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Kill Your TV Consultant

At the Netroots Nation conference being held in Detroit through this Sunday, Revolution Messaging is throwing down the gauntlet, unveiling the digital firm’s new campaign: Kill Your TV Consultant.

Riffing off the cult-classic “Kill Your TV” bumper sticker campaign, the firm will distribute “Kill Your TV Consultant” laptop/bumper stickers at a booth at the biggest annual gathering of progressive online activists, politicos and tech gurus which takes place in Detroit this Thursday through Sunday. Simultaneously, they will launch a digital ad campaign microtargeted at Netroots attendees. Demonstrating the power of their ad technology, the “Kill Your TV Consultant” ads will be targeting mobile phones, tablets, and computers of those at Netroots using GPS and the IP addresses of WiFi networks at the conference and hotels.

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“The world is going digital, but TV consultants are still convincing campaigns to spend all their money on only one screen that fewer of us watch,” said former Obama tech guru and founder of Revolution Messaging Scott Goodstein.

“It’s time to expose the truth that TV consultants don’t want campaigns to hear: Americans are spending more screen time with their mobile phones and other devices than with their TVs. In the internet age, where smart data driven work is possible, selling TV ads as the staple of any campaign diet is a little dishonest.”

In fact, a report released earlier this year found that US daily smartphone screen time has now surpassed TV. That’s also true worldwide. If one combines smartphone and tablet screen time the total exceeds TV by nearly an hour per day.

“Kill Your TV Consultant is more than a riff on the famous ‘Kill Your Television’ slogan and definitely NOT a bodily threat to our colleagues who deal with political television advertising. We are trying to kill the idea that the centerpiece of the modern political campaign is the costly and data-starved medium of television,” said firm partner and former White House videographer Arun Chaudhary. “The vast majority of the money made in these deals (and the money is indeed vast) is in the ‘ad buy,’ the actual dollars spent on TV station time, not on the research, creative, or strategic communications around a particular spot. This leads to terrible ads and more of them with a tremendous cost to the scant resources of campaigns, especially smaller ones.”

“As fellow progressives who want to see these campaigns succeed, we are sick of seeing high priced TV consultants wring every cent they can out of these organizations,” said Keegan Goudiss, who manages advertising for the firm. “Candidates can reach their target audience with more precision and better engagement for a lot less money by using creativity and going digital.”

Revolution Messaging is the creator of Revere Exchange, which 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.


MD Primary a Win for Education Supporters

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.

MDSEA

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.


What Not to Text – Inspired by Anthony Weiner

As they say, America loves a scandal. What the latest on Weinergate shows is that texting etiquette can easily become cause for media attention and could potentially derail your political career.

So here are some pro tips to get you through this whole SMS world. Disclaimer: some of this content will get graphic. (Below, you can find a nice TMInfographic a.k.a. too-much-information-graphic.)

Rule #1:

When sending a text message, make sure the recipients of that message know you’re the sender. Sending random texts to people may not yield the best reaction. Read: don’t even think about sending a text as Carlos Danger. Everyone will know it’s you (or they’ll think it’s Anthony Weiner). It just creates a danger-ous situation. (See what I did there?)

Rule #2:

The timing of your text messages can be really important. When scheduling your texts, make sure you’re not sending them at an inopportune time. Sometimes past texts you’ve sent can resurface when you’re running for mayor of New York City. It happens to everyone…

Rule #3:

Avoid autocorrect. Or your texts may turn into sexts. And Anthony Weiner can tell you all about that life. That being said, always check for typos and grammatical errors when sending SMS broadcasts.

Rule #4:

When you’re mobilizing your subscribers to action, make sure it’s not to that kind of action. Ask your supporters to make a phone call, RSVP to an event or take a poll – no need for other types of action.

Rule #5:

Sending links in texts can be a great tool, just remember to make sure the links are for mobile-friendly websites. If Anthony Weiner had sent invitations to campaign rallies and events via text instead of invitations for more intimate events, maybe things would have worked out differently. :)

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Latest on SMS Polling Place Lookup – Hurricane Sandy Updates

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.


People Received Thousands of Unwanted Political Spam Text Messages Last Night

Many people received unsolicited spam political text messages last night from anonymous anti-Obama sources. The messages have come from different email sources, including sms@votegopett.com and sms@informedett.com. These abuses threaten what is a very promising technology of text messaging for political engagement. People did not opt-in to receive these messages and ultimately end up having to pay the cost for this unwanted misinformation that appeared on their mobile phone.

