Tuesday, 31 March 2009

eCampaigning forum - break-out sessions


- Beneficiary thanking for a donation rather than an organisation
- Liberville - Save the children - people can email beneficiaries andf they respond
- publicly acknowledge people's support - example of WDM printing names of people who donated for publishing a report on the back of the document
- establishing 1-2-1 relationship between donor and beneficiary like on http://www.kiva.org
- using SMS to thank people - combine thank you with a new ask
- showing people the impact of their action immediately - video after an action, animation showing something happens after they did something
- video of a beneficiary thanking
- a campaign where people collect points http://www.treeagochi.com

- if you bought an Oxfam unwrapped present - at Valentines day you get an email - You have a secret admirer email.

Bright Kite - used in Kenya for pulling all the stories together from different sources

- tor network - for hiding your ISP in a conflict situation where freedom of speech is endangered


- Influencing African politicians makes real difference in campaigning about conflict.
- Climate hearings - people's testimonies - traditional dance on youtube, messages from local families
- twitter map of superball - similar thing from Africa on climate change - Twitter, funded by a mobile services provider
- direct donations from the UK to persons mobile phones

- need for advocacy tools to be translated into mobile format in developing countries
- finding the way of making new media tools affordable to people: build your site as a sub-domain site of the mobile phone provider
- Greepeace Argentina - pay cost of broadcast SMS by fundraising from the list that you are SMSing
- picking your tactics for different countries to achieve change
- African leaders care about what people say - so we should influence people to influence their government. Other opinion is that leaders do not care. If you show leaders how they will lose money (if you win the elite on your side you are more likely to make a difference).
- But we are talking about different audiences for different countries so mobilizing them will be very different from country to country

- the assumption is that if you tell a compelling story people will react
- there are some civil society organisations and individuals who are already doing mobilization who whould be involved/asked to work with

eCampaigning forum: Email is still the no1 way of engaging supporters

Open rates
one example
- general list - 20 -25%
- segmented list of 30k - 75%%
other example
general list - 15-19%, segmented list - 35%-45%

27k list about public broadcasting. If content is related to the recession
- open rates increased - from 25% to 40%
12% action rate (conversion)

- a lot of email activity lately because it's cheaper
- not always able to test emails due to lack of time/staff
- quick wins - easy to forget that there are many areas to look at to make an email successful
- split AB test with a new subject line
- test the landing page

- email content - Obama example - some emails are only 300 words
- user journeys need to be thought out - emails tailored accordingly. Need to be careful in how you welcome then and what they'll receive next.
- Thank you email should always be personalized
- some emails are building capital (giving info, fun) and some emails are taking capital (data)
- different from name
- donation is a form of political action

Social networks

- Facebook - people keen to join up but it doesn't convert people
- forward this email to a friend - needs to be more prominent
- set the target - it works well for the people - donations go higher and people re-visit the page to check if the donation got higher due to their donation
- relating email that you are writing now to the next email - like a soap-opera - so that every email works on its own


- based on who is likely to respond to the action
- based on people's behaviour and based on people's preferences

eCampaigning forum: Zuhal Sultan, National Youth Orchestra of Iraq

I used the Internet for everything I did around setting up the orchestra.

Looking for a conductor - put up an ad on the internet - 2 famous conductors applied - interviews via Skype.

Strategy to recruit members from different areas
- sent information in three languages
- Audition - asking people to upload videos - had to be under 10MB because the connection is slow. Some people didn't even know how to do it.
- Met a lot of people from all over Iraq - learnt about their struggle. They had over 50 applicants (target was 30)
- online tutorial - before the debut - she's done it with a group in New York. via Skype - and sending recordings and getting the reviews back. Recruiting online tutors
- people from all over the world supportive on Facebook

- tried to have a charity account in the UK - but needs trustees, so not possible to have online donations system
- now has the money from global institutions - UN, British Council


1 supporting campaigners in conflict zones
There are lots of people online in conflict zones. They are chatting but they haven't been supported by people online to do something with the energy they have
- she was encouraged to move on by other campaigning websites
- internet connection is bad. mobile networks are just as bad.

