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Sharing Thoughts On The Tragedy in Orlando

Nearly a year ago, Revolution Messaging joined most of the country in celebrating the Obergefell v. Hodges ruling. After this weekend’s tragic events in Orlando, we join our LGBTQ staff, our friends, our families, and the broader LGBTQ community in mourning.

In the aftermath of the attack, much has been said about the difference between terror and hate, but what is terror if not hate fully realized and enacted against a group of people simply for what they believe, how they self-identify, or who they love?

Just as hatred drives people to lash out on social media, put forward racist platforms, propose legislation banning people from bathrooms matching their gender identity, or block employment protections for LGBTQ workers, it can also manifest itself in mass violence when combined with easy access to assault weapons.

It is Revolution Messaging’s mission to use digital platforms to support organizations and candidates in their work toward equality, inclusivity, and cultural and legislative change. Together, we can prevent atrocities like the shooting in Orlando.

In addition, we fight against complacency. Too often, activism stops at social media posts and memory ends as the next news cycle begins. As activists, we cannot change unjust policy and attitudes without the emotional investment of the people we reach. Together with our clients, we will redouble our efforts to spark conversation that will further a culture of acceptance.

June 12th will be a landmark date, but let’s not let it become the sort of memorial we think about only one day a year. As we stand in solidarity with our LGBTQ team members, friends, and loved ones, let’s honor them and the Orlando victims by renewing our efforts to end the culture of homophobia that begets hate crimes, and pass comprehensive, common-sense gun reform.

Please help the families of the victims by donating through Equality Florida here

Bernie Sanders’ Millions Raised Sans Moneymen

Today, The Daily Beast reported on how the Bernie Sanders campaign has broken with tradition when it comes to fundraising. Instead of employing a fundraising or finance team, the campaign has raised record grassroots contributions on the strength of the candidate, his message, and his digital team.

We at Revolution Messaging are proud to be part of changing the traditional campaign playbook.

Check out the full story here:

Bernie Sanders’s Millions Raised Sans Moneymen
The Daily Beast | By Betsy Woodruff

It’s no secret that Bernie Sanders is raising tons of money, but that fact that he’s doing it without a finance team is highly unusual.

Bernie Sanders loves to talk about the fact that he doesn’t have a super-PAC backing his campaign. But the true state of his fundraising strategy is even more astonishing than that: The Sanders campaign doesn’t have a finance team.

And that’s a big deal.

Every competitive presidential campaign in recent election cycles has had team of people exclusively dedicated to finances: figuring out how much money the campaign needs, putting together a plan to get that money, and then making it all come together.

It’s considered a fundamental part of a modern presidential campaign, right up there with having a team to deal with the press. But Sanders may be changing that.

Call it a reinvention of campaign funding, but the Vermont senator has shown so far that a campaign can operate just fine without a fleet of green-visors counting the cash.

“I’ve never heard of a presidential campaign, even a minor party presidential campaign, that didn’t have a fundraising team,” said one campaign finance attorney. “But, OK if it’s working.”

And, judging by Sanders’s latest fundraising numbers, it is.

“In the past there was always the digital team and the finance team and they hated each other,” said Craig Engle, a campaign finance attorney. “But now you’ve got a situation—at least with Bernie Sanders—where now the digital team and the finance team is the same team.”

Symone Sanders, a spokesperson for the campaign, confirmed to The Daily Beast that the campaign doesn’t have anyone on staff focused full-time on raising money. Instead, she said, the campaign relies on its digital and data teams to bring home the small-dollar bacon.

“We do the bulk of our fundraising through the digital grassroots media,” said Symone Sanders. “We don’t have an official fundraising team.”

“We don’t have quote-unquote fundraisers,” she added. “Sen. Sanders doesn’t go to the fancy dinners where people pay upwards of $5,000 to attend. We have mini-rallies, if you will, fundraiser rallies, if you will. We’ve only done a few of those.”

She estimated that the campaign has had fewer than a dozen in-person fundraising events. Instead, it’s raked in massive amounts of cash—$33 million in the last three months of 2015, and about $73 million over the course of the year—through online fundraising. Politico reported that Revolution Messaging, a firm in D.C., manages the campaign’s online fundraising. In the second and third quarters of 2015, his campaign paid the firm a total of $3.8 million. So: not a terrible ROI.

