Report On Advocacy Analysis - 2009
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Report On Advocacy Analysis - 2009

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A report on the social media and advocacy tools employed by America’s leading trade associations, pressure groups and cause organizations.

A report on the social media and advocacy tools employed by America’s leading trade associations, pressure groups and cause organizations.

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  • The methodology of this analysis was limited to asking a simple yes or no question - are organizations incorporating and utilizing 14 specific communication tools?

    As rightly pointed out by representatives of API and BIO, both organizations have developed robust (what I define as) secondary education, advocacy and communication platforms. In their respective posts, both representatives shared how they are fully taking advantage of a number of different social media/online communication tools to make their case to voters and elected officials. They should be applauded for their work and commitment to freeing information and engaging the public.

    I agree with their posts that these secondary platforms should be recognized – but that was not the nature of this report. Possibly future analysis could (should) be expanded to look at additional online advocacy platforms and not be limited to the methodology of this report.

    However, I will say that it is imperative for communicators and marketers to remember – just because you know you are there doesn’t mean I know you are there. Branding, search, promotion and marketing are essential as well as what words and strategy one is using to make (or not make) the connection to a cause/advocacy platform.

    It is crucial to make information and sites easy to find and forward. Consider that many searches don’t go past the first page – simply using social media logos to drive focus to specific sites can go a long way. I have driven over the 14th Street Bridge many times to reach Capitol Hill – but it is still nice to have some signs helping me along the route.

    Thanks for the input and interest in this analysis. It has certainly developed some much needed debate and stimulated thoughts on future analysis.
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  • I too enjoyed this study but have to question the level of research. Listed on the left side of our home page is a link to BIO's blogs and podcasts. From there, you can access our six blog homes as well as BIOTech-Now.org, which also hosts or links to these blogs, provides links to our Linked In and Twitter communities (with widget), hosts podcasts (as well as links to the podcasts on iTunes), offers email sign-ups for updates, and provides links to our YouTube channel. More, our list of our social media and blog homes on bio.org includes a link to the robust I Am Biotech.org which also lists all of our social media resources and includes direct connect links to our Twitter, YouTube, MeetUp, and Facebook communities. This does not include the communities we have developed around our BIO International Convention, also available off of direct links on our As an organization representing one of the most innovative industries in the world, we pride ourselves as being leaders in developing and engaging in social networking and Web 2.0 tools to help advance knowledge of and engagement with our industry. I encourage your researchers to take a closer look as you continue this important work.
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  • Has anyone else had download problems? Looks like an interesting report but most of the text is missing when I try to download.
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  • Hi there, I’m Jane Van Ryan with the American Petroleum Institute (API). I enjoyed reading this study and think there is plenty of valuable information in here, but wanted to point out that API is actually quite active on a number of the social media platforms measured in the study through our education and advocacy site energytomorrow.org.

    Please check out my comment on TechPresident for more details.

