You can call with them, you can text (or as some say “instant message”), and you can send pictures and videos. And you can promote advocacy campaigns? Yep, welcome to the world of mobile phones. Using mobile phones is the last resource I would use to promote my advocacy group. When I’ve seen links on campaign websites asking you to subscribe to our SMS feed, I tell myself that doesn’t really work. However, after reading Michael Stein’s article, Using Mobile Phones in Advocacy Campaigns, I have begun to think otherwise.

Stein picked excellent case studies to support his point. I thought the Fahamu testimony was pretty incredible. They asked supporters to sign a Web-based petition for women’s rights organizations, and it turned out that it received 4,000 signatures with 500 text messages from 29 African countries. This scenario literally blew my mind.

Additionally, he offered great application material to go along with them. This article reemphasized the surround sound theory I learned in Professor Steinhorn’s class. The general idea in surround sound is that there are multiple speakers around the listener and they are used to form a sound field where the listener can heard sound coming from many directions. Hence, when developing a mobile campaign, you shouldn’t just use a text message but also speak with ringtones, fundraising option and forwarding a friend. Another option could be re-post this message on Twitter and Facebook.

However, I need remind myself that I won’t have instant response. Mobile campaigns are like all strategic campaigns. I need to set goals, develop an applicable message, and remember my audience. After, I can get involved in the “fun” applications. Speaking of applications, I wonder if an iPhone or another smart phone application would be as successful or more? Nevertheless, this idea of Mobile Advocacy is a growing field, and I am excited to see the direction it will take in the next year.

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