tv Today in Washington CSPAN January 4, 2011 2:00am-6:00am EST
guy in person. in the campaign, he seemed to be this charismatic figure. as people are learning the who deal with him, in private, he is very he is a guy that is very methodical and disciplined. when you interview him, i would not say that he is dull, but he takes his time explaining things in a careful way. he will come back at a question. a lot of presidents i have covered do not come back to questions. they just want to move on. a obama will say that you asked him something 10 minutes ago and he wants to come back and explain himself further. he does this in his news conferences. it frustrates a lot of white house reporters like me because he only calls 12 or 13 reporters in a news conference in an hour because his answers are so long.
a lot of people consider that dole or monopolist -- monotonous. -- a dull or monotonous. i do not think he is trying to stall, he wants to explain himself. usually, a president could maybe get to 20 questions, so this is all about a little more than half than we are used to. i think that what this means in policy terms is that people wonder if obama is reaching out enough in a personal way to them. this is from people who talk to him from associates. it is not like he will ask how your family is. he does not do that. as a final point, the last time
that i interviewed him, and when i walked in, instead of asking about a common experience he might have had with another president, he would say that he has been thoroughly briefed. fire away. that is how he got into the interview. that is the way he is. >> last question. >> right in front. , yes? -- yes? >> how much influence do you think the tea party will have and do you think republicans can win with the tea party and is or will they have to have somebody that is more moderate? >> anybody? >> as you have seen, there are mixed results.
candidates in nevada, you cannot be too extreme. you can't lose as a tea party candidates even though you may win the republican nomination. there is concern among republicans that they will be challenged. a challenge in a primary scare'' a lot of them. es a lot of them. that is my short answer. >> and who will they be? will they be striking teachers or firemen or policeman? -- or policeman? -- policemen?
or will you see a public-sector will people stay permanentlywe really only saw the tea party are the regular union suspects. other groups with names to counter what they say. will look like. my suggestion would be public service workers, unemployed, underemployed, people protesting trade issues. three of you. [applause] >> i think that the value to people like gail and tony, these bone.
they have spent time with the people that we read about. and they know them on a personal basis and have a sense of who they are as people. that is very important in understanding what is going on. i will turn it over to tony. wait a minute. this is the famous presentation. gail, tony, this is the handsome vinyl briefcase. look what i brought with me. >> we certainly thank you and appreciate your time this morning. on behalf of the washington center, thank you for spending your morning with us. [applause]
>> up next on c-span, a forum from american university on grass-roots organizing. after that, california in governor jerry brown is sworn in. later, a debate between the next chairman of the republican national committee. >> republican businessman rick scott will be sworn in as florida's 45th governor tomorrow. governor elect scott is expected to lay out his priorities as florida faces a $3.5 billion shortfall. we will have live coverage from tallahassee and and then eastern. later, a forum on the senate's use of the filibuster. live coverage from the heritage foundation begins at 2:00 p.m. eastern. >> the 112th congress dabbles in with the swearing in of members, the election of a new speaker
and a vote on new rules. watch at 7:00 a.m. eastern on washington journal. . up next, a discussion on grassroots organizing. glen caroline from the national rifle association is followed by a panel on social media. from the american university public affairs institute, this is an hour and 40 minutes. >> good afternoon. i would like to welcome back the c-span viewing audience for our second week of the public affairs and advocacy institute here at american university. we focus on the skills and understandings necessary for lobbying here in washington. my name is patrick griffin and i am the director of the institute.
i am delighted to introduce our guest this afternoon which i have done many times before as a result of his generous offer of his time and experience and his willingness to share with our students over the years. his name is glen caroline. he serves as a director of the grassroots division of the nra which is comprised of 12 staff members. the implements political grass- roots programs as well as the campaign field operations. i can tell you from experience after having suffered defeat at the hands of the nra and some of my other jobs, this is one of the most effective grassroots operations in washington. not the most effective grassroots operations in washington and probably in the country. he has demonstrated for that organization and for me
personally an untiring and very sophisticated ability to motivate people around things that matters to them most and bring it to some kind of cotructive free wi iive fruitio legislative process. he informs around the country as well as here at american university. he is editor of their grassroots alert monthly newsletter, a very important tool in their strategy in implementing their grassroots strategy. and he's also been a pretty active volunteer in grassroots work, i understand, in the last election, declaring himself as a republican operative for the gubernatorial races in virginia. again, i'd like to thank him for taking this time today and welcome him to our institute. >> thank you. >> thank you all, and happy new year. it's a pleasure to be back here. i always enjoy the opportunity to speak to you about not so
much why it is the nra does what we do but how we go about accomplishing our goals. for the purpose of today's discussioni'm going to talk about our grassroots activities and how they're integrated into professional lobbying activities. before i begin, though, i think it's important to have a firm understanding of what we at the national rifle association consider to be grassroots. i think most of us are familiar with the term, but it's a nebulous, evolving term where you might know what it is but it's hard to define. for the purpose of the national rifle associion or definition the grassroots is educating and empowering citizens to become active in the legislative and political processes. ilts really two sides of one coin where we're making sure our activists are educated, that is, they understand the dynamics of a particular piece of legislation or a candidate running for office, they understand how to impact that process effectively and the fact we ge them the training to do so effectively. one of the biggest challenges you can have is a member or
supporter whis extremely knowledgeable about all the nuances of your issues but has no concept how to take that information and practically make a difference. the flipside is tr. you can have something extremely eager and extremely eited and active who really doesn't know what he or she is talking about. you need to make sure they're educated so the activism is done in a productive manner. i've been very lucky in 20 years working for the national rifle association, and i've been on both sides of the issue of legislative activism. for a year or so in 1998 i was a federal lobbyist in our capitol hi office, so i saw what would happen when capitol hill office. i saw what happened when i'd speak to a member of congress and see buckets and buckets of letters they receive on an issue or list of faxes or oncalls they receive.
