Are You There Congress? It’s Me, Tweeting. Online Advocacy Tactics That Actually Get Heard

Problem Statement

Which online advocacy tactics have an actual impact when it comes to influencing decision makers and politicians? Get the inside scoop from the staff receiving your tweet storms and supporter messages, and make your online army more effective.

When Danielle Brigida transitioned from the National Wildlife Federation to head up social media at the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), she found herself on the receiving end of thousands of passionate tweets, Facebook comments, and nonprofit-guided social media campaigns, all trying to influence FWS decisions and policy.

And most of the time, she was the only one reading them.

Hear from Danielle, as well as a Capitol Hill staffer and others on the receiving end of your organization’s action alerts and tweet storms, to find out what methods of online outreach cut through the noise and have the best chance to influence decision makers and maximize your nonprofit’s effectiveness.

We will also debate the ol’ “Why should I care?” question—as  long as your action alerts, petitions, and online campaigns are building your list, engaging your supporters, and feeding your donor base, does it matter that those one million messages didn’t really do anything to directly change the policy you wanted to change? How does the effectiveness, both real and perceived, of an online campaign impact how people feel about (and donate to) your nonprofit?

Kristin Johnson
Rad Campaign
Technical Project Manager
Kristin is a technical project manager at Rad Campaign, an award-winning web agency that specializes in web design, web development, online strategy, and marketing. She guides clients through every step of a project or campaign, from site planning, content architecture, and design, to ensuring the delivery of a fully tested end product. Before joining Rad, she spent nine years at National Wildlife Federation in multiple roles that touched on online advocacy, email marketing, content creation, social media, constituent data management, media outreach, web production, user experience, technical planning, and information architecture.

Danielle Brigida
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
National Social Media Manager
Danielle Brigida leads the national social media strategy at the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. She is a wildlife geek who has a passion for connecting people with wildlife and uses technology to do so. As an early adopter of social media with creative, engaging campaigns, Danielle has been recognized as one of the 10 Most Generous Social Media Mavens by Fast Company; one of the 75 Environmentalists to follow by Mashable; one of 10 People to Follow Who are Saving the World by Mother Nature Network and was named a Social Media MVP by PRnews in 2014. Danielle has been interviewed about her social media experience by USA Today, The New York Times, The Nonprofit Times, Fast Company, Washington Post, and Mashable.

Kat Skiles
Human Rights Campaign
Senior Marketing Strategist
Kat Skiles works as the Human Rights Campaign's Senior Marketing Strategist where she develops strategic campaigns related to coordinated electoral activities and promotion of the rights and protections of LGBTQ people everywhere. Prior to HRC, Skiles served as Senior Advisor and Digital Director for Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. Previously she also held the position of Press Secretary and Digital Director for the Democratic Caucus of the U.S. House of Representatives. At each point in her career, Skiles has worked to strengthen the brand and message of the officials and organizations for whom she was employed. Skiles has been acknowledged as and among Create & Cultivate's 7 Boss Female Staffers (2016), The Washingtonian's 100 Most Powerful Women (2015), The National Journal’s 20 Most Powerful Women Staffers on Capitol Hill (2015), The Washington Blade’s Best LGBT Hill Staffer (2014 and 2013), and the Washington City Paper’s Best Gay Activist (2012).

Corry Westbrook
Corry Westbrook Consulting
Conservation and political advocate with twenty years of experience in the non-profit sector, public service and legislative and policy development with most efforts focused directly on educating and influencing the U.S. Congress and administration officials.