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My org. wants to do our first "Twitter lobby" this month around an organization-wide action campaign. The idea is to target key lawmakers who have Twitter accounts and lobby them to support a piece of legislation.From email responses so far from Tracy Viselli, Jon Pincus, and Gabriela Schneider
I've noticed that other organizations, such as Sunlight, have tried this. Does anyone have any good tips as far as strategies to use for the lobby, getting the word out?
-- Maureen Backman of Public Citizen
- Model if after what Sunlight did----create an easy to understand hashtag (theirs was #482 for the bill number) and create a landing page.
- Use the influential twitterers who follow you to get the word out. For instance, do you know anyone whose tweets show up in Huffington Post's Twitter stream? I've always had good results when my campaign was adopted by someone with thousands and thousands of followers because they often get retweeted many times.
- Use celebrities on Twitter if they are friendly to your cause. When JohnCMayer (200,000+ followers) tweeted about #rword, there were hundreds of retweets
- Write up 1 or 2 suggested tweets for activists to use to make sure you get the most out of every character. Make sure to use the hashtag so you can hopefully show up on Twitter trends. A "tweeting points" page on a wiki works well; here's the one #p2 used during "Ask the President".
- Make it funny/clever if you can. People like to be trendy.
- Tecruit several people to help you tweet about it initially so its easier to reach critical mass. Use the influencers if you can.
Sunlight Foundation's Tweet Lobby
Originally from Gabriela Schneider of the Sunlight Foundation:
The hashtag, landing page and email outreach are important.
We started by tweeting a message to support a bill with a hashtag and landing page that could easily be retweeted by others. Personally, I was worried about overtweeting from our own account to get the ball rolling, and scaring our supporters off our list, so to speak.
The Tweet Lobby was effective in getting the word out (and generating some media buzz), but I wouldn't say it was the main way we communicated to members of Congress.
Here's the blog post that kicked off the Tweet Lobby and a follow-up.
Since starting the campaign, two Senators have tweeted their intention to co-sponsor the bill: California's Barbara Boxer and Claire McCaskill of Missouri.
- #taxcuts: creating Twitter hashtags that inspire action , by Tracy Viselli on Reno and its Discontents
- Social Media for Social Good: Ending the R Word, by Jennifer Nedeau on New Media Strategies
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, May 4 2009, 4:39 PM EDT
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