Reaching Policymakers Through New Media march31-final


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Reaching Policymakers Through New Media march31-final

  1. 1. State asset Coalition Learning Projectreaching policymakers through new media<br />Mott FoundationMarch 31, 2010 |Chicago<br />
  2. 2. Reaching policymakers With new media<br />Use the righttool for the right audience <br />Clear, compelling message<br />Humor never hurts<br />Know your state<br />Track results and be willing to change your strategy<br /><br />
  3. 3. Talk directly to your target audiences<br />Inexpensive<br />Easy<br />Limited only by your imagination<br />Fast<br />Find supporters<br />Power of connections<br />Why Social Media? <br /><br />
  4. 4. Twitter Demographics<br /><br />
  5. 5. Facebook Demographics<br /><br />
  6. 6. The rePublic of Facebook<br /><br />
  7. 7. Consider…<br />Twitter<br />48 governors have a personalized Twitter presence<br />At least 10% of state legislators have a personalized Twitter presence.<br />At least 80 state legislative caucuses have a Twitter presence.<br />The top five Twittering state legislatures: <br />Florida, Missouri, Pennsylvania, California, and Illinois<br />Where is your state on Twitter?<br />SOURCE:<br /><br />
  8. 8. Also Consider…<br />Facebook<br />Every governor has a personalized Facebook presence<br />More than one third of state legislators have a personalized Facebook presence<br />Every state has a legislator using Facebook<br />The top five Facebooking state legislatures, by total numbers<br />Illinois, New York, Minnesota, Michigan, and Texas<br />Do you know where your legislators are?<br />Digital Nation:<br /><br />
  9. 9. Social Media Reaches Journalists<br />Over 75% of reporters see blogs as helpful in giving them story ideas, story angles and insight into the tone of an issue. <br />70% of reporters check a blog list on a regular basis. <br />21% of reporters spend over an hour per day reading blogs. <br />57% of reporters read blogs at least two to three times a week.<br />What about your state’s reporters? <br /><br />
  10. 10. Social media in congress<br />Congressional Management Foundation Study :“Perceptions of Citizen Advocacy on Capitol Hill”<br />Surveyed 260 congressional staff in October of 2010 about their opinions on constituent communications including email and social media.<br /><br />
  11. 11. Influence of Social Media on Congress<br /><ul><li>64% say Facebook is an important way to understand constituents’ views
  12. 12. 42% say Twitter is
  13. 13. What are policymakers in your state listening to?</li></ul><br />
  14. 14. Perceptions of Citizen Advocacy on Capitol Hill<br /><ul><li>Facebook and Twitter helpful in 2-way communications
  15. 15. YouTube helpful communicating </li></ul> Members’ views<br /><br />
  16. 16. Answers You need<br />Do your elected officials read constituent emails?<br />Are staffers and the press corps tracking Tweets?<br />Do you know which legislators are Tweeting?<br />Which blogs are legislators reading?<br />Which reporters are on Facebook?<br />Who’s reading your blog? <br />Who’s blogging where? <br />Who’s visiting your website?<br /><br />
  17. 17. Sometimes…<br />Real value often comes without big numbers<br />Who you reach is often more important than how many<br />Advocacy blogs are read by legislators, staff, journalists<br />Speed can help shape outcomes more than sheer numbers<br />You have to be ready!<br />How quickly can you react? <br /><br />
  18. 18.<br />
  19. 19. What new media can get you<br />• Being contacted by a local newspaper interested in turning a blog post into an op-ed<br />• Real-time conversations with journalists and policymakers<br />Having a blog post reprinted word-for-word in a state legislator’s newsletter<br />Legislation introduced<br /><br />
  20. 20. Facebook: What is it good for?<br />P = YES!<br />P Talking to stakeholders<br />P Preaching to the choir<br />P Getting fans to take action<br />P Bite-sized bits of accessible info<br />P UGC: Photos/ Videos /Wall<br />P Connecting with supporters<br />P Increasing name recognition<br />P RSVP for events<br />P Keeping advocates on same page<br />P Sharing talking points<br /><br />