“I’ve never heard of a presidential campaign, even a minor party presidential campaign, that didn’t have a fundraising team,” said one campaign finance attorney.

Larry Sabato, who heads the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, said Sanders’s decision to opt out of having a finance team is “remarkable.”

“Who isn’t impressed with Sanders’s fundraising?” he said. “He has more or less kept pace with Clinton, and in a key way—small gifts, which have a lot more punch in politics—Sanders has exceeded her by a mile.”

In those last three months, Sanders raised just 4 million dollars less than Hillary Clinton, despite having zero staff dedicated to fundraising. And according to the site p2016, which tracks campaign staff hires, Clinton has upwards of 30 finance team staffers.

It’s a factoid that seems to be giving Team Clinton a little agita. In a fundraising email sent Jan. 6 with the subject line “nervous,” campaign manager Robby Mook solicited $1 donations.

“Last month, we told you about how much money Bernie Sanders’ campaign was raising,” Mook wrote. “Now, the other shoe has dropped: I just found out that he’s outspending us on TV advertising in Iowa and New Hampshire.”

Fundraising-email hysterics are usually worth little more than an eye roll. In this case, though, Mook makes a pretty decent argument: The success of Sanders’s unorthodox fundraising strategy has caught everyone off guard.

Sanders can skate by without a fundraising team because of the kind of donors he attracts. His staff told The Washington Post that 99.9 percent of the people who have given to his campaign have contributed less than the legal limit—in other words, the people backing him aren’t shelling out $1,000 or $2,000 at cocktail party events. And they can give again.

Those small-dollar donors, by the way, take a qualitatively different approach to giving than donors who give up to the legal $2,700 limit. Engle said donors who shell out four figures tend to prefer giving it to a fundraiser they know or at a social event where they feel like they’re part of a group. That’s why campaign fundraising emails—from any campaign—rarely ask for more than $100.

“There’s no point,” Engle said; people don’t give that much money to the Internet.

That’s why candidates like Clinton (and Bush, and Rubio, and Cruz) pony up big bucks to hire fundraising professionals who have connections to open-handed would-be contributors. And getting that money costs a lot of money.

But getting people on the Internet to click a link on Facebook and chip in $25? Doesn’t cost much. And if you have the right candidate—say, for instance, a perpetually disheveled old guy from Vermont with a distinctive message and even more distinctive accent—plus the right digital marketing firm, you can make it work.

Revolution Messaging to Lead Digital Efforts For Bernie Sanders’ Presidential Campaign

Obama Vets Kick Off Online Fundraising, Social Media Campaign for Bernie 2016

Washington, DC– Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign and full-service digital firm Revolution Messaging announced today that the firm has been hired to lead digital efforts for Sanders’ 2016 campaign. The award winning firm led by Obama veterans is heading up social media, online organizing, online fundraising, web design, and digital advertising for Bernie 2016.

“We are excited to bring on the team behind President Obama’s groundbreaking social media, mobile and rapid response digital operations in 2008,” said Sanders’ advisor Tad Devine. “The groundswell of grassroots support for Bernie is already surpassing expectations and Revolution Messaging is the right team to help us harness that energy with innovative, cutting-edge technology.  The campaign will bring together millions of Americans who are sick and tired of the economic and political status quo and want fundamental change in how we do economics and politics in this country.  We believe that Revolution is exactly the right group to help us use social media to achieve that goal.”

“Like a lot of Obama supporters, we were looking for a candidate with a track record of doing the right thing – even if it meant taking on Wall Street billionaires and other powerful interests. A candidate who could inspire a movement,” said Scott Goodstein, founder of Revolution Messaging and external online director for Obama ’08. “Bernie Sanders is that candidate.”

“We are thrilled to bring our award winning ad technology and rapid response digital media tools to this quickly growing movement,” added Goodstein.