    Best, Jane
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  • 1. Social Media and Advocacy Analysis 2009 Social media and advocacy tools employed by America’s leading trade associations, pressure groups and cause organizations Prepared by: Page 1 October 12, 2009
  • 2. Contents Executive Summary ...................................................................................................................................................... 2 Methodology ................................................................................................................................................................ 4 Key Findings .................................................................................................................................................................. 4 Advocacy Center ........................................................................................................................................................... 5 Facebook ....................................................................................................................................................................... 6 MySpace........................................................................................................................................................................ 7 Blog ............................................................................................................................................................................... 8 Twitter........................................................................................................................................................................... 9 LinkedIn....................................................................................................................................................................... 10 YouTube ...................................................................................................................................................................... 11 Digg ............................................................................................................................................................................. 12 StumbleUpon .............................................................................................................................................................. 13 Widget......................................................................................................................................................................... 14 Email ........................................................................................................................................................................... 15 Badges ......................................................................................................................................................................... 15 SlideShare ................................................................................................................................................................... 17 Flickr ............................................................................................................................................................................ 18 How Organizations Scored.......................................................................................................................................... 19 Engagement ................................................................................................................................................................ 20 Top Organizations ....................................................................................................................................................... 21 Middle Organizations.................................................................................................................................................. 22 Bottom Organizations ................................................................................................................................................. 23 Organizations Reviewed ............................................................................................................................................. 24 Contact Information ................................................................................................................................................... 27 Page 2 October 12, 2009
  • 3. Introduction Nearly a year after President Obama’s historic campaign enhanced voter communications and engagement to previously unseen levels by utilizing readily available online tools and websites, we committed ourselves to analyzing how America’s leading trade associations, pressure groups and cause organizations are using the same technologies and techniques to engage their supporters and shape legislation. In this report, 2ndSix and Tribe Effect™ identified fourteen online advocacy tools, websites and grassroots techniques that serve as the foundation for online advocacy programs. From the email signup to the newer tools such as a blog badge, we reviewed the organizations’ online and social media advocacy tools based on these fourteen requirements over the course of a ten-week period concluding with a final review on October 2, 2009. The information in this report is timely and concluded late enough in the year to provide ample time to embrace these tools. In this report, we did not analyze or provide commentary on the quality or quantity of the advocacy communications and engagement; we