An emediacy Campaign
In the first year of the OurForests.org project, emediacy successfully solicited over 200,000 email comments pressuring the Clinton Administration to protect roadless and wild areas in the U.S. National Forest system on behalf of the Heritage Forests Campaign. The tools & methodologies used to accomplish this are detailed below.
Online Tools & Methodologies
Database Backed Web Site: OurForests.org
The campaign web site, ourforests.org, allows visitors to send a free, paperless postcard to Vice President Gore in under 30 seconds. 70% of all first time visitors to OurForests.org fill out the postcard. Over 30,000 email comments were sent through the OurForests Web site.
10,000 postcard signers came to the OurForests site because they received an email invitation. Email invitations were sent via:
Internet Advertising - Donated
12 of the top Web sites and Internet advertising networks donated over 7 million advertising banner impressions. These banners generated over 6,000 email messages to the Administration.
Internet Advertising - Paid
Other Outreach Tools
Several traditional methods were used, including listing in Search Engines and links from other environmental groups. A few non-traditional strategies were attempted with minor success, including a digitalized REM PSA. Other publicity included winning several internet awards for OurForests.org as a "Cool Site of the Week."
Offline Tools & Methodologies
The Heritage Forests coalition used the internet to facilitate communication, and worked to publicize the OurForests.org site. Some examples of activity include information sharing and campaign coordination via a listserv; slide show presentations that include mention of the Web site; and collection of email addresses on printed postcards for data-entry and recontacting purposes.
Next Steps for OurForests.org
The OurForests campaign has three primary goals for the coming year:
Although Internet marketing is still in its infancy, Internet organizing and related uses of traditional media clearly hold tremendous potential for channeling the public's concern about forest protection. With their speed, low cost, and wide reach, such campaigns are an important new tool for leveling the playing field between nonprofit public-interest groups and the corporate and government institutions they seek to reform. Nonprofits are closing in on the day when they will be able to use the Internet as a powerful tool to engage the public directly, in a way never before possible using more expensive traditional media.
Below are some helpful resources about Internet organizing and online marketing.
1. Using the Internet for Organizing - How To
2. Web Site Development Information
3. Internet Marketing
4. Examples of Online Action Web Sites
5. Finding On-Line Communities
emediacy is a program of the Technology project dedicated to developing and implementing strategic, innovative, internet-based projects that expand the current uses of communication and information technology in advocacy campaigns. In the first year of the program, emediacy successfully solicited over 190,000 email comments pressuring the Clinton Administration to protect roadless and wild areas in the U.S. National Forest system on behalf of the Heritage Forests Campaign. The Heritage Forests Campaign is an initiative of the Pew Charitable Trusts. Additional funding for this project was provided by the Turner Foundation and the W. Alton Jones Foundation. For more information, contact Sarah DiJulio, [email protected].