In addition to Goodstein, who ran Obama’s social media and mobile programs in 2008, the Revolution Messaging team is led by Presidential campaign and digital strategy veterans including:

Arun Chaudhary – the first official White House videographer, a position created for him at the beginning of the Obama Administration. He also created “West Wing Week” and served as President Obama’s new media road director for the 2008 campaign.
Shauna Daly – the deputy research director for President Obama’s 2008 campaign, she spearheaded the creation of the Stop the Smears website.She also served as senior advisor of American Bridge and as research director of the Democratic National Committee.
Keegan Goudiss – the head of Revolution Messaging’s award-winning advertising team who has pioneered social media data tracking technologies for campaigns and worked for the DCCC and numerous campaigns before becoming a partner at Revolution Messaging.
Walker Hamilton –  One of the lead programmers and site architect for President Obama’s 2008 campaign, now Chief Technology Officer at Revolution Messaging.
Tim Tagaris – With a focus on fundraising, Tim has raised over $40 million online while serving as Digital Director for Senator Chris Dodd’s 2008 presidential campaign, Senator Chris Murphy in 2012, Ned Lamont for U.S. Senate, and other Revolution Messaging clients. From 2008-2011, he built and directed SEIU International’s first Digital Strategy Department.

Kenneth Pennington, who managed social media for Sanders’ senate office, will also be joining the campaign’s digital operations team. During his tenure, Pennington and his team helped Sanders achieve the largest social media following in the U.S. Senate.

Already with the help of Revolution Messaging, Sanders’ presidential campaign outperformed Republican candidates in early fundraising, raising $3 million in four days. To date, the campaign has received 75,000 contributions with an average donation of $43. Additionally, 185,000 supporters have signed up to join the campaign on

Revolution Messaging Media Contact: Moira Mack Muntz, 703-416-9188,

Goodstein in TIME – Former Obama Tech Expert: Democrats Need a Competitive Primary

Revolution Messaging founder and former Obama for America External Online Director Scott Goodstein published the following article on

Democrats risk falling behind Republicans on technology

For much of our nation’s history, there have been insiders who aimed to quash competition within political parties. Even today, far too many party elites seem to think uncontested primaries are better. However, competitive primaries force an evolution of organizing models and new technologies that benefits campaigns and the public. The lack of a vibrant primary in 2016 would put Democrats at risk of falling behind Republicans in bringing technology to bear on campaign strategy — and that would be a big loss for both Democrats and the country.

In 2007 and 2008, Barack Obama’s stiffest competition was Hillary Clinton. Competing against Clinton — a household name, a former first lady, and a well-respected senator — as a first-termer with a name like Barack Obama was truly daunting. When you have an uphill battle, you are going to get creative, and that’s what we did. As part of his early campaign team, we had to get a new and different set of voters to the polls. We needed to find younger voters who would be motivated by Obama’s message. And for the first time in a presidential primary, that meant using social media and sending messages directly to voters’ cell phones.

Back then, social media was seen as a fun new fad that kids were playing with — not as an organizing tool. Facebook had been open to non-college students for less than a year, and MySpace was in its prime. With each tool, we were able to target different voting blocks. We used Facebook mostly for reaching college-educated people, college students, and super-local groups. On MySpace we targeted young voters, military families (it was an easy way to communicate between military members overseas and family members back home), Silicon Valley techies, the entertainment industry, and women over 35.

Over the course of the primaries, having multiple digital teams experimenting with new techniques pushed each campaign to become better and evolve more quickly. And, quite frankly, we enjoyed the challenge.

In Iowa, we experimented to see if setting up a statewide MySpace page would return new volunteers. In Nevada, we built rapid-response interactive voice hotlines and text-messaging tools that reinvented the process for dealing with election violations. In South Carolina, we launched two-way text messages on canvasses to see how we could better tether canvassers to their local headquarters. On Super Tuesday, we created separate MySpace and Facebook groups to empower Obama supporters to self-organize, kept in touch with our hard-core base on Twitter, and used the social networking tool Eventful to send surrogates to rallies and build crowds quickly. In the late primaries, we tested new ways to engage young voters by combining offline advertising and point-of-purchase display advertising with text-messaging and toll-free hotlines that provided additional information.

By the time the general election arrived, we were wielding more powerful tools with a known return on investment. We even built our own social media site (MyBO) for supporters and volunteers. All of that work during the primaries put the party in a stronger position for the general election. It also enabled Democratic firms and private-sector partners at social media sites to build more and more robust tools in the years that followed to allow candidates to engage with voters and vice versa. These advancements put Democrats at a serious advantage over the competition — and none of these advances would have been realized if not for a hotly contested primary.

So what will we be missing if the Republicans have a debated primary and the Democrats don’t? Their candidates and campaigns will get better at giving a rehearsed stump speech and answering questions at debates and fish fries. But the lost opportunities would go far beyond that.