simply measured presence and employment of tools only. Some organizations did extremely well, such as the Sierra Club and Service Employees International Union with scores of 71% and 64% respectively, while three organizations scored zeros. Overall, there is a lag in the implementation of the new media tools. Many of the organizations reviewed in this report have not yet embraced or employed many of the readily accessible online communication and social media tools. Many groups in this report do have an advocacy action center and email signups, but most, 75 of the organizations reviewed, had four or fewer online new media tools. The average score of the organizations reviewed was 24%, meaning 76% of the most commonly used social media tools are not being utilized to communicate with members, voters and other constituencies. The data collected in this report provides a baseline from which organizations can measure themselves from a social media and online advocacy perspective. Individuals, organizations, corporations and small businesses are joining Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites at a surprisingly rapid rate. This is where people are communicating about issues, politics and products as they relate to their lives both personally and professionally. Social media and social networking offer remarkable tools for trade and member organizations as well as tremendous opportunity to expand their reach. It is our opinion that It is critical for advocacy organizations to not only share legislative positions of their organization, but to join in the conversation already taking place among voters via social media. To succeed in today’s new communications environment, advocacy operations must now think in terms of harnessing social media tools to engage in a dialogue, listen, interact and understand what supporters and constituencies are saying and hearing about the issues. These organizations stand to gain long-term benefits from establishing a deeper relationship with members, supporters and decision-makers by establishing a social media connection that has not previously been tangible. Marc Ross Christine Stineman Chris Lisi 2ndSix Tribe Effect™ Chris Lisi Communications Page 3 October 12, 2009
  • 4. Methodology All data is based on availability during the time the study was conducted (August 3 – October 2, 2009). Considerations 102 of America’s leading trade associations, issue advocacy groups and cause organizations were reviewed in this report. The organization selection was determined based on a variety of characteristics including published national organization rankings, political action committee contributions, lobby expenditures, brand identification and political reputation from a mix of industries and causes. Criteria Fourteen categories of social media and online communication and website interaction tools were reviewed. The categories, listed below, were determined based on the prevalence of use by the general public, Capitol Hill, the media and decision-makers. 1. Advocacy - Did the organization have an advocacy/grassroots action center on the start page of their website? 2. Facebook – Did the organization have a presence on Facebook – page and/or group? 3. MySpace - Did the organization have a presence on MySpace – page and/or group? 4. Blog – Did the organization have a blog? 5. Twitter – Did the organization have a Twitter account? 6. LinkedIn – Did the organization have a presence on LinkedIn? 7. YouTube – Did the organization have a YouTube channel? 8. Digg – Did the organization have a Digg account? 9. StumbleUpon – Did the organization have a StumbleUpon account? 10. Widget – Did the organization have a readily available widget that could be deployed? 11. Email – Did organization allow for easy email signup on the start page of their website? 12. Badges – Did the organization have readily available blog badges that could be deployed? 13. SlideShare – Did the organization have a SlideShare account? 14. Flickr – Did the organization have a Flickr account? A method of simple confirmation from the front page of the organizations’ website as well as social media user accounts was used. For example: Does the organization have a blog? Yes or No? If yes, score 1 point. If no, score zero. Key Findings Individual graphs have been prepared based on the fourteen online advocacy tools, websites and grassroots techniques reviewed as well as overall graphs to provide a quick overview of the where organizations are on the advocacy tools and engagement axes. Page 4 October 12, 2009
  • 5. Advocacy Center Did the organization have an advocacy/grassroots action center on the start page of their website? Yes 84 No 18 Percentage 82% Advocacy Center An advocacy/grassroots action center is on the start page of a website that allows for a quick legislative updates and/or a call to action for members to communicate their position on a bill or regulation. Page 5 October 12, 2009
  • 6. Facebook Did the organization have a presence on Facebook – page and/or group? Yes 37 No 65 Percentage 36% Facebook A global social networking website where users can add friends and send them messages, update their personal profiles to notify friends about themselves and the causes they care about. Additionally, users can join networks organized by city, workplace, school, cause and region. The website's name stems from the colloquial name of books given at the start of the academic year by university administrations with the intention of helping students get to know each other better. www.facebook.com Page 6 October 12, 2009
