New Year, New Advocacy Outlook


I'm a government relations girl. Before REQ, I worked at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, on Capitol Hill, and in the Executive Branch. To say I understand advocacy and its importance is an understatement! Here at REQ, I have the privilege of working on a range of advocacy campaigns for our clients.

The New Year means many things to many people. Some resolve to start eating better and exercising more, while others want to create a family budget and stick to it or cultivate a new hobby. But while there are an endless number of personal New Year's resolutions circulating this month, there should be only one professional resolution for those who work in the advocacy space: become more effective at reaching those who matter most. But how do you make this goal manageable? The answer is simple: create one achievable tactic.

With the 114th Congress in full swing, the time has never been better to take an honest look at your advocacy program to determine its strengths and weaknesses. Perhaps the number of users who routinely visit your website to contact their representatives has been growing month after month, which is great! But if Google Analytics has been telling you that these same new users are only coming to your website using their mobile devices and your website isn't mobile-friendly, you have a problem. Luckily, it's a problem you can solve by making it your 2015 goal to develop a new, responsive website (your one achievable tactic). In doing so, you'll create a better experience for existing users while setting the stage to grow your pool of users and engage your base more effectively in the future.

Another great 2015 goal is to develop a new tool to drive a different type of communication to the Hill. Many campaigns have taken to Twitter to thank or scorn members for votes. Does your campaign utilize a 'tweet my rep' tool for your users to interact with members in ways beyond calls and letters? With so many members on Twitter, there's no action quite like getting a member's Twitter to explode with calls for action to solicit a response.

Perhaps in 2015 you really want to get a large following behind your mission. If you're looking to double or even triple your coalition size, social media advertising is a great tool. You can target specific audiences on Facebook - by boosting your posts to People who like your page and their friends or other strategic groups, you'll gain Facebook fans without having to spend a lot. If you're working with a larger budget, consider using Twitter Sponsored Updates with a direct link to join your organization in your call to action Tweet. If you can do both of these things, your numbers can grow even faster.

These are just a few ideas for how to implement your 2015 advocacy goal of improving effectiveness. How do you plan to improve the effectiveness of your advocacy campaign in 2015?