86% of Candidates Backed By MD Educators Won Primaries Tuesday
Washington, DC — Revolution Messaging congratulates the Maryland State Education Association on Tuesday’s primary results. 86% of the 275 candidates backed by the MSEA for their support of public education won Tuesday and will advance to the general election.
Revolution Messaging was proud to work with MSEA to create mdappleballot.com — a site that makes it easier than ever for voters to find the pro-education candidates in their district. The site received more than 60,000 visits ahead of Tuesday’s primary.
Through the firm’s innovative and affordable new platform, Revere Exchange, the MSEA was able to efficiently and effectively alert their members about their primary candidates where it is most convenient - online and on their mobile phones. Revere Exchange leverages the latest in targeting technology to run ads at a much lower cost than traditional advertising.
Revere Exchange gives campaigns the expertise they need to precisely target political audiences in ways never before possible. With more voter data than ever before, Revere can reach the right people, at the right place and the right time. It allows microtargeting of very specific demographics and geographies – down to commuters on a specific bus route playing games on mobile phones. All of this means less irrelevant advertising for members of the public and less budget wasted on advertising to folks who are not the intended audience (e.g. out of the district, not likely to vote) for the client. It’s a win-win. Learn more about Revere Exchange here: http://reverehq.com/exchange.
Revolution Messaging is a leader in full service online organizing, offering fundraising, creative, video, mobile, advertising and technology services. The firm prides itself on bringing the cutting edge technology of the Obama campaign to down ballot political and issue campaigns for as little as $99/month. Follow us @revmsg.
Last week, Revolution Messaging unveiled our SMS-based polling place lookup tool, which many of our clients and their supporters or members used to find where to vote on election day. We’re extremely happy that this tool has been a success, but last week’s Hurricane Sandy has made some things uncertain. We are urging users of this service to exercise caution when using it in areas where polling places may be closed, relocated or have their hours changed due to storm-related damage and flooding. The data we deliver with this tool comes from Google’s Civic Info API, and recently Google’s Anthea Watson Strong advised us and other developers using their service as follows:
“The Hurricane Sandy affected states of NY, CT, RI, NJ, MD and VA are still recovering, and we expect to see a number of hurricane related polling place changes. Our data provider is working to collect and publish as many polling place changes as possible. Local election officials are currently focused on disaster recovery and administering the election on Tuesday. To the extent they have capacity to publish changed locations in a format we can use, our data provider is working to ensure we get that information and make it available to you.”
We, along with Google and local election authorities, are doing everything we can to provide accurate information on polling place locations, but in those cases where it may not be certain, we feel it necessary to be honest that local authorities are rightly concerned first and foremost on disaster recovery. Our polling place finder will continue to offer our clients’ members, activists and supporters vital links to allow them to check with the local authorities along with their polling places and addresses, and especially in areas affected by the disaster, we advise them strongly to use these avenues as well.
Revolution Messaging is excited to announce our new polling place lookup tool for the 2012 election. The tool acts as a mobile-friendly way for voters to avoid cluttered and confusing Secretary of State websites when looking for their polling location. The tool uses data from the NOI Voting Information Project (VIP) to instantly deliver voters’ polling places, based on their street address, directly to their phones.
Test the tool yourself by texting LOC and your ADDRESS to 90975 to receive the following text message:
Also provided is the direct link to Revolution Messaging’s state-based Tumblr tool (http://bit.ly/USAVoter). This tool provides additional information, such as voting deadlines, links to all Secretary of State websites and important phone numbers, all on a mobile friendly site. This also ensures people can lookup last minute changes to VIP data, and that Revolution Messaging and our clients are providing the most accurate information to voters.
Interested in learning more? Contact your client representative today at 202-299-9393!
Campaigns and political organizations across America were handed a major victory by the Federal Election Commission yesterday. After a long, hard, well worth it fight, the FEC approved our advisory opinion request to expand mobile payments.
What does that mean for you? First and foremost, we have helped ensure that the new text message donation system is a more accessible, affordable and transparent process for political campaigns. Most importantly, we helped save thousands of dollars for political campaigns.
Accessible – Campaigns will now be able to use shared shortcodes to allow a quicker time to market than the initial m-Qube proposal.
Affordable – Federal campaigns are now allowed to share the costs of the shortcode with other campaigns to save $10,000 to $20,000 in just set up and fees for the ability to use these services.
Transparent – Contributions will be allowed to be processed and reported, and not just simply marked as an anonymous donation of $50 to $200. This would truly make this method of payment a new channel for committees to solicit and report contributions of donors.