now their efforts will be bolstered by constituents in that district who share our commitment to the second amendment. the point i want to make, i'll be very honest with all of you, is that my job is not altruistic, it is not to ensure that 100% of americans are active in the political process orhat 100% of the voting age population is registered to vote. my job is to make sure that 100% of those who support the core missions of the national rifle association are fully engaged. we do that in a number of ways. let me talk about the building blocks of our grassroots programs. the reason we sucks succeed is because of lobbying by and for our nra members, speaking directly to the lawmakers and members of congressional staff. we provide them with the tools and opportunities and resources they need and we have a very active membership base that takes full advantage of the opportunities we present them. our goal is to have continuous
recruitment and continuous education and continuous activation on the second amendment. not just in peaks and sallies when there is something going on but rather the entire year to make sure we constantly have a presence. the goal is to establish a strong and sustainable base, not only for today but working with future generations who will. pick up the mantel of freedom and be our voices on capitol hill and when they interface with state and local legislators. to understand why it is the national rifle association is so successful, i think it is important to have a little bit of understanding of who is our base. who are the constituents that we are trying to mobilize and engage in legislative and political activism. first and foremost we have 4 million dues paying members which makes us amongst larger organizations in the united states. not quite the largest. the aarp boasted of its 40 million members, but 4 million is certainly nothing to sneeze at. i think to really get an understanding of how it is the
nra is structured is if you almost thought of an inverted pyramid. a pyramid flipd upside down with the top part of the pyramid, the base, the most significant part, is our members. as you move down towards the point of the pyramid you start talking about our national board of directors and professional staff members and our chief lobbyists and our executive vice president all the way down to probably the best example of the point of our pyramid is probably the years of charlton hton was our national president and mr. heston for all of the doors that he opened and all the good he did for the second amendment understood very clearly that the only reason he succeeded in the nra succeeded was because he stood on the shoulders of 4 million nra members who were willing to do the work of freedom every day in their communities. we also have identified from among our membership base some of our more active volunteers that we call our front lines volunteers. this number grows by thousands every year. we currently have 22,000 or so front lines volunteers. a program i'll talk about in a
minute. we also represent america's 80 million law abiding gun owners. not all of whom are nra members, but many of whom despite not being current members ofhe association share our commitment to protecting the second amendment and are willing to work on political campaigns, contact their lawmakers when a bill is moving in congress or in their state. i do want to makeote that we are not in the firearm industry lobby. they have a separate organization headquartered out of connecticut that rresents the industry's interests. clearly there are times when the interests of the industry and that of nra align and we work together. but keep in mind our constituents aren't necessarily those who manufacture and sell firearms. our constituents are those who currently or perhaps in the future may choose to legally own a gun here in the united states. an obvious question when talking about building a grassroots network is where do you find active supporters, where do you go out and find the people who you can count on to answer the call to action. we're very fond of talking about utilizing the natural resoues
of the gun owning community or in other words, hunting where the ducks are. that is targeting our outreach and our recruitment efforts on those venues where we thi we can get the biggest return on that outreach investment. so we know where to find the nation's 80 million gun owners. they can usually be found in places like gun shops and gun shows and gun and hunting clubs and events and shooting ranges. as you can imagine, we spend a lot of time reaching out at these venues talking to potential supporters, talking to nra members to make sure they're educated and are mobilized for legislative and political action. let's talk for a moment about grassroots activism as it relates to legislative activism. that is our efforts to pass or defeat bills at congress, at the state legislative level or even down to the city and town level. what you'll find is a lot of similarities between how we mobilize and empower and educate our members for legislative activism as there is in an election year.