There is no question that Republicans are catching up when it comes to putting technology to work on the campaign trail — a competitive Democratic primary would allow us to stay out in front. We can pressure-test the new advances in ad-technology and mobile marketing by experimenting in each state primary with real deadlines and real results. Can hyper-geo-fencing different messages affect turnout on an election day? Can Democratic campaigns better divide their resources between direct-mail universes, walkable precincts and geo-fenced ads in gated-communities that can’t be canvassed? Can connected TV be integrated in a campaign’s field and in fundraising efforts?

While the political results of a candidate who isn’t battle-tested are well known, the lasting effects from failing to evolve our political technology could not only put us at a disadvantage in 2016, but also put Democrats behind for years to come.

10 New Year’s Resolutions for Democratic Consultants

Scott Goodstein shared ten resolutions with Campaigns & Elections magazine. Be sure to check it out as you plan your year ahead.

10 new year’s resolutions for Democratic consultants

It’s soul searching time for Democratic campaign consultants. There are a multitude of lessons to be learned from the past year — lessons that can help us further our dream of social justice, of equality and, sure, of making a few dollars, too.

It’s time for the consultant class to stop using the same tired, old playbook while expecting different outcomes. It’s time for folks to stop pontificating about change and actually start looking inward. To help get next year’s self-improvement started, here’s a list of 10 resolutions.

See more at:

New Statistics: Mobile Ads Surge — Is Your Mobile Strategy Up to Snuff?

Digital advertising has continued to soar in 2014, according to new data released today by the Interactive Advertising Bureau. Most strikingly, mobile ad spending spiked to $5.3 billion in the first half of this year, surpassing banner ads for the first time (by over $1 billion).

This shift comes as 2014 marked the first year in which mobile phones outpaced personal computers as users’ preferred way to access the web.

With marketers across industries recognizing the public’s shift to smartphones and tablets, political campaigns and organizations should be asking themselves if they have the ad campaigns they need in place to reach voters in the final days before November 4th.

Contact us to learn more about how Revolution Messaging is helping campaigns of all sizes and budgets reach their key voters through the latest advances in technology and data analytics.

Read more in Media Life Magazine’s report:

Tales of Online Ad Scarcity Greatly Exaggerated

Campaigns & Elections

Digital consultants: Online ad scarcity a myth
By Sean J. Miller, 10/17/14

The scarcity of online ad inventory has been greatly exaggerated.

That’s what several digital media strategists told C&E in the wake of a New York Times report that prompted a flurry of interest in the availability of Web video ads down the stretch. Sure, some digital real estate has been staked out, the strategists say, but campaigns still have time and space to get their messages up online.

The Times focused on YouTube pre-roll inventory, which it reported is scarce in certain battlegrounds with less than three weeks to go before the 2014 midterms. Moreover, groups likes the U.S. Chamber of Commerce lamented that they couldn’t spend money online in some races even if they wanted to. “We learned last week that you could not buy digital ads in New Hampshire and Alaska,” Scott Reed, a strategist for the business group, told the paper.

That’s not exactly true, according to digital media strategist Keegan Goudiss.

“Scarcity helps make people want things more but it’s a little over blown,” says Goudiss, a partner at the Democratic media firm Revolution Messaging. “There’s so much inventory out there — both video and display — there really isn’t a scarcity.”

YouTube spots in Maine are at a premium and a newspaper banner ad on the Anchorage Daily News will come at an inflated cost, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get your message out digitally.

“They would have gotten a better price if they had started earlier on, but there’s a ton of inventory out there that people are going to be bidding on,” Goudiss says. “We just have to bid higher.”

Even if YouTube’s pre-roll is booked in your geotarget, Goudiss recommended buying broadcast networks that have separate online streaming channels. “There’s a lot of video networks they can work with,” he says.

Read more at:

6 Digital Questions You Should Ask This Campaign Season

Just a quick reminder to everyone, our team is here to help you with the best ad targeting technology at a cost substantially lower than what you will pay through others. Here are a few key items your team should consider when it comes to digital advertising:

1. Are you reaching people on the right screens?



Do you have a cross-screen strategy to reach older voters on tablets and desktops as well as drop-off voters on their smart phones during their daily commute? Don’t focus all your efforts on that old TV that sits by itself in the corner of the house… all alone…waiting for someone to stop looking at their phone.

2. Are you building your own retargeting audience?

RevMsg can provide you a free snippet of code to put on your website that will allow you to build a retargeting channel of your supporters.

