Posted tagged ‘proposition 8’

New Media Advocacy: Lessons Learned (4 of 4) (October 2008

February 4, 2009

Lesson 4: D-grade Celebrities and Viral Video

Maggie Gallagher is the person the White House calls whenever they need advice on public policy about families. Jim Holman owns 4 major newspapers in San Diego, and has been a pro-life activist for years. Bishop Salvatore Cordileone is, well… a bishop! These are all people that we got to meet face-to-face, and work side-by-side with, on these activism videos. They’re not “famous,” but they do have more clout than the average person. Maggie calls herself a D-grade celebrity.

Towards the end of the election season, we developed a real hard hitting script about the conflict between religious liberty and sexual liberty. The plan was to leverage our connections with “D-grade celebrities” to give it even more punch. In selecting ‘actors’ to deliver the lines, we picked friends of the university who already had a following of some kind: the Culture of Life Family Clinic, Bishop Cordileone, and our own Professor Barber. People aren’t googling their names on a regular basis, like Eduardo Verastegui, but they are well known in a specific community. Our theory was: by tapping into those communities, we could help our video spread more quickly.


The lesson learned here came from failure. The video we put out got just over a thousand views by election day. Timing worked against us, because it was put out just a few days before November 4, and while it was good (in production value, in script…) it just wasn’t unique enough to compel large numbers of people to tell their friends. Not with all the other election videos out there…

There is a happy ending, though! The script inspired our very own Matt Connors when he made his famous “Catholics Appalled at Anti-Mormon Slur” video. Our let-down in one area spawned another video that gathered more than 115k views. Aside from Matt’s downright inspiring choice of music and images, he (and Professor Barber) tapped directly into a sentiment that the entire Mormon community shared, and he released his video immediately after it hit the most heated point. Final lesson learned? Appeal to people’s hearts, and never delay when you’ve got something no one else is saying.

Status Check: We’re making an impact! (October 2008)

February 4, 2009

As I was waiting for one of the TV stations to finish copying our tape (see last post), I picked up a copy of the Union Tribune. The front page article was about how much money had gone into the ballot issues this year:
http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20081007/news_1n7donors.html

Both of our ‘customers’ were specifically mentioned! Sarah’s Law has raised $7.6 M (the total money spent on both sides), and Prop 8 has become the most expensive social issue in the country, with a total of $48 M. It was really cool to see the news coverage on it, and know that we’re a part of making something happen in such a high-profile arena.

Right under it was a ‘human interest’ article about how a huge number of ‘regular joes’ were donating $20, $50, or $100 to Prop 8:
http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20081007/news_1n7prop8.html

These are people who had never been involved in anything political before, but felt strongly enough about the issue that they wanted to do something. That’s what we’re doing too! And the coolest thing is, it’s working. Our “4 Men in Black” video has been viewed by 20,000 people. Our Sarah’s Law videos have been seen on broadcast TV 13 times, and they’re looking at putting us in the LA market at the end of next week! To top it all off, if you look at the polls, we’re ahead!

Sarah’s Law has 49% in favor, 41% opposed (it’s narrow, but we’re ahead):
http://www.cbn.com/CBNnews/455394.aspx

Prop 8 just jumped in support (we’re now 47% to 42%), due to a new ad they put out:
http://cbs5.com/local/proposition.8.poll.2.834082.html

Our video is on the same youtube channel as that ad!