Archive for July, 2006

Communicating With Congress: The 3-30-3-30 Rule

At a meeting a few weeks ago, Alex Treadway of National Journal’s Policy Council mentioned using the “3-30-3-30″ rule when communicating with Congress. It sounded like an excellent model, so I asked him to go into some detail for e.politics.

I wish I could say that I invented the term but I did not. Here’s the background:

Over the first year of the Policy Council, we began working with many associations and corporations to build microsites that put their best foot forward in terms of their advocacy messaging to Congress. In a few meetings, I began to hear people refer to a “3-30-3-30 rule” in reference to how they provide advocacy information online. We then began verifying it with congressional staffers, both informally and through some of our surveying. Here’s the basic idea:

(more…)

Add comment July 24th, 2006 Trackback Bookmark on del.icio.us

Quick Hits — July 24, 2006

cpd

Add comment July 24th, 2006 Trackback Bookmark on del.icio.us

Political Podcasting, Text Messaging and Targeted Cable Ads: LA Times Article

Mark Z. Barabak has a good overview article about political campaigns’ use of new technology in the LA Times (requires registration), focusing on podcasting and blogs but with some information about wireless/mobile technology and cable tv. The story’s hook: “Politicians and their promoters are facing the same problem as Hollywood and the makers of toothpaste: How do you sell your product to an increasingly fragmented audience?” Some quick highlights:

  • Cable tv companies may soon be able to deliver ads targeted to a particular household — marketers have been able to slice and dice direct mail recipient lists like this for years, but it’s new to television
  • Campaigns are waking up to the promise of social media and other Web 2.0 technologies to turn casual site visitors into evangelists
  • Over 50,000 people are already subscribing to GOP video podcasts, even with little promoting

Well worth reading, and suggested by a loyal reader (thanks, Dad!).

cpd

Add comment July 23rd, 2006 Trackback Bookmark on del.icio.us

Organization Blogs: What to Think About Before You Start One

IDI’s Blogger Relations Blog has a good checklist of things to consider before your organization or campaign starts a blog. Who’s going to maintain it? What topics are encouraged and what are off-limits? Will you allow comments? And, of course, how does it fit into your overall communications strategy?

cpd

Add comment July 21st, 2006 Trackback Bookmark on del.icio.us

Email: As Cool As Spats and Starched Collars

As Steve Rubel noted a couple of days ago, and as I touched on at the end of the e.politics section on building and maintaining email lists, younger people are using IM, blogs and social networking sites as a replacement for email, which they generally see as a way to get an attachment or exchange messages with an “elder,” not as a way to communicate with a peer. As they move into the workforce, will it change or will they?

I’m a huge fan of email as a communications medium, since it allows for a degree of reflection that IM lacks, but I’m also 37 and set in my ways as an online writer. As a result, I may be missing out on a revolution. But email is embedded in so many office communications streams that I don’t see it disappearing any time remotely soon, though I could see it becoming more the equivalent of a certified letter — an “official” rather than a personal communication. Does this join spam-blockers, list proliferation and recipient exhaustion as another factor that dooms email-list-based advocacy and fundraising to steadily dimishing returns?

cpd

2 comments July 21st, 2006 Trackback Bookmark on del.icio.us

Media Fragmentation and Niche Marketing

Just back from a presentation by the New Politics Institute. I’ll post the video link as soon as they provide it, but in the meantime, here are a couple of quick takeaways:

  • The rise of cable, Tivo and the internet fragments media audiences and helps limit the effectiveness of traditional broadcast advertising (no surprise), so marketers need to go where the audiences are. Microtargeting is vital.
  • Since 2001, the audience for cable tv networks is greater at a given moment than the audience for the traditional broadcast networks, but advertisers are still spending significantly more money on CBS, ABC and NBC than on cable. So, cable is both better-targeted (since its audiences break neatly into niches) AND cheaper. Apparently, the Bush campaign caught on: they spent $40 million on cable ads in 2004, compared with only $100,000 in 2000. The Kerry campaign? Essentially only spent money on traditional outlets and spent very little time on microtargeting in ANY communications medium. (more…)

2 comments July 20th, 2006 Trackback Bookmark on del.icio.us

Online Smackdown: Wal-Mart vs. the Critics

It’s a tag-team deathmatch right here on our beloved internets: Wal-Mart hits its union detractors with a site called Paidcritics.com (with headlines just a hair short of an Onion parody), and the unions return fire with the finest URL yet seen, www.abunchofgreedyrightwingliarswhoworkforwalmart.com. Hilarity (and vicious personal attacks) ensue. Here’s Associated Press coverage, courtesy of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

You gotta wonder how either side comes out of this looking particularly good, though I’m glad we get to watch.

cpd

Add comment July 19th, 2006 Trackback Bookmark on del.icio.us

Email List/CRM Vendors

To supplement the overview of email list building and management, here’s a list of list managment and customer/constituent relations management software vendors. Most of these companies have been around for quite a while and have good track records. I’ll be adding them to the permanent links section (right-hand column of the page) shortly. (more…)

2 comments July 19th, 2006 Trackback Bookmark on del.icio.us

Corporate Blogging Discussion/Book Preview

Debbie Weil, local (DC) blogger and marketing expert extraordinaire, will be previewing her new book on corporate blogging at the 4th Estate (as Debbie has quite helpfully corrected from my original post — I wrote the wrong location) near Farragut North next Tuesday afternoon. Lots of local bloggers and blogger-relations folks will be there, and advocacy organizations and campaigns should be able to pick up some good tips for institutional blogs. Plus, of course, the 4th Estate serves beer….

cpd

1 comment July 19th, 2006 Trackback Bookmark on del.icio.us

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