3. Have you bought digital early to save money?

Learn the lessons from campaigns passed! In 2012, the Romney campaign outspent President Obama on digital advertising in Ohio. The Romney folks were bidding too much money on bad inventory…while the Obama team bought out the best inventory with minimum guarantees at a much lower price point! So buy early for better location, better effectiveness at lower costs!

4. Are you timing your digital ads to impact early voters?

As early voting becomes more universally adopted each election cycle, make sure you are prepared and this key portion of the electorate sees your ads before they vote. We can help your campaign get an edge by voter-file-targeting early voters, drop-off voters and young voters with Smart Cookies before they even request an absentee ballot!

5. Have you cookie matched your membership list and voter file data?



Revolution Messaging is offering our current clients free membership data matches with our Smart Cookie technology. Our team belongs to the national voter file co-op and is honored to make the Democratic voter file available to progressive campaigns. What was enormously sophisticated and expensive a few years ago can now be executed to assist down-ballot races spend their money more effectively and turn out the right voters! For more information about our Smart Cookie technology, click here.

6. Are you using the latest in mobile fencing?




Revolution Messaging pioneered mobile advertising for campaigns last election cycle. Don’t be caught spending your mobile advertising dollars with an agency learning the ropes this election. We offer the latest in hyper-local mobile fencing targeting and device ID matching. Don’t know what that means? Let us show you the strength of our mobile advertising technology first hand!

Next steps to building your unique cross-screen plan:
We are happy to discuss these strategies with you and your campaigns to help you reach your target audience in the most efficient and way possible. African-Americans, Latinos, working-women, and young voters all are early adopters of the full use of their mobile phones, tablets and Smart TV devices, if these are your key targets…let’s talk soon.

To speak with someone about digital advertising, call us at 202-299-9393.

RevMsg vs Ben & Jerry’s – The Full Scoop!

This is a tale of two progressive organizations that had a disagreement, but all ended well as cooler heads prevailed!

It started a long time ago in a Twitter universe far, far away…Ben & Jerry’s promotional truck tweeted they were on their way to visit Washington D.C. to deliver free ice cream to people who tweeted at them!

Despite our friendly requests, Ben & Jerry’s passed us by in favor of delivering free ice cream to the likes of Daniel Snyder and his cohorts outside the District. It was the distinct pain of betrayal, and possibly low blood sugar, which led us to produce and tweet our attack ad to the creators of the original attack ad. (Reference: Ben & Jerry’s battled Pillsbury over distribution rights and created “What’s the Doughboy Afraid Of?” campaign.)

Realizing the error of their ways, Ben & Jerry’s was quick to reconcile, delivering two days later. Little did we know, the incident would not go unnoticed by the local press.

The political world also made note of the spat. Even USA Today got in on the fun.

Word traveled quickly and soon the headquarters in Vermont knew the power of rapid response creativity and mixing social media with online videos!

The tale was told to the good people of Burlington and throughout the Green Mountain state.

Sometimes it takes a little doing to get your hands on some tasty frozen refreshment. The same goes for peace. While the ice cream was sweet, two sides coming together to show DC how to lift a spoon, a cup or a cone to help reconcile differences is even sweeter! To show our gratitude for Ben & Jerry’s coming to the table to work out our differences, we released this positive ad.

Social Media Becomes More Shareable

Soon after Google+ was released back in the fall of 2011, Facebook quickly realized that it needed to evolve in order to keep pace with other increasingly visual social networking platforms. To keep up, Facebook developed and rolled-out Timeline to replace profiles, while making sure images and videos became more prominent in a user’s news feed.

Now Facebook has a new trend to keep up with as more of Facebook’s user base is shifting to mobile. But be assured, Facebook has a response to this too. Facebook launched a new mobile site today, as well as iOS and Android app redesigns, which make images three times larger on your screen! With the rise of social networks, such as Pinterest, Tumblr, and Instagram, social media is becoming more visual. And it’s your time to take advantage of this.

Now is the time to use more compelling images to motivate and engage your supporters and members on social networks. With Facebook’s new mobile experience (which will hopefully load faster as more phones utilize 4G), people will be extending their browsing time on their cell phone and your message will catch their eye with captivating images and videos as it now takes up their full screen.

Check out before and after pictures of Facebook’s new mobile design here.