34+1 Resources, Tutorials, and Tips for Campaigns and Organizations

It’s that time when local campaigns are starting to get active, organizations are recruiting and carrying out campaign plans, and people are coming up with ways to improve their campaigns. This is a list of 34 resource/tutorial/tips on campaigns I have written in the last year, all in one place.

1. Creating Pre-Populated Twitter Links

The Let Our Congress Tweet site uses an interesting method to get their supporters to use Twitter to spread their message.

By clicking a link anyone that has a Twitter account is taken to their update page with the pre-populated text “Congress, change the rules. Talk to us on our social networks. http://LetOurCongressTweet.org Let our Congress Tweet! #LOCT08.”

2. Promoting Your Campaign Online

Last week I wrote a post about horizontal segmentation in political communication on my blog, and this post will look at ways you can harness the concept online in promoting your own campaigns.

3. Horizontal Segmentation: Harness the Power of Multiple Media

In his TED lecture, Malcolm Gladwell talks about horizontal segmentation as applied to the food industry. Instead of trying to find the one thing that the majority of people like, you should discover the different varieties of something that people like in order to reach everybody. The concept of horizontal segmentation is also applicable to political communication.

4. Facebook’s Phonebook Feature

Facebook has a new feature that was added to the new and improved Facebook Mobile called Phonebook. Phonebook is exactly what it sounds like: an alphabetically organized list of the phone numbers of all of your Facebook friends that list them.

5. Confirm RSVPs For Facebook Events

I spent this last weekend doing trainings for Arizona high school students who are interested in starting Young Democrats chapters at their schools. In a little experiment, we confirmed that by calling the people that RSVPed as attending or maybe attending to our Facebook event we dramatically increased turnout.

6. Collecting Vote Pledges on the Internet

This last Saturday in Nashville I held trainings on how to use the internet to collect vote pledges. As I promised, I will put some additional resources on here to supplement the training.

7. Build Your Exposure and Spread Your Message With Blog Comments

The more people here your message, the more likely it is to stick with them. This is why it is important to spread your organization’s message as frequently as possible throughout multiple avenues. One of these avenues is the comment sections of blogs.

8. Don’t Hate, Appreciate: Thanking Your Members

One of the easiest ways to lose active members is to take them for granted and not openly appreciating their contributions to your organization. If someone does not feel like they are valued for their work, they might just put their efforts someplace else where they are appreciated. Here are some ways to let your members know that you appreciate their work.

9. Facebook Group Membership Building

A Facebook group is now a staple for youth-oriented organizations and chapters, but building membership isn’t like Field of Dreams: just because you built it doesn’t mean that they will come. You need a strategy in order to build membership in your Facebook group, so here are some tips to help you reach your goals.

10. Your Website as a Fundraising Tool

In terms of online fundraising, there is no resource more valuable than your organization’s website. It is important that your website successfully makes your case to potential donors as to why they should give you their money. Here are some tips to make your website an effective fundraising tool.

11. Using Google Spreadsheet’s Form Tool for Free Online Surveys

As mentioned in my earlier post, I created an online survey using the new form tool in Google Documents asking the questions “where should I move” and “where do you think I will move?”

12. Using Twitter for Your Organization

This post is an attempt to unravel the mystery that is Twitter for the youth organizing community. While Twitter is pervasive amongst the early adopter crowd, it is just now beginning to gain traction with regular internet users.

13. The Bring Back Bondelli’s Blog Strategy

Following the success of the “Bring Back Bondelli’s Blog” strategy (if it wasn’t a success I couldn’t be posting this right now) I thought it might be helpful to explain my methodology and show how you can apply the same techniques for your own causes and campaigns.

14. More Tips on Blogging and Websites

I have come up with some additional tips on blogging and websites since I published my Blogging for Young Democrats Chapters and The Importance of a Quality Website posts. Here are those tips.

15. The Importance of a Quality Website

We have reached the point in the internet revolution where organizational websites are not only common but expected. If you don’t have a website, you don’t appear to exist. With more people using search engines to find information than ever before it is critical that your organization have a strong web presence. This post will cover the importance of chapter websites and ways to improve or start one.

16. Getting the Most Out of Your Members

Chances are that the members of your organization have a wide range of experience, skills, and knowledge that you may not even know about. This post is designed to help you learn what you members bring to the table and how to effectively utilize their skills through goal-setting.

17. Developing a Traditional Media Strategy Part 1: Media Lists and Press Releases

So I have written about reaching out to new media, but it is always important to develop a traditional media strategy to get your message out to print, radio, and television news. This post will help you create a media contact list and learn some best practices about writing and sending press releases.

18. Developing a Traditional Media Strategy Part 2: Working With Reporters

In Part 1 of the Developing a Traditional Media Strategy series I discussed how to create a media contact list and best practices for writing and sending press releases. Today’s post will give you some advice on working with reporters once you have their attention.