  21. 21. Facebook: what it’s not good for<br /><br />O = not so much<br />O Detailed policy explanations <br />OMedia relations<br />
  22. 22. Facebook Case study<br />Michigan: Save the EITC<br />Goals: <br />Drive traffic to EITC Website<br />Inform allies, stakeholders<br />Tactics:<br />Partner with existing efforts: Senate Dems page<br />Facebook page<br /><br /><br />
  23. 23. Eitc works for michigan<br /><br />
  24. 24. Twitter: What is it good for?<br />P = yes! <br />P Communicating with key audiences<br />P Rapid response <br />P Tends to be insider-y<br />P Quick info<br />P Driving traffic<br />P Elevating your visibility<br />P Being part of the conversation<br /><br />
  25. 25. Twitter: what it’s not good for<br /><br />O = not so much! <br />O Putting real faces on a story<br /><ul><li>Explaining</li></li></ul><li>Making the most of twitter<br />Know the Twitterspherein your community<br />Know who is on Twitter<br />In some states, state house press corps are very active on Twitter, less so in others.<br />Not where people go to learn about policy<br /> …But definitely where they go to learn what’s new<br />Immediate impact<br /><br />
  26. 26. Blogging: What is it good for?<br />More intensive than Facebook, Twitter<br />Serious time commitment, needs frequent fresh content<br />Consider multiple authors<br />Know your audience: Could be other bloggers<br />If post gets picked up in the blogosphere, can gain traction (We’ll see this in the Vermont example)<br />Great for when you can’t do a full-fledged analysis of an issue, but need to get into the news cycle<br />If you can’t sustain a blog, consider intermittent press statements and outreach (KY not frequent blogger but consistent)<br /><br />
  27. 27. Kentucky Youth Advocates<br />President of Kentucky Senate proposes new tax and budget commission. Included in proposal is language about what commission’s findings will be. <br />Before the commission is established!<br />KYA reacts in blog. <br />Points out that it was a bad idea to create a commission of experts and then tell them what they were supposed to find!<br />Press picked up it, and the president of the Senate immediately backtracked, removed that provision from the proposed legislation. <br /><br />
  28. 28. Kentucky Youth Advocates<br />Did it matter how many people read the statement?<br />Not particularly.<br />Because the right people read it.<br />Fluid situation.<br />Fast response.<br /><br />
  29. 29. Vermont Public Asset Institute<br />Problem: Budget shortfall<br />Goals: <br />Balanced approach to balancing the budget<br />Correct misperception that tax cuts lead to jobs. <br />Correct myth that Vermont has the highest property taxes in the country.<br />Show the real effectof tax cuts.<br />Lay groundwork for lengthier analysis showing that the rich were saving so much in federal taxes they could afford to pay a higher state tax.<br />Strategy: Blog post<br /><br />
  30. 30. Vermont Public Assets Institute<br /><br />
  31. 31. Public Assets Institute<br /><br />
  32. 32. Results<br />Flurry of media activity. Radio, print, other peoples blogs, comments to online articles, editorials.<br />As result of blog post, myth about high tax state was widely discussed during the 2010 gubernatorial campaign<br />Post helped to cement reputation as a reliable source of tax and budget analysis and facts.<br />“When we recently found our new Governor spreading another tax myth, we requested a meeting and presented the evidence. We again asked for a tax debate based in fact, and so far he has obliged. His public statements on why we can’t raise taxes have been softened since our meeting.”<br /><br />
  33. 33. results<br />Can we change the world?<br />Sometimes!<br />Introduction of Vt. House Bill 401 which proposes to temporarily raise the personal income tax rates for the highest two income brackets. <br /><br />
  34. 34. Lessons Learned in VT<br />Blogging is good for<br />Complicated issues<br />Controversial issues<br />Get information directly to your audience<br />Not about numbers<br />Short, pithy analysis, easy to read <br />More timely than news story<br /><br />