  • 7. MySpace Did the organization have a presence on MySpace – page and/or group? Yes 8 No 94 Percentage 8% MySpace A global social networking website where users can add friends and send them messages, update their personal profiles to notify friends about themselves and the causes they care about. Additionally, users can join networks organized by city, workplace, school, cause and region. On MySpace users can create a private community on to share photos, journals and interests with a growing network of mutual friends and allies. www.myspace.com Page 7 October 12, 2009
  • 8. Blog Did the organization have a blog? Yes 32 No 70 Percentage 31% Blog A blog (a contraction of the term "weblog") is a type of website, usually maintained by an individual or organization with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order. Many blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject; others function as more personal online diaries. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, Web pages, and other media related to its topic. The ability for readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of many blogs Page 8 October 12, 2009
  • 9. Twitter Did the organization have a Twitter account? Yes 34 No 68 Percentage 33% Twitter A free social networking and micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read messages that are text-based posts of up to 140 characters. These messages or tweets are displayed on the author's profile page and delivered to the author's subscribers who are known as followers. Senders can restrict delivery to those in their circle of friends or, by default, allow open access. Users can send and receive tweets via the Twitter website, Short Message Service (SMS) or external applications. While the service, itself, costs nothing to use, accessing it through SMS may incur phone service provider fees. www.twitter.com Page 9 October 12, 2009
  • 10. LinkedIn Did the organization have a presence on LinkedIn? Yes 35 No 67 Percentage 34% LinkedIn A business-oriented social networking site mainly used for professional networking. The purpose of the site is to allow registered users to maintain a list of contact details of people they know and trust in business. Not only does LinkedIn allow users to connect professionally and build relationships with people in a particular, but it also allows users to research companies or organizations with which they may be interested in working with or for. www.linkedin.com Page 10 October 12, 2009
  • 11. YouTube Did the organization have a YouTube channel? Yes 24 No 78 Percentage 24% YouTube A video sharing website on which users can upload and share videos. YouTube displays a wide variety of user- generated video content, including movie clips, TV clips and music videos, as well as amateur content such as video blogging and short original videos. Most of the content on YouTube has been uploaded by individuals, although media corporations including CBS, the BBC, UMG and other organizations offer some of their material via the site, as part of the YouTube partnership program. Unregistered users can watch the videos, while registered users are permitted to upload an unlimited number of videos. www.youtube.com Page 11 October 12, 2009
  • 12. Digg Did the organization have a Digg account? Yes 2 No 100 Percentage 2% Digg A social news website made for people to discover and share content from anywhere on the internet, by submitting links and stories, and voting and commenting on submitted links and stories. Voting stories up and down is the site's cornerstone function, respectively called digging and burying. Many stories get submitted every day, but only the most Dugg stories appear on the front page. Digg's popularity has prompted the creation of other social networking sites with story submission and voting systems. www.digg.com Page 12 October 12, 2009
  • 13. StumbleUpon Did the organization have a StumbleUpon account? Yes 1 No 101 Percentage 1% StumbleUpon An internet community that allows its users to discover and rate Web pages, photos, and videos coupled with a personalized recommendation engine which uses peer and social-networking principles. Web pages are presented when the user clicks the "Stumble!" button on the browser's toolbar. StumbleUpon chooses which Web page to display based on the user's personal preferences, ratings of previous pages, ratings by his/her friends, and by the ratings of users with similar interests. Users can rate or choose not to rate any Web page with a thumbs up or thumbs down, and clicking the Stumble button resembles "channel-surfing" the Web. StumbleUpon also allows their users to indicate their interests from a list of nearly 500 topics to produce relevant content for the user. www.stumbleupon.com Page 13 October 12, 2009
  • 14. Widget Did the organization have a readily available widget that could be deployed? Yes 3 No 99 Percentage 3% Widget In computer programming, a widget (or control) is an element of a graphical user interface (GUI) that displays information which is changeable by the owner, such as a window or a text box. The defining characteristic of a widget is to provide a single interaction point for the direct manipulation of a given kind of data. In other words, widgets are basic visual building blocks which, combined in an application, can allow companies or organizations to send dedicated messages which can be populated on their supporters webpages or blogs. Page 14 October 12, 2009
  • 15. Email Did organization allow for easy email signup on the start page of their website? Yes 55 No 47 Percentage 54% Email A section of a website’s start page that allows for quick signup of email newsletters and/or alerts. Page 15 October 12, 2009
