July 24, 2020 |
If you’re planning a virtual lobby day, you’re probably already thinking about the best ways to make it effective and engaging for your attendees. Before you get too far, don’t forget about a marketing plan! Virtual lobby days may be accessible to more people than previous in-person instances, new supporters maybe looking for a way to get involved, and when it comes to advocacy there is always power in numbers. Make sure you have a solid virtual turnout by using omni-channel marketing – an effective strategy for delivering your message to your audience wherever they are. When it comes to marketing your virtual lobby day, it’s important to strategically use your organization’s channels before, during, and after the event to achieve the best results.
Email is a versatile tool when it comes to virtual lobby days. Before your lobby day, use an email series to refresh your supporters’ memories on the policy issues you are working on and how they are impacting the community. Beyond simply being a tool to send out your RSVP form, email can be an effective method of educating and engaging your base so that they feel enthusiastic and prepared to take action.
As a bonus – for anyone who can’t make it to your lobby day, click-to-email (or tweet, or call) tools make it easy for your supporters to contact their legislators or decisionmakers on their own schedule.
While email is a powerful tool, it also has its limitations. For reaching supporters instantly with last-minute reminders and other important information, text messaging is especially useful. Mobile messaging is a quickly growing sphere for nonprofit communications, and while it is especially useful for the on-the-go nature of in-person events, it can also help keep everyone in the loop with information about your virtual lobby day. It’s not just useful for marketing and managing your events – follow-up texts are a great way to send a quick thank you note to participants while you craft your full follow-up report.
Social media platforms, with their ability to swiftly spread communication across multiple networks, can help generate grassroots momentum for your cause. Your own supporters are one of your biggest marketing assets and their word-of-mouth can share your virtual event to audiences outside of your own list. Using social share tracking can help you identify the supporters most excited to use their social media profiles to promote your actions, so that you can build deeper relationships with the influencers on your list.
Looking for an easy way to get people in the door for advocacy work? Petitions are a popular way for nonprofits to generate attention and are a relatively low-effort for new supporters to get involved. Petitions are many people’s first foray into advocacy, but the energy doesn’t need to stop there. Circulate a petition focusing on the issues you’ll be addressing at your lobby day, and follow-up with signers asking them to take the next step and attend the event to discuss the issues with their legislators. Providing a low-commitment entry point to your issues can help pique people’s interest and give you a great starting point for moving them up the ladder of engagement.
Planning a virtual event is a lot of work, so make sure as many people as possible are able to participate and benefit from the time you’ve put into planning it! Happy lobbying!
Looking for more tips on boosting your advocacy program? Check out our blog post, “Advocacy for Everyone: 6 Ways to Help Your Supporters Take Action.” For the tools that make your advocacy work simple, effective, and trackable, be sure to check out EveryAction Advocacy.