  35. 35. Growing Together New York<br />Don’t have their own blog.<br />Can they still play in the blogosphere?<br />Yes!<br />5-6 influential blogs in New York <br />Growing Together developed relationships with them<br />Fed them information that bloggers live for—videos, photos, fake news--on a regular basis<br /><br />Blogging is competitive, much more time sensitive than print<br />Bloggers want to write the story while at the press conference<br /><br />
  36. 36. Youtube: what is it good for?<br />P Putting real faces on a story<br />P Bringing high visibility<br />P Poking fun<br />P Easy to share<br />P Makes an easy post for bloggers<br />P Something catchy (fake stories, animation videos, celebrity video) that will "go viral“<br />P Doesn’t have to be expensive<br /><br />
  37. 37. Growing together new york youtube<br /><br /><br />
  38. 38. results<br />CNBC picked it up<br />Went viral<br />Has embed code so easy to repost<br />Got calls from a bunch of legislators who wanted to meet with GTNY<br />Got picked up by the Huff post, more easily readily reblogged.<br /><br />
  39. 39. Growing Together New YorkLessons learned<br />First: Recruit major celebrity<br />Don’t wait until you need them to get to know the new media players<br />Feed the beast<br />Reach out individually with customized emails (small universe)<br /><br />
  40. 40. Together North Carolina<br />Goal: Get governor & legislature to adopt balanced approach to fixing budget shortfall<br />Approach: Video<br /><br />
  41. 41. Together North Carolina<br /><br />
  42. 42. results<br />Result: 6,000+ downloads<br />Governor mentioned the video in meetings with business leaders and legislators<br />Got business leaders involved: appealed to their interest in a trained workforce, voices policymakers listen to that don’t usually call for new taxes<br />Led to blog posts, op-eds, letters to the ed<br />Increased website traffic<br />Helped mobilize broad-based support that was visible at rallies & other events<br />Cost: ~$2,000<br /><br />
  43. 43. Together north carolina<br /><br /><br />
  44. 44. Lessons Learned in NC <br />Don’t need to spend a lot of $$<br />Simple message: “Smart investment, not short-sighted cuts” <br />Use of humor: Plays up rivalry with South Carolina<br />Impact: Governor’s, legislators’, business attention<br />Wider impact than just 6,000 views<br />Used other channels to get the message out<br /><br />
  45. 45. Rules for Success<br /> #1. Don’t make me think.<br /><br />
  46. 46. Rules for Success<br />#2. Have a Clear Goal <br /><br />
  47. 47. Action<br />#3. Clear Call to Action<br /><br />
  48. 48. Motivate Your Supporters<br /> #4. Successful campaigns ask supporters to do something—but something easy, manageable, quick.<br />-Join<br /> -Share<br /> -Embed<br /> -Donate<br /> -Call<br /> -Write<br /> -Like<br /> -Retweet<br /> -Answer<br /><br />
  49. 49. Target Your Audience<br />#5. Know Your Audience Who’s where in your state?<br /><br />
  50. 50. Target Your Tool<br /> #6. Know the strengths and weaknesses of each platform.<br /> -What is Twitter best for? Facebook? Blog posts? E- mail updates? Ads?<br /><br />
  51. 51. Timing<br /> #7. Run campaigns for the time needed—not a day longer. -Too long and you risk message fatigue. See: PBS.<br /><br />
  52. 52. Follow Up<br /> #8. Don’t take supporters for granted.<br /> -Tell people what happened.<br /> -Don’t use that opportunity to hit them up again.<br /> -Ask for feedback. What did we do wrong? Right?<br /> -Learn from your supporters. <br /> -Why would I keep responding to your alerts if you never seem to win??!<br /><br />
  53. 53. Resources<br />Resources<br />For a state-by-state listing of all state legislators on Facebook and Twitter:<br />For an aggregate of all federal legislators on Twitter:<br />Congressional Management Foundation Study: Communicating With Congress:Perceptions of Citizen Advocacy on Capitol Hill<br /><br />
  54. 54. Questions?<br />Jeanne McCannDirector of New Media, The Hatcher Group<br /><br /><br />