  • 16. Badges Did the organization have readily available blog badges that could be deployed? Yes 0 No 102 Percentage 0% Badges The ability for organization or cause to allow their supporters, allies or members to share their support of a brand identity or cause graphically through buttons, icons, favicons, gravatars, avatars, and badges. Page 16 October 12, 2009
  • 17. SlideShare Did the organization have a SlideShare account? Yes 24 No 78 Percentage 24% SlideShare A web based application for sharing presentations, documents and pdfs. SlideShare features a professional community that regularly comments, favorites and downloads content. Content is also allowed to easily spread virally through blogs and social networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook and twitter. Individuals and organizations can upload documents to SlideShare to share ideas, connect with others, and generate leads for their businesses or causes. www.slideshare.net Page 17 October 12, 2009
  • 18. Flickr Did the organization have a Flickr account? Yes 9 No 93 Percentage 9% Flickr An image and video hosting website and online community platform. Flickr asks photo submitters to organize images using tags (a form of metadata), which allow searchers to find images related to particular topics, such as locations or subject matter. Flickr was also an early website to implement tag clouds, which provide access to images tagged with the most popular keywords. www.flickr.com Page 18 October 12, 2009
  • 19. How Organizations Scored 3 organizations scored 0 points 21 organizations scored 1 point 15 organizations scored 2 points 21 organizations scored 3 points 15 organizations scored 4 points 7 organizations scored 5 points 10 organizations scored 6 points 4 organizations scored 7 points 4 organizations scored 8 points 1 organization scored 9 points 1 organization scored 10 points No organizations scored 11 or higher Page 19 October 12, 2009
  • 20. Engagement Measurement of intensity and the number of tools utilized Page 20 October 12, 2009
  • 21. Top Organizations Organization Total Score Total%%% Sierra Club 10 71% Service Employees International Union 9 64% International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers 8 57% American Wind Energy Institute 8 57% Human Rights Campaign 8 57% National Electrical Contractors Association 8 57% Business Roundtable 7 50% League of Conservation Voters 7 50% National Beer Wholesalers Association 7 50% U.S. Telecom Association 7 50% National Rifle Association 6 43% Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers 6 43% American Farm Bureau Federation 6 43% American Insurance Association 6 43% Consumer Electronics Association 6 43% U.S. Chamber of Commerce 6 43% National Association of Convenience Stores 6 43% National Association of Realtors 6 43% International Dairy Foods Association 6 43% National Association of Home Builders 6 43% United Food and Commercial Workers Union 5 36% American College of Cardiology 5 36% American Physical Therapy Association 5 36% American Society of Anesthesiologists 5 36% National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors 5 36% National Association of Manufacturers 5 36% Machinists/Aerospace Workers Union 5 36% Page 21 October 12, 2009
  • 22. Middle Organizations Organization Total Score Total%%% National Air Traffic Controllers Association 4 29% National Federation of Independent Business 4 29% National Mining Association 4 29% Teamsters Union 4 29% American Road and Transport Builders Association 4 29% American Chiropractic Association 4 29% Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America 4 29% National Association of Broadcasters 4 29% National Retail Federation 4 29% National Venture Capital Association 4 29% Nuclear Energy Institute 4 29% Sheet Metal Workers Union 4 29% American College of Radiology 4 29% International Mass Retail Association 4 29% National Roofing Contractors Association 4 29% National Restaurant Association 3 21% Air Transport Association of America 3 21% American Academy of Ophthalmology 3 21% American Beverage Association 3 21% American Gas Association 3 21% American Institute of Architects 3 21% American Institute of Certified Public Accountants 3 21% Associated General Contractors of America 3 21% Cellular Telecom & Internet Association 3 21% Communications Workers of America 3 21% Edison Electric Institute 3 21% Information Technology Industry Council 3 21% National Cattlemen's Beef Association 3 21% National Community Pharmacists Association 3 21% Plumbers and Pipefitters Union 3 21% American Chemistry Council 3 21% American Health Care Association 3 21% American Hospital Association 3 21% Ironworkers Union 3 21% Motion Picture Association 3 21% National Rural Electric Cooperative Association 3 21% Page 22 October 12, 2009
