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MSEA Digital Endorsement Hub Returns for 2016

Downballot website helped to elect 71% of endorsed candidates in 2014

 

By Rob Swanger

In March, Revolution Messaging and the Maryland State Education Association (MSEA) announced the re-launch of MDAppleBallot.com, a digital candidate endorsement hub, updated and rebranded for the 2016 election cycle.

msea_2016

Since its first iteration, MDAppleBallot.com has been a special project. It illustrates that while we take pride in innovation, we also believe in sticking with what works. Sometimes that means improving an outdated method rather than replacing it.

Traditionally, MSEA distributed paper ballots to promote education-friendly candidates. The apple ballots were popular with MSEA members, but for the 2014 election cycle, the group wanted a modernized and more strategic endorsement campaign. Our solution was to replace ink and paper with an interactive website. The result was the award-winning MDAppleBallot.com.

msea

The 2014 project demanded a unique blend of design, development and data management. The website featured a zip code lookup for individuals to discover educator-endorsed candidates in their area and a sign up to receive reminders closer to Election Day or to volunteer.

We developed a full campaign strategy to promote the website, including a media plan and creative for online display, video and mobile. The advertising message urged members to vote for local political candidates who would support the association’s goals.

The site also became the central landing page for videos, ads, direct mail and SMS communications. Thirty-three percent of visitors retrieved their apple ballot, and unique source codes were given to county education associations to track traffic. Digital ads targeted likely supporters of key candidates and saw an excellent clickthrough rate of 1.27 percent in more than 18 different races.

MDAppleBallot.com contributed to the success of MSEA-endorsed candidates, driving votes despite a wave Democratic defeats all over the country. Eighty-six percent of MSEA-endorsed candidates won in the June primary, and 71 percent of endorsed candidates won in the November 2014 election.

With threats to public education stronger than ever, we’re looking forward to seeing MDAppleBallot.com in action for 2016.

Ask us about how digital endorsement technology can help drive votes for your downballot races.


Khadija Released: A Victory for Journalistic Freedom

By Rob Swanger

Revolution Messaging is thrilled to celebrate the May 25 release of investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova from an Azerbaijani prison.

Khadija was imprisoned by the Azerbaijani government in December 2014 in retaliation for her investigation of high-level corruption in the Azerbaijani government and the family of President Ilham Aliev. Her imprisonment is part of a vicious pattern of reactionary intimidation against journalists that also includes blackmail, harassment and physical violence.

Nearly half the world’s population is blinded from truth because oppressive governments actively stifle the press. It is the role of journalists to present objective truth to a country’s citizens, but as we see in cases like Khadija’s, their work is too often challenged by monumental danger.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is an advocacy group dedicated to the idea that democracy cannot exist without freedom of thought, and the freedom to challenge authority. It’s their mission to expose corrupt governments and clear the path for journalists like Khadija.

Revolution Messaging worked with RSF to tell Khadija’s story and to raise awareness around the issue of institutional restriction of the press. We produced a video featuring activist and human rights attorney Amal Clooney in which she described Khadija’s work in Azerbaijan, and the price Khadija paid for doing it.

When Khadija was finally freed, it was important that her story not be forgotten. To optimize video viewership, Revolution Messaging built freedomforkhadija.org to further explain Khadija’s imprisonment, her narrow path to justice, and the threats her colleagues face throughout the world.

The site was equipped with an email signup form inviting supporters to celebrate Khadija’s freedom. The signups served the dual purpose of building a powerful email list that can now be used to gather donations that will help RSF free other journalists.

Revolution Messaging attracted potential supporters by running a digital advertising campaign that delivered targeted ads via social media and retargeted previous visitors to maximize participation.

Khadija’s long-awaited freedom represents more than just a digital success story. It proves that through the power of storytelling, outreach and engagement, people can join together and bend even the most oppressive government toward justice.


Revolution Messaging Named Digital Strategists of the Year, Wins Nine Pollie Awards

By Maeve Stier

It is an incredible honor to be recognized by our peers in the political campaign community. We are truly humbled to announce that the American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC) named Revolution Messaging the Digital Strategists of the Year. The Campaign Excellence Awards are a longstanding tradition but this is the first-ever award for ‘digital strategist of the year,’ a reflection of the dramatic rise in importance of digital strategy for political campaigns.

