Colin Delany Advocacy April 19, 2012

Roving Billboards: Reaching Congress with the Right Tools at the Right Times


More from CampaignTech: on the same panel in which Peter Greenberger talked about instant rapid response, Vox Global’s David Payne discussed integrating your influence channels when you’re trying to reach decision-makers. For instance, he pointed out that Hill staff and regulators will pay a lot more attention to your campaign or issues when they see an online ad, backed up by a print ad in the Post, CQ or National Journal Daily, backed up by TV ads, backed up by news/talk radio ads, backed up by ads in the Metro, backed up by a “roving billboard” on the side of a truck driving around Capitol Hill….

You get the idea: it’s an extension of the classic observation that someone needs to see an advertisement X number of times (I’ve always heard “five”) before it registers. So if you’re trying to influence decision-makers, put your message in front of the right eyes in as many places as possible. Don’t forget to include people-power! All of the above channels work even better when your lobbyists or citizen volunteers stop by to chat about the same issues.

Also, think about the tools that will resonate most at the right times of day: Greenberger talked about “following” influencers around Washington with advertising. For instance, while 8-9 AM is a great time for radio, particularly on stations like WTOP news, the same period is bad for internet advertising, since most staff aren’t at their desks yet. Conversely, 9-11 AM is great for online ads. Lunchtime? Think mobile. Evening? Back to online, to catch staffers watching TV and browsing the web at the same time. A major advantage to a time-centered, multi-angle approach: you’re only spending money on a particular channel when it’s likely to give the best results.

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