Activist Quotes
1999 Campaign
DotCom Examples
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.

Email Outreach

10,000 postcard signers came to the OurForests site because they received an email invitation. Email invitations were sent via:

  • Existing forest activists. Email activists from over 40 organizations received OurForests email alerts. Approximately 5% of those activists took action.Viral Marketing. Everyone filling out a postcard was asked to send a message to their friends. 20% of all postcard signers on the site invited friends.
  • Discussion Forums & Newsgroups. Messages were posted in over 100 newsgroups. On average, 5 people per newsgroup took action.

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

1.5 million viewers saw this interactive advertisement through the Juno Advocacy Network. 11.5% responded and sent over 171,000 total email messages to Vice President Gore. You can also view this ad at normal size

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

Traditional Media

Traditional media sources publicized the OurForests.org web site. Media coverage ranged from USA Today and the Washington Post to radio in Tennessee and the Reno Gazette Journal in Nevada.

Coalition Building

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:

  1. Reactivate and re-engage the base of activists at critical junctures in the campaign;
  2. Build a real online community among forest activists;
  3. Continue outreach and online marketing to reach new activists and engage them in the fight to save our last wild and pristine forests.


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.

Resource List

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].