“This decision will not only bring this service to political committees faster, but will make it more affordable and open for those using it,” said Scott Goodstein, Revolution Messaging’s CEO and Founder. “It’s a tremendous victory for consumers who will use this technology to support federal PACs of their choosing. Text message fundraising is an innovation we should embrace, but not at the expense of transparency and good policy.”
We are excited for this new process to begin and ready to move forward with our clients to begin receiving the benefits of this new, accessible and efficient donation system.
Revolution Messaging partnered with NCLR and Lake Research Partners at the 2011 NCLR Annual Conference to conduct a straw poll of participants. NCLR came out with the results in a press release today.
Poll conducted at NCLR Annual Conference held in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.—Immigration overwhelmingly trumps both the economy and education as the most important issue for Latinos, according to a recent poll of 547 supporters and attendees at the 2011 NCLR Annual Conference. Almost half (45 percent) of all respondents chose immigration as the top issue, as opposed to jobs and the economy (25 percent), education (21 percent), and health care (6 percent).
“Since the enactment of SB 1070 and other Arizona-style anti-Latino legislation, immigration has vaulted to the top of the Latino community’s key concerns for the first time in polling history,” said Janet Murguía, NCLR President and CEO. “This should serve as a wake-up call to politicians on both sides of the aisle that inaction on this issue will be a huge factor in the upcoming elections.”
The straw poll, conducted in partnership with Lake Research Partners and Revolution Messaging via text message, also revealed attendees’ attitudes about President Barack Obama and provided insight into the 2012 elections. While nearly 80 percent of respondents said that they plan on voting for Obama in the upcoming election, only 29 percent “strongly approved” of the president’s job performance, whereas 44 percent “somewhat approved” and 27 percent “disapproved.”
“With the election just a little more than a year away, Conference participants are looking first and foremost to support and represent the Latino community,” added Celinda Lake of Lake Research Partners.
Survey respondents indicated that they are more likely to vote in 2012 to support and represent Latinos (63 percent), rather than in support of either the Democratic (34 percent) or Republican party (3 percent). This should come as no surprise given the bipartisan lack of action on issues of importance to the Hispanic community.
NCLR—the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States—works to improve opportunities for Latinos. For more information on NCLR, please visit www.nclr.org, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
For any organization-whether it’s a nonprofit or political campaign-there is a list of social media tools that should be kept up with.
Moving up on that list are mobile applications, created by non-profit and political organizations to connect directly to their support base.
If you think it’s social media overkill, think again. Currently, there are 45 million smartphone users in the U.S. With that, 2010 has become the year for mobile apps. In 2009, there were 2.5 million downloads for paid and free apps. Gartner Research predicts that it will increase to 4.5 million downloads, totaling to $6.7 billion in revenue in 2010.
From reading the New York Times to tracking naps, there is an application for just about anything. For political and nonprofit organizations, our biggest tip is to avoid creating a mobile app that’s an RSS feed of an organization’s Twitter or blog. Instead, view the mobile app as a way to creatively inform, entertain and engage users.
The mobile world
What do people have on hand at almost any given time? Keys. Wallet. Cell phone.
Mobile apps should include features that capitalize on information that people want to read and share on-demand. The most valuable kind of application is one that gives information that’s important and relevant to their audience.
To help educate pet owners about toxic plants, the The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) created Pet Safe, an app with a searchable database of plants harmful to dogs, cats and horses. When an animal ingests a suspicious plant, a concerned pet owner can read a detailed profile of the plant, find out what actions they need to take and if necessary, dial the ASPCA Animal Poison Control with just one touch.
Location is key
GPS-enabled mobile devices gives organizations the opportunity to leverage location-based features. Whether it’s finding a local health clinic or polling office, GPS can be used to fit an organization’s cause. One example of GPS being used effectively is the new iPhone app by Volunteermatch. The app makes it easier for people to do good by allowing users to search for local volunteer opportunities based on their location.
Sharing is caring
Allowing users to share information from the app or the program itself can help spread an organization’s message to like-minded friends.
A huge driving force for the application was a free concert featuring Latino pop stars, guaranteed to users who shared the app with their friends through SMS or email. Giveaways, secret shows and meet-and-greets are a few ways to drive online and offline action.
A novel approach
Two way-communication is an important component of any social media approach. To raise awareness about their opposition to Tom Emmer, the Republican gubernatorial candidate, the Alliance for a Better Minnesota created Tom Emmer’s Minnesota, a fake travel app that shows what life Minnesotans would face if he were to be elected.
The section “Things to Do in Tom Emmer’s Minnesota,” gives a guided tour of Minnesota under Tom Emmer’s leadership. One of the suggestions is to visit what would’ve been the “former site of the Mayo Clinic,” a comment on Emmer’s anti-healthcare reform stance. Users are also able to contribute their own “travel tips.”