as was noted in my bio, we are currently a staff of 12 in the grassroots division and we structure our staff in basically two halves -- half of the staff functions as kind of a legislative aide would on capitol hill. we are responsible for handling probably 90% of the incoming contacts that come into our headquarters of the legislative and political nature, because we understand very keenly tha somebody who's willing to pick up the phone or write a letter or send an e-mail or send a fax is demonstrating that first virtue we are looking for in a volunteer -- they're willing to take action. so we handle the incoming kwqu y queries and incoming suggestion and sometimes even complaints that folks have because we want to take that passion this individual hasdemonstrated, provide them with a serviceable answer to their reest and then try to transform them into not just an educated individual but an educated political activist. the other half of our office functions as a field training team. they go out recruit and train our top level grassroots
supporters. they travel across the country and work in particular districts po mobilize gun owners to conduct campaign or legislative training workshops. i think we've had a lot of success. for so time "fortune" magazine would run a poll of the most effective organizations in the united states. they were serve beltway insiders and pundits and lawmakers and congressional staff and the first couple few years of the poll the aarp was always the number one rated organization. nra always fared pretty well. maybe we were five one year, maybe three. in the most recent survey, i think it was 2001, for the first ti ever a group other than aarp occupied the top spot. and it was the national rifle association. in fact that was reinforced by a poll done in 2005 published in the natural journal that showed us as the most effective organization representing its members and its interests in congress. we do that through a combination of professional lobbying as well as grassroots lobbying.
our lobbyists as can you imagine don't always have ten, 15, 20, 30 minutes to sit down with a member of the united states congress or his staff to lay out all the reasons why we think our legislative position is the superior one so you can almost look at a lobbyist in a way as kind of the tip of a funnel where all the different ways to attack a particular piece of legislation or make a valid point about our position kind of goes into the top of the funnel, then in a very short amount of time they are required to make a very succinct, cogent. persuasive point as to why we think a particular bill may be good for gun owners or bad for gun owners. what we do in grassroots is provide them with the air support they need. when i was a lobbyist talking to a mem beber of the united state senate or house and his staff i always took comfort knowing my inner face with that congressional staffer or member of congress was probably not
first time he or she was hearing nra's position because we had confidence our grassroots members nft trenches were deluging their offices with phone calls, e-mails, faxes, letters, talking about how a particular issue affected them as a pro second amendment constituent. the reason nra succeeds i think and why we've been superior to a lot of other organizations is because we have superior human resources. we pride ourselves in having constant communication with our members and supporters. we have a weekly grassroots alert that goes to almost 2 million individualevery friday by e-mail and its posted on our website, accessed by thousands of others on a regular basis. monthly newsletter called "freedom's voice" goes to thousands every month electronical that gives our members information they need on a previous week's events in the united states congress or in the united states legislature and talks about the next step in the
process and concurrently what do they need to do as an nra member and as a pro second amendment activist to make sure our agenda succeeds? so we try very hard to integrate our grassroots activism with our 13 professional state and local lobbyists, each responsible for the state and local activities of five, six, seven, eight states, and our six or seven federal lobbyist whose break down the country and are responsible for representing our interests and legislative positions with those congressional delegations. we have a number of programs that we utilize to recruit and train and mobilize volunteers but we also use very traditional methods that many organizations are used to. we have a number of internal delivery mechanisms that we utilize that are built in to the nra routine that we know we can utilize to deliver critical legislative and political information. for example, one of the many benefits one receives for many an nra member is choice to a monthly magazine that will hit
your mailbox every single month. knowing that everyone of our 4 million members is going to receive his or her magazine every month provides us something that's already on o budget, that's part of tir regular delivery mechanism where we can integrate legislative and political information so we know at minimum, every month we have an opportunity to communicate with our membership base utilizing this existing resource we have in the way of our magazine. the grassroots division handles most of the incoming calls that the nra receives of a political and legislative ture. we have an 800 to-free hotline where people can call us to alert us things going on in their state that we may have missed or are not aware of all the time from washington, d.c., or they can ask us a question or get an update on a particular piece of legislation or t some information how to mobilize gun owners. also when we're in the field. we pride ourselves very heavily that we travel across the country. we visit the natural resources of the gun owning community.