Last night, the AAPC held their annual Pollie Awards. Dubbed “the Oscars of political advertising,” Pollies are awarded for excellence in political communication and public affairs work. This year, the Pollie Awards recognized Revolution Messaging in nine categories, including Overall Best in Show for Bernie 2016.

We are honored to have won the following categories:

INTERNET – PUBLIC AFFAIRS DIVISION
Web Video Gold #GoodellMustGo – UltraViolet

OVERALL – CANDIDATE DIVISION
Best Internet Campaign Gold – Bernie 2016
Best in Show Gold – Bernie 2016

INTERNET – CANDIDATE DIVISION
Website – Presidential Primary – Democrat Gold BernieSanders.com – Bernie 2016
Internet Advertising – Presidential Primary – Democrat Gold – Bernie 2016
Web Video – Presidential – Democrat Silver Backstage with Killer Mike – Bernie 2016

FUNDRAISING – CANDIDATE DIVISION
Best Use of Overall Internet Fundraising – Presidential Primary – Democrat Gold Bernie 2016 Grassroots Fundraising – Bernie 2016
Best Fundraising Gift With Donation Gold SuperPACK of Supporters – Bernie 2016
Best Use of Email Fundraising Gold Ben & Jerry Email – Bernie 2016

Thank you to everyone whose hard work and creative energy went into making these campaigns a reality, and congratulations to all other Pollie Award winners.


Revolution Messaging helps bring justice to Flint with donations via text message

By Carla Aronsohn and Maeve Stier

While Hollywood was celebrating its breathtakingly terrible track record of inclusion and diversity during the 88th Academy Awards ceremony on Sunday, February 28, another star-studded event focused on bringing justice to to a community in crisis took place on the other side of the country in Flint, Michigan.

#JusticeForFlint - Text JUSTICE to 83224Blackout for Human Rights teamed up with Revolution Messaging, ActBlue Charities and The Tides Foundation to organize a concert fundraiser to benefit those affected by the water contamination crisis in Flint. The event was live streamed online via Revolt TV to thousands of viewers and included performances by Janelle Monae and Stevie Wonder.

Revolution Messaging was honored to provide our SMS broadcast technology to the cause. Our Revere Mobile platform empowered attendees and viewers to effortlessly donate to the #JusticeForFlint Fund. We also provided digital strategy to maximize visibility and boost fundraising, such as promoting the shortcode and keyword during the #JusticeForFlint event and on social media.

To donate, viewers simply texted JUSTICE to 83224 from their mobile phone and clicked on a link to donate.

In just one day, Blackout for Human Rights built a membership base of 10,000 new SMS subscribers and the #JusticeForFlint fund received 4,000 contributions totaling over $150,000. Forty percent of people who joined the SMS list also made a contribution – an exceptional action rate. The hashtag #JusticeForFlint was the second-highest organic trending hashtag on Twitter nationally, topped only by the Academy Awards Oscars hashtag.

Donations are still being accepted. To support communities in Flint affected by the water crisis, text JUSTICE to 83224, msg&data rates may apply.Screenshot of text message - Text JUSTICE to 83224


Revolution Messaging Wins Six Pollie Awards

Progressive Firm Honored for Digital Advertising, Email Fundraising, Websites, Logos and More

WASHINGTON, DC – Revolution Messaging is proud to announce that it has been awarded six coveted Pollie Awards from the American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC), the industry’s highest honor bestowed upon political consultants at the national and international level. Revolution Messaging, a full-service digital firm, was recognized for its creative, website development, advertising and innovation during the 2014 political season.

The winning campaigns included:

2015 Gold Best Website (Downballot Statewide)
Maryland State Education Association’s MDAppleBallot.com

2015 Silver Best Use of Email Fundraising
Americans for Responsible Solutions PAC

2015 Silver Best Mass Transit/Bus Sign
National People’s Action’s Preyday Lenders

2015 Silver Best Internet Advertising for U.S. Senate – Democrat
Americans for Responsible Solutions for Senator Jeanne Shaheen
In conjunction with The Campaign Group, Inc.

