One of the biggest problems I have seen over the years with online and mobile advocacy campaigns is describing the audience too broadly.
So many public affairs professionals believe that the “general public” is their target when it comes to digital communications. Even for a presidential campaign that isn’t true — so surely it isn’t true for your lower budget, lower profile endeavor.
We would all like to think that we can light up the congressional switchboard for the issues we care most about. Unfortunately, it’s only a very few issues that rise to that level each year. Far more of us are toiling away for causes that have passionate advocates without massive public interest. And that’s fine.
Just because digital allows you to reach everybody doesn’t mean you should.
In particular, you should be making sure to narrow the audiences to whom you send email, show ads, and attempt to organize through social media.
So define your audience down to a manageable size. Then narrow it down even more so that you can spend more time and money influencing this smaller group.
If you’re expending a lot of resources to reach millions of people, you’re unlikely to succeed. The better you can describe your true audience, the more effective (and affordable) your advocacy will be.