we're at gun shops. we're talking to the range owners. we're visiting the gun shops, attending the hunting club meeting. while we do have a way to communicate with our members electronically and via the website that i'll talk about later, one thing that distinguishes the nra is that we ill have a very high level of interpersonal connection with our members and our supporters. i think that's very important. let me just discuss three of our flagship volunteer programs to put a finer point on what i just discussed. first and foremost i mentioned our front lines volunteer program. these are those nraembers whose primary interest, primary desire for being a member of the national rifle association, is because they want to help us, they want to actively help us defend the secondmendment to the united states constitution. so this is our flagship volunteer program among those who are most dedicated to our mutual cause of passing pro-gun bills and defeating anti-gun legislation. we currently have 22,000 individuals and this number
grows literally by the week with people opting in to this program. talking more about utilizing the natural resources that gun owners have to offer, we established a program called our second amendment activist center program. this is where we've establish businesses that are primarily gun or hunting related businesses but not exclusively. we have a vuum repair shop in florida that serves as an activist center. gas stations across the country. these are business owners who support the mission of the nra that agree to be used as local distribution points for our materials. so that we can send them quarterly packages of whether it is voter registration materials, volunteer forms, and we'll list them on our website and give them promotion so local members and local gun owners know they can go to joe's gun shop monday through friday from 8:00 to 6:30 to pick up their second amendment packet p. this is another way for us to reach those individuals we may miss or may not be able to pck
up who nonetheless are going to a gun sh or range or gun club or local gas station who can still hear our message. right now we have almost 200 second amendment advocate certain set up in about 35 states. our flagship volunteer program established in 1994 is our election volunteer coordinator program or evc by its acronym. this is where we've identified and trained an individual nra member in probably about 250 congressional districts now that serve as the liaison, the go-between, between nra members and gun owners in that particular area and the various campaigns that we're supporting for office in an election year. evcs serve as the grassroots local point of contact. every one of them is a volunteer. none of them are compensated in any way except for getting our eternal gratitude. and in addition to providing campaign support in the way of grassroots campaign volunteers, they also activate their networks to assist us in times of legislative action, either at the state level, federal level or even somimes right down to the local level.
so not only are they assting with our campaign activities on election years and eltion years but they're on a year-round basis also helping us advance our legislative agenda. we post all the contact information at www.nraioa.org. to enroll in our front lines program this is the form that one fills out. more and mo individuals are signing up online but we still have a hard copy form that we can make available to people when we're at a gun shop or speaking at a gun club or range. you can see this is where we collect the general information as to how and where wean contact the individual. we try to gauge what they may be interested in doing in the hopes that we can tailor our outreach request based on what they suggest they're interested in. i want to point out first question to the form which asks if we can share your contact information with your local election volunteer coordinator. nra is prohibited by its by laws from turning over and sharing our membership list with any
member outside the organization. as a member that makes me very happy. most of our members guard their privacy very alously. as a political activist, wouldn't it be great if i could give every evc a list of 3,000 or 10,000 nra members in their district where they can start mobilizing? what we've zon asked for people to opt in, give us permission to network with local activists through their evc. what we've found in recent years is folks who enroll in the front lines program will agree to have their information shared with their evc so they can build local networks of like-minded individuals. it is a great way for us to establish local pockets of grassroots activists throughout the country. let me talk a little bit about some of our internet or online features with the caveat again that while i don't believe any organization today can succeed without a sophisticated and fully functional integrative web and e-mail program, one of the things that i believe makes the nra unique is the personal connection we have with our
members. when i talk about our evcs, i can tell you in working for the nra for almost 20 years i know many of these evcs personally. i've had dinner with them, satk children, have met their grandchildren. when i send the e-mail to most of my uvcs, we are very often communicating with friends that wife's known for decades, not just members. that personal relationship definitely enhances our ability to mobilize our grassroots network. we have an e-mail li of almost 2 million individuals as i mentioned, every friday they will receive our weekly political grassroots alert that will summarize the previous week's is being tifts activitie national and state level and give them an update of the next step so they can maybe help out or take action. we have functions where can you identify and contact both state and federal lawmakers as well as in your newspapers by plugging in your zip code. this allows you to not only learn who is your state legislat legislator, who is your united states representative, how can
you contact your united states senator, what newspapers have circulation in my area, but directly from our site you can get the information you need and the tools you need to send an effective e-mail in the form of a letter to the editor of your local paper or to draft an e-mail directly to your elected officials all without ever leaving our website. sometimes we will have special subsections of our website dedicated to a very high-profile or hot issue. one that springs to mind is we had a second amendment right to keep and br arms ballot initiative in texas that we won. yes on one was the campaign. we asked people to vote question on question one. we had a specific website for kansas yes on one where people could read the ballot language, wnload flyers, write letters to their local paper in support of it, e-mail to a friend.
