eCampaigning Best Practices and Emerging Tactics

This advanced eAdvocacy overview is designed for campaigners and organizers who have worked on one or more online campaigns. The training highlights the importance of relationship building in online efforts, and the equally essential aspects of following well-defined processes within and across campaigns.

The one-day "eCampaigning Best Practices and Emerging Tactics" training covers the following topic areas:

  • Creating Passionate Online Activists
  • eCampaigning Roadmap
  • Best Practices for eCampaigning
  • ”Web 2.0” Tools and Tactics
  • Campaign Calendaring
  • Best Practices for Hosted Data

Training Materials

The following are section-by-section summaries of the training materials.

All materials are distributed under a Creative Commons license: Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5.

The slidesets linked below are in PDF format, which requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.

1. Training Overview

This initial session introduces the trainers, and invites the learning group to share participant goals and experiences. Target audience for the training is described, and the training model is discussed. Outcome goals and challenges are named and identified, and the training “roadmap” is laid out. Limitations of eAdvocacy—digital divides, barriers to building trust online, and the ever-vexing uniqueness of communities and campaigns—are identified and discussed.

2. Creating Passionate Online Activists

The concept of Online Activist is defined and discussed. Online activist behavior is characterized and placed in the context of an online activist engagement cycle. Modes of engagement are enumerated and compared. Emphasis is placed on treating engagement as both conversation and narrative over time, and the importance of tracking that narrative and assuring its consistency.

3. eCampaigning Roadmap

This section starts by laying out the steps required to develop an online strategy. Particular emphasis is placed on goal identification and the importance of having strategy track to goals. Technology selection is considered in brief, primarily to reiterate the importance of letting goals and strategy drive technology selection. The concept of data as the primary point of advocacy orientation is presented and compared to less advisable “technology centric” contexts. A generalized eAdvocacy life cycle is presented and discussed both in the context of single campaigns and across longer organizational horizons. The importance of defining and following organizational process is reiterated, with particular attention to campaign calendaring.

4. Best Practices for eCampaigning

This section emphasizes the primordial importance of acquiring email addresses in appropriate and sustainable ways. A range of engagement options are described and considered in terms of trade-offs, and the critical nature of intentional and consistent messaging is explained and delineated in a range of contexts, including clarity of message, use of networks, importance of human-centric tone, and architecting campaigns for viral potential.

5. ”Web 2.0” Tools and Tactics

The notion of “web 2.0” is introduced in terms of essential traits and characteristics. Motivations for employing “2.0” tactics are considered, and contrasted with trade-offs of user-driven content. Blogging is discussed in the context of campaigning, and social network tools are presented with pros and cons. Tagging strategies and best practices are explained, and the concepts of “badge” and “widget” are defined and demonstrated. Essential “2.0” sites are enumerated and described, and a case study focusing on ties essential lesson threads together.

6. Calendaring Campaigns

This lesson begins by defining the concept of “Campaign Calendar”, along with a discussion of “Calendar Process”. A sample campaign calendar is presented, along with guidelines on how to adapt the calendar based on changes in the campaign. A range of individual engagement cycles, such as those targeted at donors, organizers, and event participants, is explained, and the role of “support content” is defined. Finally, pre-send and post-send time lines for individual messages blasts are delineated.

7. Best Practices for Hosted Data

This unit starts by defining the concept of an organization's “data universe” and emphasizes the need to treat it as such. The critical importance of a complete and sustainable backup process is explained, in parallel with measures to take in order to avoid losing access to organizational data. Awareness is also focused on data migration options and privacy issues.

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