Our team at Revolution Messaging has been working hard for over three years to end this type of modern-day push-polling. We filed an official petition asking the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to declare once and for all that this Internet to text message political spam is illegal.

Visit www.pocketspammers.com to learn more about the issue of unsolicited political text message spam and even file an official comment with the FCC that will be soon be addressing this issue. Comments to the FCC are due by November 23rd.

A few of the messages people received last night were:

                                   

Help us fight to end political text message spam and prevent this kind of harassment. Let’s make sure voters aren’t charged for untraceable misinformation in the form of text messages that they never asked for!

UPDATE: Wondering who is behind this? Find out now.


Revolution Messaging Presents New SMS Polling Place Lookup Tool

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!


New App Puts Tools To Fight Voter Suppression In Your Hands

Text OURVOTE to 90975 to verify registration status, check voting rules, find polling locations and report potential voting obstructions

(Washington, DC) – The new Election Protection app, available on all major mobile devices, is the most powerful election protection tool available today. The app was created to empower voters and to ensure that all eligible voters can cast their ballots and have them counted this Election Day.

One of the most important features of the app is the ability to ask questions or report any type of voting problem directly to a team of highly trained volunteers and tap into a coalition of attorneys and legal experts at the national and local level to immediately answer questions and pursue remedies.

“The development of this app was a true collaboration of organizations that are each focused on helping all eligible Americans vote and determined to put the power to protect voting rights directly in the hands of voters,” said Eric Marshall of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

This app, designed and built by Revolution Messaging, turns your mobile phone into a citizen watchdog tool and gives you the ability to connect to the national Voter Protection network by downloading the app from iTunes (search: Elect Protect), or by texting OURVOTE to 90975.  You can even use your phone’s GPS & camera features (iPhone users) to take a photo of the potential violation and geo-tag it to the exact location of the incident.

“As a former Freedom Rider, I know the incredible importance of exercising your right as an American to cast a ballot.  I hope every smartphone holder in the country uses the power now in their hands to fight for every single American’s precious right to vote,” said Harold Ickes, president of Catalist.

The app is available on all major mobile devices (iOS, Android, Blackberry) and works on all smartphones, tablets and through the mobile web.  It is easily shareable between friends and family – just tell them to text OURVOTE TO 90975 – regardless of the type of smartphone you might use. A Spanish language version of the app is also coming soon.

The mobile app allows users in real-time to:

  • Report problems and issues of obstructing voters rights through live hotline directly to the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and use an easy to upload form to geo-tag the location if the problem using smartphone GPS, and even add a photo to the report
  • Verify voter registration status using links to Catalist‘s continuously updated national voter database
  • Submit voter registration forms through Rock-the-Vote
  • Look up polling locations through Google’s “VIP” service
  • See key voting rules & regulations for each state compiled by New Organizing Institute
  • Review what type of machines are used at each polling place compiled by Verified Voting

Download the app today – text OURVOTE to 90975!


Mobile Apps to Help You Through the November Election

Now that National Voter Registration Day is behind us, what’s next? At Revolution Messaging, we are focused on how technology can help strengthen our democracy and we’ve put together a list of three mobile apps that would make George Washington proud.

Election Protection Smartphone App

With this app, you can register to vote, verify your registration, find your polling place, review key voting rules and regulations by state, see what type of machine you’ll be voting on, and file a report regarding any problems and to get answers. So basically, you can do it all. If this app was around in 2000, maybe we could have avoided two wars, the PATRIOT ACT, and innumerable other travesties of the GW Bush presidency because election protection activists would have known that African-American voters were being turned away at the polls in Florida and given broken machines. That’s neither here or there though. Now, we can make sure we stop this.

Our democracy depends upon every eligible citizen being able to cast a vote and have that vote counted. When that doesn’t happen, when there are problems, it is imperative that those who can do something about it find out as quickly as possible. This app allows you to communicate problems quickly and effectively, as well as check the legality of something that seems suspicious, so we don’t end up with another president we didn’t elect.

Ad Hawk from the Sunlight Foundation

Ever watched an ad and thought, “that seems odd. I wish I knew who paid for it?” If so, Ad Hawk to the rescue. From the developers:

Ad Hawk is a free mobile app that allows you to identify political ads as they air and immediately learn about who is behind them. Want to know who is spending money to influence your vote? The app provides valuable contextual information about the candidate, super PAC and issues ads airing on TV and radio this election year. When you see a political ad on TV or hear one on the radio, open the app and click the TV set to have Ad Hawk start listening to the ad. In less than 30 seconds, Ad Hawk will create an audio fingerprint and start searching for a match.  When Ad Hawk finds a match, you will get information about how much money the ad’s sponsor received or spent, where the ad is on the air and media reports about the candidate or political group.

