You asked for it, now you’ve got it. It’s your first day on the job. You landed a brand new advocacy position. Or, maybe you didn’t ask for it, but somehow you’ve found yourself doing advocacy just the same. Either way, here you are in unfamiliar—albeit exciting—waters, and you want to make the most of it. But, where do you begin?
Can one person make a difference simply by choosing where to shop and what to buy?
These days, many global consumers seem to feel that way. Just type, “ethical shopping” into your search box and see what comes up.
Who knew there were so many websites devoted to telling you where you should spend your money in order to do the most good?
I wish I could say a search like this yields clear-cut instructions for patronizing socially- and environmentally-responsible businesses—but, to be honest, that just isn’t the case.
For frustrated membership and communications staffers sending missive after missive into their seemingly disinterested membership block (as registered by low open rates and abysmal click-through rates), consider the following sanity check before you reach full-blown exasperation.
While benchmarks for measuring email efficacy vary by industry, the general consensus is that 30 percent of emails sent to members will be opened, and about 8 percent will generate a click-through response.
Here are four reasons why you may be falling short of that benchmark:
Creating a YouTube channel is a powerful online tool for advocacy professionals to highlight membership and advocacy activity.
The National Retail Federation, the world’s largest retail trade association, created a YouTube channel that allows its members—both large and small brands—to tell their own stories, effectively keeping their members engaged while enlisting them in the organization’s advocacy endeavors at the same time.
A two-for-one, if you will.
Forward thinking marketers know that testing is a key component to successful email marketing programs. In fact, the 2015 Association Email Marketing Benchmark Report revealed that subject line testing is on the rise and has increased by 26.3% since 2014. Unfortunately, many marketers will agree that testing is one of those things that they should be doing, but too few put this “best practice” into practice.
And if marketers feel they don’t have enough time to test, the problem is probably even more pronounced for advocacy professionals.
Since its founding in May 2006, MomsRising has embraced what executive director Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner calls “layer cake organizing”: offering members, volunteers and staff multiple channels to participate in the grassroots organization’s initiatives.
By staying flexible and not relying on a single method of engagement, the group has grown to more than one million members.
When it comes to engagement, don’t just look to your membership. Target your own employees, too.
According to Gallup Poll last year, only 31.5 percent of U.S. employees reported feeling engaged in their jobs. Imagine the increase in productivity if you could inspire people and truly engage them at work.
Here are seven tips to energize your team:
It’s no secret that “Yes” votes are more difficult to win than “No’s.” In fact, advocacy professionals go to great lengths to snag the “no” position on the ballot.
Last weekend, Greece’s citizens voted a resounding “No” on the referendum that asked if they wanted to accept a two-part offer of economic assistance and reform from the IMF, the EU and the European Central Bank (ECB) – known collectively as the “Troika.”
On July 8, an issue advocacy advertisement created for The Corn Farmers Coalition was placed on permanent display at The American History Museum as part of their new American Enterprise exhibit – which, as described by the Smithsonian’s website, “chronicles the tumultuous interaction of capitalism and democracy that resulted in the continual remaking of American business—and American life.”
Visitors walking through the “Eras” of the exhibit will encounter Eli Whitney’s cotton gin, Alexander Graham Bell’s experimental telephone, an early version of the Monopoly board game and, ultimately, the Corn Farmers Coalition ad.
The competition for government relations internships based in the nation’s capital is tough. Each year hundreds of students apply to spend their summers attending congressional hearings, writing briefs and learning the advocacy game.
For example, the Institute on Business and Government Affairs received more than 200 applications and placed 66 students in internships with local companies, trade associations and lobbying firms.
“Young people bring energy and enthusiasm to their offices,” said Joe Starrs, director of U.S. programs for The Fund for American Studies, which sponsors the institute. “And they appreciate that vibe. It makes good business sense to work with interns.”