we will sometimes post streaming video on the website where some of our campaign training seminars or lobbying training seminars where people can't tend will be posted on the website so those unable to attend in person can nonetheless get the same level of training by watching it on their computer. we're getting very active in the social networng sites. i'll talk about in a little bit. we have a regular daily radio news program that's broadcast simultaneously on our web called nra news. it is a way for us to talk about gun related, foreign-related issues directly by viewers by passing through a filter of the national local media that sometimes puts a negative spin on nra's positions. this nra news program is streamed live. it is on satellite radio as well r those who choose to tune in. any issue that we've ever dealt with you can download what we call a faqs sheet. these are educational items on every subject we've navigated on the federal and state level.
this goes to the education component where our members can about to the website. get why is it that nra opposes this particular piece of legislation? why do you support citizens ability to carry firearms in public? if you want to know we have a way to teach you through our faqs sheets. i remember when i first started working for nra in the grassroots division in the early '90s we'd have staff contact lawmakers and get a list of their congressional town hall meetings. we would then alert our members as to where and when they were taking place and lawmakers got a little bit upset with the fact that sometimes a town hall that was supposed to be focused on job creation or health care or taxes turned into a forum on gun control and gun relat issues because nra members would pack the hall. so sometimes members of congress ge a little bit more reluctant to give us that information. rather than just stopping when that road block was erected we noempowerer ow members to contact those elected officials.
they will share where the constituents will be with us and we can use a larger bully pulpit to get that information out to our members and supporters to attend the forum and let them know the issues of concern to us and give them tips on how to effectively communicate that message at a town hall meeting. this is just a screen shot of our home page. if you go to nraioa.org. it is a little outdated but this is basically what it looks like. i talked about the faqs sheets, if you click on issues, there theis a drop-down. this is a snapshot unour take action section. this tips for communicating with the media. if you want to find out how to write and effective letter to the edir, search what newspapers or tv stations are in your area, you can do that and also click your state to get that information.
it is very similar to fetechnoly for folks we use to identify their individual lawmakers as well. i think we've been quite effective in mobile identifiesing our base of support to articulate our position to elected officials. just recently we passed legislation to further that says any ti buy a firearms from a gun dealer no matter who you are, you have to go through an extensive background check. we've since made a number of improvements that tohat. we made sure the so-called cosmetic features on guns expired in 2004. we passed legislation precluding mayors and big city lawyers from suing those who legally manufacture and legally sell
firearms for the acts of a criminal when a criminal steals an misuses a gun you can't go back and sue somebody who legally manufactured or sold the product. we've passed legislation prohibiting the confiscation of lawfully owned guns during declared states of emergency. we saw in the aftermath of hurricane katrina amid the dev state station local police were going door to door to cons fis kate guns of lawful citizens when they had no cell service, no police support, no electricity. when they needed their right to self-defense most these firearms were being confiscated. we passed a law to make that illegal. we passed legislation to allow people to lawfully carry their firearms in national parks and wildlife refuges. passed legislation to allow people to legally transport their guns in checked baggage on amtrak trail just like when they fly coercial airlines. i always say it is ver easy when somebody who supports what you do tells you you're doing a great job. i believe it speaks volumes more when somebody who may be on the other side of the issue
nonetheless is willing to praise you. take a look at these two quotes. the nra does the best job of any group in america in lobbying membs. it is just good straight democracy. same person, the most successful political organization in america is the national rifle association. they don't have anything other than they lobby members. they write and they call and they talk to members. again this sounds like somebody who supports our legislative agenda. this is fact was uttered by congressman barney frank, of former home state of massachusetts, who at the time of uttering this quote sat on the house judiciary committee where probably 90% of the gun related bills that we have to deal with emanate from. here's one re. let me make one small vote for the nra. they're good citizens, they call their congressmen, they write, they vote, they contribute and get what they want over time. you know george stephanopoulos from abc new i remember him as one of bill clinton's clooef chief politili
bit -- strategists. he was willing to say they do a very good job in educating and empowering their members. let's switch gears now and talk a little bit about grassroots activism in the political arena. now we're not talking about passing or defeating legislation but rather electing or defeating candidates for office. in december of 2007 a poll was released that found 27% of voters are more likely to support a candidate endorsed by the nra nap translates into 40 million registered voters being influenced by our endorsements. at the time that ranked higher than basically was more influential than our endorsements than form are president clinton, president bush the first, the a fchfl-cio believe it or not, even more influence than oprah winfrey or barbra streisand.