19. Developing a Traditional Media Strategy Part 3: Media Monitoring

It is important for you to know what is being said about your organization in both new and traditional media outlets. You may also want to keep track of posts and stories about candidates, issues, and legislation that your organization is interesting in. This post will give you two tips to efficiently monitor the media. These are the methods I use in compiling all the stories in my link posts.

20. Developing a Traditional Media Strategy Part 4: Rapid Response and LTE

This is the fourth and final part of my Developing a Traditional Media Strategy series. Part 1 covered media lists and press releases, Part 2 covered working with reporters, Part 3 covered media monitoring, and this post will cover rapid response and letters-to-the-editor.

21. Making Your Website’s Posts Social Bookmark-Friendly in Textpattern

A lot of state and local chapters use Textpattern for their websites. Sometimes the page templates don’t have adequate textpattern code for the titles of your posts. This means that no matter what page, article, or post is being viewed the same title will appear. While this may not seem like a big deal, it makes a difference on social bookmarking sites like del.icio.us. I use del.icio.us for my links posts, as do a lot of bloggers. With some chapter sites when I go to add a post it will just show a generic title, for example if it were YDAZ every post would show up as YDAz.org :: The Young Democrats of Arizona. I have to write in every post title that I share. While I am willing to do this, some bloggers won’t, and it can limit your exposure.

22. Blogger Outreach 101

One of the best ways to get your message out to an audience that is likely to be receptive to your message is by working with established bloggers to cover your organization. Good blogger outreach is a subtle art, and this post is a crash course in implementing a strong outreach program.

23. Why You Should Get Involved in Your Local and State Parties

We all know the stereotype of the composition of local and state Democratic Parties: a plethora of old activists that consider anyone under 50 a young Democrat. While this keeps many younger voters from becoming involved in those entities, it would be to your advantage to bite the bullet and take the plunge.

24. Blogging for Young Democrat Chapters

Blogging has grown from being a novelty in political communication to a vital tool for candidates, campaigns, and organizations. This post is designed to guide Young Democrats chapters in developing their blogging strategy.

25. Tips for College Chapters Starting a New Year

It’s that time of the year again when college chapters are looking to recruit new members from the influx of wide-eyed freshmen joining their campuses. Here are are a few ideas for new member recruitment that have been used effectively by chapters in the past.

26. A Perfect Email

Luigi Montanez wrote a great post on TechPresident about the perfect campaign email. He used the recent Hillary Clinton campaign’s Kentucky/Oregon appeal to show exactly what an email should look like.

27. Building Link Posts with Del.icio.us

A couple of people have asked me how I do the link posts on here. I know I have mentioned before that it is through del.icio.us, but I’m going to get more specific in how to do it.

28. Keyboard Shortcut Resources

Most people will never realize the amount of time they will save using keyboard shorcuts unless they actually take them time to make their use a habit. Here is a list of resources for keyboard shortcuts from a number of popular programs.

29. Vote Pledges and Why They Work

Over the weekend Michael wrote about the vote pledge and peer-to-peer program kick-off at the Young Democrats of America conference in Nashville. During the conference there was a lot of excitement about the program and I had great attendance at my trainings on using the internet to collect vote pledges. However, as Michael stated earlier, not everyone is sold on the idea of vote pledges, but I am going to show why they should be.

30. Vote Pledges are Valuable, Even in Heavily Democratic Areas

I just posted an article over on Future Majority about why vote pledges work. There is some debate currently over whether or not it is a valuable use of time to collect vote pledges in areas the tend to vote overwhelmingly for Democrats. Here is why vote pledges are valuable to the youth movement and the Democratic Party no matter how Democratic the area.

31. Moving Beyond the Low-Hanging Fruit in Youth Organizing

In youth organizing there is also low-hanging fruit: college students. Most organizations and campaigns have primarily focused their efforts on college students because they are the easiest to reach. However, if we are going to evolve as a movement we need to reach beyond just organizing college students and start working on those young voters that are harder to reach.

32. Using Flickr for Your Organization

While many people are aware of Flickr as a photo sharing site, there are a number of features and uses that are underutilized by organizations.

33. Your Organization as a Brand

In the wake of articles discussing the destruction of the Republican brand, it is important to look at our own organizations and chapters as brands.

34. Branching Out Beyond Traditional Party Politics

Traditionally partisan youth political organizations have been based solely on promoting the party and its candidates. Membership has been dominated by hyper-political and super-active aspiring politicians, staffers, activists, and party leaders. With the rise and coming of age of the new Millennial generation, we must branch out and expand membership to those that are not necessarily die-hard party politicos.

+1: Another great resource for online campaigns is Colin Delany’s Online Politics 101, a free pdf ebook. Check out Colin’s site at epolitics.com for additional resources.