Friday, July 29, 2011

Best Practice - Facebook Campaigns for President - Romney Style

Mitt Romney
2012 Presidential candidate Mitt Romney is using Facebook for his campaign in an interesting way.  His tagline "Believe in America" is pre-designed on a downloadable sign that can be accessed from his Facebook page.  Supporters are urged to write a note on the sign, take a picture with it, and submit it to the Romney campaign for possible inclusion on the site.

Download the sign here.

With over 1 million likes so far, this campaign seems to be attracting the attention of supporters from all corners of Facebook.

How can you interact with potential supporters in a fun and memorable way?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Is There an App for That? App's for Lobbying

Practically everyone either has or is thinking about having an iPhone or iPad.  You can actually do more with that thing than play Angry Birds -- you can use it for your lobbying and advocacy work.

Check out the iTunes App Store and do some simple searches for Congress, government, advocacy, lobbying and other related key word searches.  Someone has created an App for Michigan political contributions that allows searching out anyone that has contributed to Michigan members of Congress.  Another App is a directory to the Michigan legislature and includes pictures, bios and contact information.

These Apps are becoming more and more popular and are likely available for your state as well as the federal government.a

Check out Congress in Your Pocket .  They have several different reference Apps available that will become necessities for you advocacy efforts.  There are many competitors entering this field and most are cheap and easy to use.

Congress in Your Pocket currently covers the following units of government:

New York

Here's the sample of the Michigan legislature App:

Michigan in Your Pocket
 Now you can have all of the members of the Michigan Legislature and their key staff right in your pocket.
MICHIGAN offers you all of the vital information you need to be an active and effective citizen. 
 Michigan+ ($4.99) provides you with contact, staff, campaign and biographical information. MichiganPro($9.99) keeps you updated for one full year. MichiganPro for Android and BlackBerry ($29.99) keeps you updated for one full year and adds access from any computer.
Search for the legislator you want to contact and then call, email, or post feedback to their web forms. Visiting the state capitol? Tap on any address and get directions using Google maps. Want to follow the money? Tap on campaign finance and get a list of top contributors, industries, and economic interests. Want to follow legislation? Visit the "More" section and search for the bills you want to track and see how much the each member raised for his or her most recent campaign.
The applications include bookmarks you assign, a link to the official legislature bill information system, a special tab for new members of the legislature, a link to the governor's official website, a link to theMoney In State Politics Michigan page, a link to the Detroit Free Pressmobile website, our Twitter feed and blog, polls on issues, user feedback, FAQ, and the ability to email us updates on members of the legislature. 
Our goal is to maintain the most comprehensive and up-to-date data on members of the Michigan Legislature. Information in these applications is strictly maintained by our team, which is led by Lisa McGraw, who lives in Michigan. We also receive helpful updates from our users, which we check out to make sure they are correct.
  • Full name
  • Color photo
  • District and political party
  • Title
  • Mailing address with link to a Google map
  • Official website
  • Telephone number
  • Email address or web contact form
  • Key staff names
  • Committee membership
  • Campaign news
  • Campaign finance
  • Campaign website
  • Campaign opponent and website
  • Most recent election results
  • Short biography

More are coming soon.

Now you can get back to Angry Birds!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Do you Have Influence?

You think you're influencing your targets -- you're using Twitter, Facebook, blogs and YouTube.  But, how do you know?  One way is to sign up for Klout and watch your score rise and fall over time.

Klout: The Standard for Influence

Klout Score
"The Klout Score is the measurement of your overall online influence. The scores range from 1 to 100 with higher scores representing a wider and stronger sphere of influence. Klout uses over 35 variables on Facebook and Twitter to measure True Reach, Amplification Probability, and Network Score.

True Reach is the size of your engaged audience and is based on those of your followers and friends who actively listen and react to your messages. Amplification Score is the likelihood that your messages will generate actions (retweets, @messages, likes and comments) and is on a scale of 1 to 100. Network score indicates how influential your engaged audience is and is also on a scale from 1 to 100. The Klout score is highly correlated to clicks, comments and retweets.

We believe that influence is the ability to drive people to action -- "action" might be defined as a reply, a retweet, a comment, or a click. We perform significant testing to ensure that the average click-through rate on links shared is highly correlated with a person's Klout Score. The 25+ variables used to generate scores for each of these categories are normalized across the whole data set and run through our analytics engine. After the first pass of analytics, we apply a specific weight to each data point. We then run the factors through our machine-learning analysis and calculate the final Klout Score. The final Klout Score is a representation of how successful a person is at engaging their audience and how big of an impact their messages have on people.  "

Sign up and try this out at

Here's a recent story about Federal officials and their Klout scores.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Re-Tweets on Twitter - Give Yourself Some Space!

If' you're using Twitter for your advocacy efforts, it's likely that you're re-tweeting messages from your supporters and friends.  I'm sure you often find the limit of 140 characters frustrating - especially in a RT situation.  Here's a few tips:

1.     Use a "." (period) to begin "@ replies" so your message shows up in the feed of your friends.  When your Tweet begins with the "@", only the recipient can view it, so your friends are not exposed to your conversation - which may be useful to your efforts.  This is a useful alternative to the "RT".

2.     Increase your chance of being retweeted by limiting your message to 125 characters.  Then, when someone retweets in the old style, they will have room to add their own comment and handle.

3.     Shorten the retweet and preface it with "MT" or Modified Tweet.  Don't change the intent of the message, but alert your followers to the updated nature of the comment.

4.     Ask for a Retweet.  Shameless self-promotion often truly works.  Give your followers a call to action, make your tweet interesting and retweetable, and end it with "Plz RT!"

Good luck!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Use An Infographic to tell your Advocacy Story

Here's a great example of an infographic being used by the Internet Innovation Alliance to promote their message of greater access to wireless broadband.

How can you tell your story through pictures?

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Twitter Townhall - New Tool Available Now!

Earlier this week, the White House held an online townhall meeting via Twitter using the hashtag #AskObama and linking via their official feed @WhiteHouse connected with Twitter's new @Townhall service.

Find more here -- watch the video, check out the feed and learn more about how they did it.

This is a natural progression for politicians and Twitter.  Some have tried it in the past without the special Twitter assistance with mixed results - I predict we'll see much more of this in the future as politicians and advocates use Twitter for instant crowd-sourcing.  Watch this really mature in the 2012 election season!

Here's Pres. Obama Tweeting during the event:

Photo of the Day: President Obama tweets a question during the Twitter @townhall in the East Room

Find the full Twitter Q & A online at

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Have you Checked Your Google Dashboard?

Props to Ari Adler for this post on regarding the usefulness of the Google Dashboard.

Here's the opening paragraph:

Google+ is quickly becoming a topic of discussion among the early adopters of social networks, but when was the last time you checked your Google Dashboard? Did you even know you have one? At the Google Dashboard, you can get a quick overview of how much Google has infiltrated your life and, more importantly, how much of that life is being shared publicly on the Web. You also can use the links and tools on the page to take care of your account settings, including your overall Google account as well as the many Google offerings you have signed up for. It's especially helpful to remind you of stuff you signed up to try out and then forgot as it joined the flotsam of Internet productivity.

Remember to check out these tools as you're monitoring the results of your social media advocacy.

Follow the author on Twitter @AriBAdler