that's presstty impressive. one of our best traing tools is what we callour election action manual. this is basically a gun owners activist bible. where we walk in through soup to nuts everything they can and should be doing to be an effective political activist. understanding that some people may have never showed up at a campaign headquarters to put a stamp on an envelope before while others may have hosted fund-rairs in their home we're trying to lay out a whole host of options that they can choose from so as they get more comfortable they can flip the page in this publication and find somebody a little bit more challenging or little bit more sophisticated that they can get the training and instruction they need to do correctly. we also spent quite a bit of time on voter registration. we believe by getting more of our members registered we can make a huger impact. in 2008, 50% of the voting age
population voted. 131 million out 2 million eligible voters. if you look at 2006, mid-term election, only 37%, about one-third of the voters made a difference. when we work to register and mobilize our members, our 4 million members and 80 million lawful gun owners in this country we can make a huge difference in the outcomes of elections. one of the things we spent some effort on both in the 2008 and 2010 congressional elections but also in the 2009 virginia state wide and how was delegate elections is what we call our campaign field representative program. this is a program that basically bolsters what i alluded to early, our election volunteer coordinator program. the difference is our campaign field representatives are people that we hire as ofessional campaign staff people, we train them up in the summer, usually late july or august, and we put them on the ground in targeted congressional districts and states across the country to run independent campaigns among gun
owners and second amendment supporters to make sure that our supporters are registered to vote, make sure they are recruiting volunteers for their networks, conducting phone banks, they're knocking on doors, handing out literature, getting out yard signs, they're having folks write letters to the editor and they're getting out the vote and turng out people on election day. in the 2010 election cycle we hired campaign field representatives that coordinated races in 11 different states. let's look at what they accomplished in probably about four months. they managed to recruit 540 new volunteers. they made over 107,000 phone calls. they visited almost 67,000 households. they distributed over 130,000 candidate-specific flyers outlining a candidate's support for the second amendment and/or his opponent's opposition to the second amendment. they distributed almost 100,000 candidate bumper tickers, almost 6,000 nraioa political
yard signs, they attended more than 50 gun shows. they visited more than 1,000 gun shops. they visited more than 250 gun clubs. theyisited more than 200 ranges and went to almost 60 other events. tea party parades, vfw halls, et cetera. this is what i'm talking about in utilizing the natural resources ofhe pro second amendment community. one of the advantages we have over our opponents is -- excuse the analogy, we can use targeted rifle-shot precision to target a particular constituency. we have gun shows. there aren't any antigun shows or antigun clubs or antigun ranges. we have these places where we have a high level of certainty that the people who are frequenting these venues support the nra. our opponents have to use more of a scattershot shotgun approach because they don't have these built-in natural resources that they can take into account when recruiting volunteers. talking about the proof being in the pudding. in the end of the day getting
involved in elections is about trying to win as many races as possible and we were pretty successful this year we had 19 wins and six losses. 15 field reps were involved in 25 different races. everything from governor to u.s. senate to united states house of representatives, to even that ballot question in kansas, the right to keep and beararms. so 19-6 is a pretty good batting average this election year. as we do with legislative activism in addition to our personal interaction with our election volunteer coordinators and our mebers, we he many political resources we use that are electronic in nature. i want to talk about a few of those if i could. i touched on briefly our foray and increased presence utilizing social networking, faceboo, youtubes, twitter, et cetera. we're making more and more strides and spending more and more time and efforts on having a presence in this arena. one of the things that we're learning, as many other organizations are learning, is the demographics, who uses these sites. it's not just young kids
anymore. the largest growing demographic in social networking are folks between the age of 35 and 40 now. many folks think myspace and facebook and youtube and think you all, but in reality the fastest growing group are people more my age demographic. i'm sad to say that i'm no longer in your age demographic. there are over 400 millio users of social networking world wide. as far as nra, we have almost 700,000 friends on facebook. we have almost 10,000 friends on myspace. we have 4,100 followers on twitter which is a new venture for us. our youtube channel, the nra channe where we post almost 300 videos, we have 11,000 subscribers that log in 57bd check out various videos and political ads we have running. this has been yet another way for us to deliver information to folks who are more frequently turning to social networki to get their political information
57 and we're taking full advantage of it. if you type in national rifle association on facebook, you get taken to our page. talking aboutoutube and videos -- i'll just keep going. aside from news and entertainment, youtube, politics and current events are becoming some of the most sght-after content on youtube. people are getting a lot of their political news and political content on youtube. we have almost 300 pro gun/nra related videos or ads up there, debates, clips, whenever we do a tv or radio ad we post it on youtube so people can actually see it. we have a specific site on our website on our political website dedicated to voter registration where you can click onour state and we can get all the dates and deadlines and
requirements for the primary election, general election. you can even download a voter registration application that you can complete and return. we use the web quite frequently. this is a snapshot of the vor registration portion where you would go and click on your state and get all the information you need. you could also print a voter registration application that could be sent to your county clerk's office and you can register to vote from our website. this past year we set up a trigger the vote, a voter education fund, a tax-exempt organization dedicated solely toward voter registration. we were very blessed to have chuck norris serve as the honorary chairman of that endeavor. he was very gracious with his time in reaching out to people who support the constitution and the second amendment. sevening as the honorary chairman talking about the importance to register to vote and if the computer works i just want to put up a quick ad that he did for us. this is going to be the