2 Linking up with radio and other media
Easy to communicate with media

3 What's the next step in development of the youth orchestra
Making it sustainable

4 Managed to recruit people with the help of the internet but a lot of offline work as well

eCampaigning forum - Obama campaign insider tells us about blogging for the elections

Sam Graham-Felsen of Obama campaign
blogger on the campaign

- The campaign knew Obama was an underdog - the plan was to harness the energy of grassroots - Obama said to the team that "it had to happen from bottom up"

Three pillars of online campaign
- message
- money
- mobilization

- authenticity
- it's about everyone not only Obama. African Americans felt that they can be anything they want to be.
- over 2,000 videos uploaded - telling stories of people who supported the campaigns
- 5 times as many videos as other campaigns
- 1 billion minutes of video web content was consumed = 2,000 years of viewing - youtube powerful because they are usually sent with a personal recommendation
- video explaining why Obama campaign in Florida needs 39 million dollars used to raise these funds
- mini-documentaries - although 18 minutes - it worked - the video was viewed over million times
- fun videos that plugged the action around the campaign (e.g http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mg56KbtmARc)
- using supporters content - reached out to supporters - example of Shepard Fairey
- "yes we can" youtube video

The game is changing:
*new media - building the movement - turning people from passive supporters to evangelists of the movement
* traditional media - getting votes - of those who are undecided

- how to raise half a billion?
- fundraising was never about money - they didn't set the goals which were about money - instead of we need XXX dollars by the end of the week they would say we need XX people to join the movement
- people could be chosen to meet Obama even if they give a smallest donation (breaking down the barriers)
- asking supporters to explain on video why they donate to the campaign, what motivates them
- an email in response to Sara Palin speech where she dismissed grassroots campaigning raised 10 million dollars

Building the email list
- the Obama campaign list grew organically, Republicans campaign bought lists
- competitions (dinner with Barack)
- Send to a friend - made it very easy - you can upload all of your contacts and pester them
- Active presence on My Space Facebook and LinedIn
Online Ads - asking people to join the campaign
- the match game - traditionally one wealthy donor says they will donate 1 million if a bunch of people donates 1 million ; change is to ask a bunch of donors to pledge to donate more if other donors donate more (this was done using a sophisticated segmentation system)
- 2/3 of income of the whole campaign came online, most of donations are under $100
- house parties - neighbours will go and organise their own
- mybarackobama.com made it easier for field organisers to organise supporters. It help build real relationships. Campaigners were working together already - relationships already built, so this was easier for field organisers when they arrive at a location.

Other campaigns had to start from scratch - train people and organise them.


1 Online ads - example of a different way of doing it - caucus look-up tool (location) - flooded Iowa newspaper websites with it as well as the social media

2 Opening up to user generated content and keep it open is sometimes an issue for NGOs
- Example - a group against Obama's position on some law on privacy/data protection Obama voted for in the Senat. The group grew to 20k. Obama didn't want to change his position. He wrote back to the group - explained why he disagreed with them and he knew that he will lose some of them
- Keeping people engaged after the victory - Organising for America - campaign supporters now - campaigning still - gathering support for Obama's plan. The group will be supporting Obama's presidency.

3 Sign-off
Sam's posts were reviewed until he was trusted to do it himself. When he started employing bloggers he told them that bloggers need to tell their story from their own perspective, but their post shouldn't end up in the media

4 Subject lines for emails - rigorous testing

5 In-depth content viewing? - focussed on building a grass-roots movement, voices of ordinary people

6 Importance of Facebook and Twitter in comparison with email lists?
Didn't want to have paople only sitting on Facebook. They tried to move them onto http://mybarackobama.com. This site was seen as a mobilization network not a social network. Email had the best impact - in terms of raising funds. Mainly because you can test and tweak email.