We’ll be using that this election year – let’s see how much money the Koch brothers put behind campaigns this year.

Settle it! by PolitiFact.com

Politicians are about as reliable as the Internet when it comes to your ability to believe everything you hear. Think of Settle It! as a lie detector test for claims made by boisterous politicians (so yes, this app will come in handy at every campaign speech, debate and event). PolitiFact.com says “The app, available in iTunes, Google Play and Amazon app stores, is known as ‘PolitiFact’s Argument Ender’ because it allows you to enter names, keywords and subjects and instantly find relevant Truth-O-Meter ratings.” The app also connects through your social media network, giving you the option to share results through Facebook and Twitter. Want to test your lie detecting skills? The app becomes interactive with its PolitiFact Challenge, “a game that shows a list of factual claims we [PolitiFact] have checked. You have to choose whether each one was rated True, False or Pants on Fire. You earn points for each correct answer and can work your way up through five playing levels, from ‘Intern’ to ‘Aide,’ ‘Lobbyist,’ ‘Pundit’ and then the highest level, ‘Wonk.’” So not only can you access important information, you can also compete with your friends, and we all know it’s more fun when someone wins. We think we can make it to Wonk pretty easily. Up for the challenge?

Now that you’re fully prepared, all you have left to do is VOTE.


FEC Ruling a Victory for Your Campaign

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.

How did we do this? The FEC agreed to all of our requests in the opinion we filed last month:

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.

Interested? Contact us today with any questions or to get started right away.


We’re Raising Our Concerns of Accessibility, Affordability and Transparency to FEC About New Mobile Giving Programs

Revolution Messaging Raises Concerns of Accessibility, Affordability and Transparency to FEC About New Mobile Giving Programs

Filed comments to assure ruling provides fair pricing and equal treatment of all campaigns

Washington, DC (PRWEB) August 03, 2012 - Revolution Messaging, the progressive leaders in cutting-edge mobile strategies, took a stand on behalf of campaigns and organizations seeking to raise money via text message by calling for fairness and equality.

Revolution Messaging commented on CTIA’s request for a Federal Election Commission (FEC) Advisory Opinion to approve mobile donations that was discussed in an open hearing yesterday. This was in addition to Revolution Messaging filing their own request for an Advisory Opinion stating the current opinion as written does not make mobile giving as accessible, affordable or transparent as it should be.

While some of Revolution Messaging’s comments were addressed in yesterday’s FEC hearing, the wireless industry continued to push exclusionary practices that would allow them to approve text message fundraising for one campaign over another.

“The carrier industry clearly stated they want to avoid any controversial issues even though they gladly make money off horoscopes, obnoxious ringtones and pornography,” stated Scott Goodstein, founder of Revolution Messaging. “The irony reaches the extreme as carriers are willing to act as a payment gateway for pornographers, but not politicians. While this ruling was expedited because a congressional race wants to be able to use mobile giving, the comments we heard yesterday made it clear the carriers would not permit the same campaign to use the SMS payment gateway.”

CTIA (the wireless industry) even argues they are just like a media company and can turn down campaigns that they feel are just not appropriate.

“Let’s be honest, the carriers are simply a gateway that operate on federally funded spectrum,” Goodstein stated. “They are not limited by program time like TV or have the same concerns that people are being forced to watch a commercial they don’t like. People sign up for text messages and should be able to have payments processed for candidates or committees that they support without the fear that a carrier will impose their own political agenda on the payment gateway.”

Revolution Messaging also strongly urges the FEC to allow for a discounted political rate to be available to campaigns that would not cause an illegal in-kind contribution to be made. Currently, carriers can charge a service fee of up to 40%, which is higher than the normal rate for non-profit organizations. Since carriers already set the contribution rate for non-profits at 0%, they can easily make a political rate card that is profitable for the industry, affordable to political committees and a low enough percentage to make the service competitive with credit card processing.

“While we are excited the FEC is going to rule on allowing mobile payments, we urge them to make sure the ruling is issued in a way that does not allow a carrier to favor one political action committee over another by allowing one to use this payment system and not allowing another,” Goodstein said. “We recognize and are empathetic to the carriers’ concerns regarding liability, but we need to achieve a balance of protecting the carriers while also fairly opening the system to the campaigns who want to utilize it.”

Listen to the FEC hearing on text message donations.