  • 23. Bottom Organizations Organization Total Score Total%%% Advanced Medical Technology Association 2 14% Aircraft Owners and Pilots 2 14% American Financial Services Association 2 14% American Forest and Paper Association 2 14% American Gaming Association 2 14% Carpenters and Joiners Union 2 14% Credit Union National Association 2 14% Painters and Allied Trades Union 2 14% Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America 2 14% Recording Industry Association of America 2 14% American Cable Association 2 14% American Council of Life Insurers 2 14% American Petroleum Institute 2 14% Association of American Railroads 2 14% Biotechnology Industry Organization 2 14% American Bankers Association 1 7% American Dental Association 1 7% American Medical Association 1 7% American Nurses Association 1 7% American Optometric Association 1 7% American Trucking Association 1 7% America's Health Insurance Plans 1 7% Federation of American Hospitals 1 7% Food Marketing Institute 1 7% Independent Petroleum Association of America 1 7% Independent Community Bankers of America 1 7% Independent Telephone and Telecom Alliance 1 7% Mortgage Bankers Association 1 7% National Association of Federal Credit Unions 1 7% National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors 1 7% National Automobile Dealers Association 1 7% National Cable and Telecommunications Association 1 7% National Petrochemical and Refiners Association 1 7% Operating Engineers Union 1 7% Petroleum Marketers Association 1 7% Pharmaceutical Care Management Association 1 7% Grocery Manufacturers of America 0 0% Dairy Farmers of America 0 0% Wine and Sprits Wholesalers of America 0 0% Page 23 October 12, 2009
  • 24. Organizations Reviewed Organization Total Score Total%%% Advanced Medical Technology Association 2 14% Air Transport Association of America 3 21% Aircraft Owners and Pilots 2 14% Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers 6 43% American Academy of Ophthalmology 3 21% American Bankers Association 1 7% American Beverage Association 3 21% American Cable Association 2 14% American Chemistry Council 3 21% American Chiropractic Association 4 29% American College of Cardiology 5 36% American College of Radiology 4 29% American Council of Life Insurers 2 14% American Dental Association 1 7% American Farm Bureau Federation 6 43% American Financial Services Association 2 14% American Forest and Paper Association 2 14% American Gaming Association 2 14% American Gas Association 3 21% American Health Care Association 3 21% American Hospital Association 3 21% American Institute of Architects 3 21% American Institute of Certified Public Accountants 3 21% American Insurance Association 6 43% American Medical Association 1 7% American Nurses Association 1 7% American Optometric Association 1 7% American Petroleum Institute 2 14% American Physical Therapy Association 5 36% American Road and Transport Builders Association 4 29% American Society of Anesthesiologists 5 36% American Trucking Association 1 7% American Wind Energy Institute 8 57% America's Health Insurance Plans 1 7% Associated General Contractors of America 3 21% Association of American Railroads 2 14% Biotechnology Industry Organization 2 14% Business Roundtable 7 50% Carpenters and Joiners Union 2 14% Cellular Telecom & Internet Association 3 21% Page 24 October 12, 2009
  • 25. Communications Workers of America 3 21% Consumer Electronics Association 6 43% Credit Union National Association 2 14% Dairy Farmers of America 0 0% Edison Electric Institute 3 21% Federation of American Hospitals 1 7% Food Marketing Institute 1 7% Grocery Manufacturers of America 0 0% Human Rights Campaign 8 57% Independent Community Bankers of America 1 7% Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America 4 29% Independent Petroleum Association of America 1 7% Independent Telephone and Telecom Alliance 1 7% Information Tech0logy Industry Council 3 21% International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers 8 57% International Dairy Foods Association 6 43% International Mass Retail Association 4 29% Ironworkers Union 3 21% League of Conservation Voters 7 50% Machinists/Aerospace Workers Union 5 36% Mortgage Bankers Association 1 7% Motion Picture Association 3 21% National Air Traffic Controllers Association 4 29% National Association of Broadcasters 4 29% National Association of Convenience Stores 6 43% National Association of Federal Credit Unions 1 7% National Association of Home Builders 6 43% National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors 5 36% National Association of Manufacturers 5 36% National Association of Realtors 6 43% National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors 1 7% National Automobile Dealers Association 1 7% National Beer Wholesalers Association 7 50% National Cable and Telecommunications Association 1 7% National Cattlemen's Beef Association 3 21% National Community Pharmacists Association 3 21% National Electrical Contractors Association 8 57% National Federation of Independent Business 4 29% National Mining Association 4 29% National Petrochemical and Refiners Association 1 7% National Restaurant Association 3 21% National Retail Federation 4 29% Page 25 October 12, 2009
  • 26. National Rifle Association 6 43% National Roofing Contractors Association 4 29% National Rural Electric Cooperative Association 3 21% National Venture Capital Association 4 29% Nuclear Energy Institute 4 29% Operating Engineers Union 1 7% Painters and Allied Trades Union 2 14% Petroleum Marketers Association 1 7% Pharmaceutical Care Management Association 1 7% Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America 2 14% Plumbers and Pipefitters Union 3 21% Recording Industry Association of America 2 14% Service Employees International Union 9 64% Sheet Metal Workers Union 4 29% Sierra Club 10 71% Teamsters Union 4 29% U.S. Chamber of Commerce 6 43% U.S. Telecom Association 7 50% United Food and Commercial Workers Union 5 36% Wine and Sprits Wholesalers of America 0 0% Page 26 October 12, 2009
  • 27. Contact Information Marc Ross 2ndSix (703) 598-3242 marc@2ndsix.com @microadvocacy Christine Stineman Tribe Effect™ (515) 707-2734 cstineman@tribeeffect.com @tribeeffect Chris Lisi Chris Lisi Communications (202) 549-0696 chris@lisicommunications.com Page 27 October 12, 2009