The New Economics of Advocacy
I had the opportunity to see Bradford Fitch speak last week at the Convio Summit in Baltimore. He runs the Congressional Management Foundation and made a reference to the “new economics of advocacy.” I was struck by the phrase and the takeaway was that advocacy is no longer about stamps and envelopes to get through to Congress, but rather, content and organization.
Since technology has largely democratized access in communicating with our elected officials, the charge now seems get boiled down to:
- “How compelling, interesting or differentiating can we make our Congressional pitch?” (Read: can we make our elected official cry? If you don’t know what I mean, try watching The Girl Effect… )
- “How organized and decisive can our team be? Can we get our support base to digitally activate in a cohesive and timely way?”
- “How creative are we in the tools that we provide to facilitate the digital activation?”
The last question is the most fascinating one because, depending on the organization, it could mean anything from developing step-by-step instructions on how to log in to Facebook or offering up source code and APIs. This was always the promise of Web 2.0 to me – the “mash up”. Being able to weave together disparate tools and applications that will shepherd (and further embolden the resolve of) a group of supporters toward a given action.
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