page is designed. Tell a friend page is designed etc. The share this links on all the pages have custom tracking urls. Ask for developers: bake in testing sequence for campaigners.

Tools: Matt has used Salsa, Kintera, GetActive

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