2015 Bronze Best Logo
National People’s Action’s Preyday Lenders

2015 Bronze Most Original/Innovative Collateral Material
UltraViolet Board of Tourism

With over 2,400 entries, this year’s contest was the largest in AAPC history.

“It’s an honor to be recognized by the AAPC for our work in 2014,” Revolution Messaging’s Scott Goodstein said. “In a challenging midterm election year for Democrats, we were proud to help progressive candidates and issue campaigns break through and compete in a mobile world.

“It is particularly rewarding for our team to be honored for such wide ranging services as hyper-targeted advertising, logo development, websites and beyond,” added Goodstein. “Stay tuned for more cutting edge digital campaigning in the year ahead. ”

The AAPC announced this year’s winners at the 2015 Annual Pollie Awards & Conference on March 19 in New Orleans, LA. The Pollie Awards (Pollies) are bipartisan honors awarded annually by the AAPC to members of the political advertising and communications industry who have demonstrated superior work on behalf of their candidates and causes. A blind jury of their peers selects AAPC award winners. Esquire magazine has dubbed the Pollies as “…the Oscars of political advertising.”

Revolution Messaging is a leader in full service online organizing, offering fundraising, creative, video, mobile, advertising and technology services. Founded in 2009 and led by key members of the 2008 Obama campaign, the firm is a leader in cutting-edge progressive strategies for a mobile world. Follow us @revmsg.

PRESS CONTACT: Moira Mack Muntz, 703-416-9188, Moira.K.Muntz@gmail.com

 

Revolution Messaging

www.revolutionmessaging.com/

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Revolution Messaging Named Finalist for 2015 Reed Awards

Campaigns & Elections Magazine has recognized Revolution Messaging as a finalist in four categories for the 2015 Reed Awards. The winners will be announced January 23 in Las Vegas, Nevada – and we are honored to make the finalist list for these entries:

Best Web Video for Mayoral Candidate
“Don’t Be a Puppet”
Client: David Catania for Mayor
2014 was the year of the puppet. This video sought to paint Muriel Bowser as a political machine and highlight the danger of being an uninformed voter. “Don’t Be a Puppet” initiated a competitive election, and Bowser even attacked the puppets during debates.

Best Website for Independent Expenditure Campaign
MDAppleBallot.com
Client: Maryland State Education Association
Maryland State Education Association’s Apple Ballot campaign revealed the power of digital in downballot races. We worked with MSEA to bring educator endorsements to the web, complete with responsive design, branding, zip code lookup and SMS Election Day reminders. 86% of MSEA-endorsed candidates won in the June primary and 71% of endorsed candidates won in the November election. On a bad night for Democrats, MDAppleBallot.com helped with driving votes in key down-ballot elections.

MSEA_AppleBallot

Best Website for Issue Advocacy or Public Affairs Campaign
KnowYourCharter.com
Client: Ohio Education Association
KnowYourCharter.com provides data analysis from the Ohio Department of Education in an effort to transparently compare public schools and publicly funded charter schools. In addition to responsive design, branding and analysis, Revolution provided an open-sourced library of scripts that parse, compile and prepare data for SQL import that can be viewed on GitHub for added credibility. The site has been so successful that the conservative Republican governor has spoken out about charter school reform to major state media outlets.

KYC_Screenshot

Best Online Fundraising Program
Americans for Responsible Solutions PAC
Client: Americans for Responsible Solutions
When most people think of SuperPACs and Citizens United, the first thing that comes to mind is a small number of people and corporations donating large amounts of money to influence elections. Americans for Responsible Solutions PAC turned that notion on it’s head in 2014, engaging thousands and gaining an average contribution of less than $50.

ARS_Movement

In 2014, Revolution Messaging won five Reed Awards, including Best Website: Independent Expenditure, Public Affairs Advocacy or Ballot Initiative, Best Use of Viral Marketing, Best Villain, Toughest Television Advertisement and Best Use of Social Media Engagement.


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.


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.


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!


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.