highlight of my presentation. this is why you have to rely on personal communication because when these computers don't work, it turns into a debacle. i don't know what to tell you. maybe it will cue up while i'm talking. but chuck norris was very generous with his time, cutting ads, traveling to nra conventions and meetings talking about the importance to registering to vote and why people who support the nra and support the second amendment need to register to vote. that's a snapshot of what the trigger the vote website looks like. i'm going to keep going. but again this was a message by chuck norris talking to our members, talking to our supporters as only he can as to why registering to vote is something that's critically important. in ten more seconds i'm going to
kick the computer and we'll ask inthis -- skip this exercise a together. we have a lot of folks who don't necessarily agree with the decisions the nra makes who don't necessarily think that our agenda is the best agenda but who nnls realize we do an exceptionally good job mobilizing our members to register to vote to actively work on political campaigns and to go out and vote free and first on election day. let me put up a couple of votes bothrom the same person. i don't think there is any doubt that in at least five states i can think of, the nra had a decisive influence. they probably more to do than anyone else than the fact that we didn't win the white house this time. the gun lobby claimed to have defeated 19 of the 24 members on its hit list. they did at least thatuch damage. that's from former president bill clinton who up until that time was arguably the most anti-second amendment president
that we had had who we crossed swords with on a number of legislator issues. we didn't obviously agree with what the president tried to do, but nonetheless he acknowledged that we did a very effective job mobilizing our base and our supporters to go out and vote. as i mentioned earlier in the introduction of my remarks, we're not just trying to make sure current nra members are active in the legislative and political process. we're thinking a little bit down the road to try to identify and train the next generation of political leaders. because any organization has to guard against the graying and decaying in the movement where people get older and you don't replenish the ranks of your supporters. we've taken the time to reach out to pro second amendment college age students to give them the tools and information they need to have a firmer understanding of the second amendment, to understand some of the fallacies of the false promise of gun control and to give them the training they need to help us both on campus to educate fellow students and to volunteer off campus to help
with our political and legislative activities. we call the program nra university. it is specifically geared toward nra supporters at the college level. in addition to the training and information we give them, we give them a complimentary annual nra membership so they can sample what the nra is all about, hopefully join afterwards. we have a number of age appropriate items, hats, key chains, and the like that we give out tt are very popular and we promote this program almost exclusively using facebook and our nrau website. while i noted that social networking, the quickest growing demographic is a little bit older, we know that most folks in college are on facebook every day all the time. so this is our primary, if not exclusive, mechanism by which we communicate the information about an nra university program. these are just some of the snapshots, some of the programs we've done this year. in 2010 we did about 20 different nra universities and targeted air yadz across the
country. not only did we educate the students on the national rifle association, the second amendment and our legislative positions but we also got them integrated into the some of the activities of our campaign field reps who on their own te would volunteer to help with voter registration drives or phone banks, door knocks and the like and have proved to be very successful. let me conclude by noting that our goal isn't just to make a point but to, rather, get out there an truly make a difference in both the legislative and political arenas. it starts by recruiting members, individuals who sport second amendment whether nra members or not, educating them so they understand what's attake and understand the nuances of the bill and understand the positions of the candidate, they understand how to effectively engage themselves. then we give them the training they need to make sure they're mobilized. we don't want individuals to simly undersnd our positions. we want individuals who are advocates for our positions. mobilization, activation. those are the keys and that's the strategy we've used for
quite a long time. i'll conclude just by noting, it is very posh to understand that none of the successes happen by accident and none of the successes we enjoy happen just because we are the national rifle association. all of the successes we enjoy come from a lot of hard work and planning. there is literally not a day that goes about when we are not evaluating or trying to improve some of our educational delivery mechanisms o training programs or campaign field representative programs. literally a day or twofter the november election of 2010 we started to take a hard look at what the campaign field staff had done. in 2011 we'll be even better edwoipd meet the change lengths and opportunities we'll face in 2012. the planning and strategized we are trying to improve is ongoing even though we're the best at what we do, we are never satisfied, never resting on our laurels. our goal basically is to understand that we can't expect
everybody to do everything for us to be successful but we have to work that ensure that everybody does at least something. by giving many opportunities at many different levels we are increasing the chances we'll have more americans dedicated to the second amendment becoming active participants not just spectators in american politics. i think we've enjoyed a lot of success. with that how about i stand down for the remainder of time. i will leave my contact information up there. anybody who wants to check out the website or some of the features that i discussed, you're more than welcome and encouraged to do so. as long as i have, i'll take any questions, comments or suggestions. you want me to call on them, patrick? ladies first. emily right here. >> emily from missouri. i'm wondering does the nra ever work in coalition with other organizations? and if so, what sort of issues -- or how do you address like communication you want to put out since your members' list is kind of proprietary.