The last word
All in all, consider why a supporter would want to connect through mobile apps. Is it because they want timely information? Are there other incentives-like in Voto Latino’s case, a free concert? Could it be novel and entertaining like the Tom Emmer Minnesota app?
Lastly, mobile apps are only as effective as their user base. When making an app, consider that even though iPhone and Android sales are on the rise, they still only make up a small percentage of phones in use. comScore’s recent report shows that non-smartphones are the majority. Devices created by Samsung, Motorola and LG make up about 60 percent of the market. So when developing a mobile app, it is possible and important to create one that can operate on a cell phone with a basic data plan, as well as high-end smartphones. The larger audience the app can reach, the bigger impact it will have.
Revolution Messaging was honored to work with Health Care for America Now, the largest coalition of organizations fighting to make quality, affordable health care a right for everyone in America. With so many people in this country in dire need of health care reform, as well as many of our friends and family members, this fight was a personal one.
Our focus when working with HCAN was building a mobile program and interactive voice tools to help with both advancing their message and promoting grassroots action. In addition, we provided an online advertising strategy that focused on experimenting with a wide variety of advertising inventory and landing pages.
Now that the first set of major reforms have become law, it’s important to summarize the lessons we learned:
Putting SMS Into Grassroots
HCAN’s text messaging program was effective and was more consistent in generating Calls to Congress than any other tool. The reason is simple: SMS open rates are exceedingly high and much greater than other forms of mass communication. In addition, supporters could call their Members of Congress easily with a simple click from their phone – no need to even dial.
Don’t Fear Real-time Metrics
It’s easy to misread metrics. A major strength of new media tools is the availability of real-time results. But premature results can lead to the wrong conclusions, especially when a tactic hasn’t had a chance to make its mark. For example, our Call Congress tool combined with a unique toll-free number helped us to track how well paid media was generating calls to Congress. Initial results were lower than expected, but if we hadn’t tested more thoroughly, we wouldn’t have noticed that the paid media was improving response rates from other forms of communication.
New Media Deepens Interaction
Providing an opportunity for target audiences to interact with you matters. This is true with mobile communications, social media, and online advertising. Our highest-performing online ads gave people an opportunity to interact with the campaign using their personal social media accounts. Providing this forum for activists created a space to share personal testimonials, framing the debate and breathing life into the fight. The #sickofit hashtag is still used as a rallying cry for people sharing their personal health care stories on Twitter.
Online Advertising + Social Media = Value-Add To Traditional Media
Online advertising hasn’t replaced broadcast advertising on TV or radio yet, but it definitely deserves a greater percentage of paid media budgets. We were excited to push the envelope and experiment with many new forms of online and mobile advertising to build lists and test messaging tactics. Our advertising work with HCAN demonstrated that online ads shouldn’t mimic offline creative. Applying the message to a new medium requires applying it in new ways. What works in print media often needs to be changed to get attention online. We made a big splash around the broadcast ads on TV with a “Google Ad Blast” – one day of heavy online ad saturation on Google with matching “skins” on prominent websites.
New Media Is Counter-Intuitive — Tests Matter!
One of our favorite ad concepts for HCAN was the FAILephant, a GOP twist on the Twitter Fail Whale. We thought it was clever and played on a communications tool that was generating a lot of media buzz already. The FAILephant ad buy underperformed against our expectations. While the FAILephant will always have a place near and dear to our hearts, our tests told the truth. We can’t always predict what will perform the best. A year of running ads offered us a lot of in-depth information about what worked in HCAN’s push for reform and what didn’t. Of course, make sure you give a concept a chance by making tweaks as mentioned in our 2nd point.
The ability to micro-target and narrowcast easily is a major advantage of online advertising. Want to reach Congressional staff in August while they’re thinking more about their next softball game than about health care reform? Or how about fans of Rachel Maddow who live in Tallahassee? Custom messages increase the chance that users will take action, but a mis-targeted custom message can waste money and turn them off. Using social media profiles, geography and other instantly available data is essential to online advertising planning. Micro-targeting was integrated into all of HCAN’s online advertising plans.
It was an honor to work with HCAN in shaping the fight against private insurance companies who have profited off the old health care system for years while people in need suffer. HCAN’s valiant efforts deserve recognition, especially the members of the new media team we worked with daily. The fact that they were able to hold together the largest progressive coalition in history to enact health care reforms says it all. It was a long fight to get through the first stages of a momentous battle. HCAN has lit the torch and passed it on for us to all to wield in the days and years ahead.