Keys to Victory: Internet & Email

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I’ve been asked to talk to students at the Leadership Institute on a workshop titled “Keys to Victory: Internet & Email.” I’m looking forward to giving the LI students practical tips on how to use the internet and email to achieve advocacy success.

Some of the areas I’m going to be covering include:

– Email list, email relationship building, and email permission marketing.
– Blogging, RSS feeds, and buzz building.
– Facebook, social networks, and online community building.
– Flickr, and viral photo advocacy.
– Video, YouTube and other video distribution sites.

My goal is to provide tips on how to use the Internet, and its related tools, to appeal to outside constituents and stakeholders, how to effectively call to them action, and successfully advocate for your cause or issue. Feel free to share thoughts, ideas, or tips. In the meantime, you can get some bonus reading from Matt Lewis that provides basic strategic-level thinking on the user of internet and email in political activism.

Here is a paragraph in Matt’s article that caught my attention:

Every effective tactic employed by political campaigns is, by nature, intrusive — and annoying. Nobody likes being called on the phone, getting junk mail, or having unannounced strangers knock on their doors during dinner. We don’t like political TV ads either, so we turn the channel (when we can). Yet, the pesky, pushy campaigns that most aggressively employ these time-tested tormenting tactics are victorious on Election Day. As conservative icon and president of conservative training organization The Leadership Institute, Morton Blackwell, says, Nothing moves in politics unless its pushed.

I understand Matt’s point, and at its basic premise, I agree. In advocacy, you have to “move-to-action” which by nature is somewhat intrusive. But, what if you can get permission? Or, what if you can recruit an “Army of Davids” to advocate for you, and to do what would otherwise be intrusive pushing within their circles of trust?

Let me see if I can paint you a picture. A stranger that keeps barging into your home un-invited is intrusive, but a trusted friend that has an open invitation to come by any time is welcome. The relationship — the permission — makes all the difference. You might not always be able to effectively secure “permission” but by using social networking tools, you can recruit other’s to “push” for you.

Matt links to these other related web pages that I’m going to be reviewing as I prepare for my presentation.

Study Finds Door-to-Door Campaigning Increases Latino Voter Turnout
Dean’s Internet Revolution

A final thought for this post:

In legislative or advocacy project management, the job is to pick up this new tool and use it to connect, engage and move your constituents to action. Just because you are picking up a new tool, does not mean you forget, or leave out, all the political or advocacy strategic thinking you have been trained to use.

The key is integrated strategic thinking AND execution.

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