Don’t Miss Your Best Opportunity in 1,460 Days to Get Your Issue Center Stage. Here’s How.
It’s the thick of primary season on the political tundra, which means it’s the only time in the next president’s life (one of these candidates has to win, eventually) when he or she will be this accessible to the public.
You can shake the next president’s hand, take a selfie with him or her, and basically ask the future commander-in-chief, face to face, any question you want, on any issue.
And not only will all the presidential candidates answer your question on your issue, there will be media there covering it.
This is what is known as a whopper of an opportunity … if you can mobilize effectively.
So, the two biggest questions are:
(1) What are you doing to identify new advocates in the upcoming primary states? and
(2) What are you doing to mobilize them to contact as many candidates about your issue as possible, or to get them to as many candidate events as feasible to discuss your issue?
If you think it’s too late to spring into effective action, or if you want to take advantage of this whopper of an opportunity but are unsure exactly how to proceed tactically, Connectivity is here to help.
For Issue- and Membership-based Organizations:
Now is a terrific time to prospect for potential new advocates interested in your organization, and to get each candidate to go on the record on your issue, or at least repeat their position.
Either way, you’re getting your issue into the spotlight. And there’s still time to do it before Super Tuesday. Seriously.
As we have written about before, modern digital targeting has gotten very sophisticated, very quickly.
For example, you can run a digital ad campaign to get people to participate in a Call to Action on behalf of your issue, such as sign a petition, or write a letter that will be sent to the candidates directly.
The act of participating in the Call to Action also captures each new advocate’s contact information, which means you can send them an email about an upcoming candidate event in their neighborhood, and provide them with questions to ask the candidate at the event.
Even better, you can get your advocates, or people sympathetic to your issues, to petition the candidates directly, using a digital ad campaign. En masse it’ll make an impact, and possibly move the needle for you. At the very least it can get your issue onto the stage.
So, now comes the part that has been, until very recently, the most vexing to accomplish: How can you find people who not only agree with your issue but who also happen to live in, say, a Super Tuesday primary state?
Or, dare to dream, how can you find new advocates in ALL of those states?
(Let’s keep dreaming for a moment: How cool would it be to report to your Board at the end of March that you ran a campaign that recruited new advocates in the Super Tuesday primary states, then mobilized them to write to the candidates on your behalf, or ask questions about your issue at multiple candidate events again and again?
The answer to the vexing question of how to find new advocates from specific geographical areas is through digital micro-targeting.
The micro-targeting capabilities of modern advocate acquisition services are so precise and granular that you can select not only which states to target, you can also target down to the city and ZIP code level.
Further, some advocate acquisition services operate on a cost-per-acquisition (CPA) basis, which means you know up front exactly how much you’ll pay to acquire a predetermined number of new advocates.
- Ted Cruz speaking at a local bookstore in Alabama
- John Kasich speaking at a local diner in Colorado
- Bernie Sanders speaking at a local community center in Minnesota
- Hillary Clinton speaking at a community college in Virginia
- Donald Trump speaking in an auditorium in Oklahoma
- Marco Rubio speaking at a ballroom in Tennessee
- Ben Carson speaking at a church in Arkansas
- Target digital campaigns to those areas on your issue
- Recruit new advocates and have them write to the candidates about your issue
- Capture their contact information
- Reach out to your new advocates with logistical guidance on attending candidate events
- Nurture them after Super Tuesday into becoming full members, donors or taking subsequent advocate actions on your behalf
With all of the candidates listening with full empathy to voters, and all the media following their every movement, and all the voters thinking about the issues most important to them, primary season is very fertile ground to include your issue in the national dialogue while recruiting new potential members and donors.
Get started, if you haven’t already. It’s not too late.
For PR Firms or Large Trade Associations Representing a Range of Industry Interests:
Presidential candidates are all getting detailed briefings from their respective staffs on the top issues facing each state that they campaign in – you may recall Sen. Ted Cruz talking about the ethanol “blend wall” while campaigning in Iowa.
For organizations representing multiple interests, mobilizing new advocates around urgent state policy issues is your best tactical approach.
To help you with that, here’s a quick rundown of the top issues facing the Super Tuesday states, courtesy of our friends from the CQ Roll Call newsroom:
Budgets, taxes, healthcare and education are either the #1 or #2 issue in these 16 states: Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont, Kansas, Louisiana, Idaho, Mississippi, Florida, Illinois, Ohio, Arizona, and Washington state.
Meanwhile, ethics, energy/environment, and gambling are top of voters’ minds in Alabama, Colorado and Massachusetts, respectively.
Immigration is the #1 issue in Texas. With its 155 Republican delegates, and 252 Democratic ones, not to mention its 13 million+ registered voters and potential advocates for and against, on the ground, that makes it a huge deal.
Water, as you might imagine, is front and center in Arizona, Utah, Washington, Puerto Rico, and, of course, Michigan.
Education makes the top five list of issues in 21 states. Seven of those states – Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Ohio, Texas and Virginia – represent almost 60 million registered voters.
That’s a lot of potential advocates to get onside, and a lot of votes the candidates are conscious of garnering.
Now that you know what each state is facing, it’s time to find advocates in all 31, right down to their districts and ZIP codes, whose pressing issues are similar to your client’s.
If your organization, or the organization you’re representing, has a strong existing member base in a Super Tuesday state, then you are probably mobilizing them already to take action directly at the candidates or at candidate events.
If you need to boost your presence, we recommend doing this, once again, using an advocate acquisition program because it can deliver results quickly (10 to 15 days) and its micro-targeting capability makes it very, very accurate.
If you’re interested in learning an overview of how micro-targeting works, we’ve written a post on it called the “CAMP Method.”
Aside from the state-by-state nature of the primary season, statehouses will likely become the place for policy and legislative action, comparatively, given that the recent Supreme Court vacancy will probably not do much to relieve gridlock in Congress.
For more updates on state policy trends, check out our StateTrackers blog.
And good luck to you this primary season. Take advantage while you can.