>> a lot of organizations want to partner with the nra. we are a single issue organization. that is the only issue we can get involved with are gun related issues. we don't really partner with anti-tax groups or national-defense groups or pro-life type groups because it falls outside of our single-issue mission. but there are instances where we'll work with other pro-second amendment organizations or hunting wildlife organizations or we're a member of future of the shooting sports, the world forum, where other nation whe are concerns have the erosion of their gun-free doms in their country come together to talk about how we can combat international threats to our individual gun rights. so, yes, there are times we will work as members after coalition if the mission is to protect the second amendment but we don't very often are not really able to become coalition members on anything outside the issue of gun related issues. >> i'm wondering, do you ever like when the coalitions that you do join, are there ever
instances where they want this message to be sent out to e members? account coalition send that out? do they give it to you then you send it out yourselves? >> well, obviously everybody wants to get their own message heard. our main focus is to make sure the message that we believe is best for nra members and gun owners gets communicated. so as people have ideas and hve suggestions if we feel tho the suggestions fit into the matrix of what we are trying to accomplish, we willncorporate that into our message. other times we are creating the message so it depends. but the key is all of our messages, all of our activities are geared towards a single mission of staying focused only on gun related issues. >> obviously your success is based on the very large and very committed membership base and for our case we're starting kind of in january and for the sake of our group we're going to be trying to pass a vote around the end of the year. we're starting with no membership base. from your presentation what would you say maybe applies to starting fresh. how do you recruit members in a
short period of time? >> there are a couple of key points. first is to find who are the natural constituencies of your issue and make sure first and foremost that's who you're targeting, to not waste time thinking too big but think a little bit more narrow in who has the most to gain or lose by the particular issue we're advocating for or against and make sure those folks understand what's at stake, what they have to gain or lose personally an then why they should join your coalition, be part of what you are trying to do. secondly i would take a look at whatever type of existing reurces already exist, whether it is social networking sites. make sure every member of your team has a facebook space or twitter account to utilize those communication tools and to talk to people who know you personally and hopefully with respect your opinion and maybe share your values so that you are talking to an aience where you're probably going to get a high level of return on interest than you would if you just did a shotgun approach where you randomly target people where you n't know what their motivations were.
>> i have a question if you have any strategic insights from your experience where there is a particular issue where you have a very clear relative advantage having a committed activist base, but for whatever reason, at that particular point in time, public sentiment just generally speaking seems to be a little bit less favorable than it had been in the past. how you deal with sort of using the activist base while at the same time acknowledging that you have some age questions to work on with the general public. >> remember at the end of the day what usually determines victory and defeat isn't public opinion polls and public sentiment. it is the number of votes cast on a particular bill or the number of votes cast in an election. so by working to make sure this very large and unified base of support is always active, always focused on this one issue we still have enough numbers very often to overcome what may be perceived as public opposition. what i would suggest to you is
many times this public opposition or this misperception is basedn people not understanding the facts which is why we had to take great lengths to ed case folks as to what it is the nra stands for, what we believe in, why we take a particular position and we tend to win over some of those folks who may not be in our example to begin with. but at the end of the day as i said, not being altruistic, not trying to win everybody over but to make sure on election day that there are more people that support our cause and will actually go to the polls than our opponents. that's one of the advantages we have, is that our base is very large, very unified and very passionate. they're willing to roll up their sleeves and do those types of things. >> you mentioned all your legislative successes in the last few years. do you find it easier to recruit members after those kind of successes or when you're kind of on the defense? >> that's a great question. i think human nature would probably suggest that people are more willing to be active when they fear they have something to
lose than they have something to gain. people fear they're going to lose a right or lose their ability to own a particular type of gun, that lights a fire under them. they're pretty willing to engage themselves. if you're talking about making a kind of good situation even a little bit better? people will get involved but it sometimes is more difficult. one of the challenges any successful organization such as rs has is to guard against complacency, to remind peoe that our gun rights are aays hanging in the balance. we're one supreme court justice away from things changing, one election away from things changing. we remember what it was like back in the days where patrick was helping president clinton and janet reno and al gore. we remember what it was like and we'll never forget that. so we want to make sure that our members are always fully engaged to realize that no matter how good they think they have it now, we have to continue toe active and continue to speak with oneoice because loss of our gun rights or taking a step back are always just one election away.
>> does the nra ever worry about by going to these events to recruit members they're therefore endorsing the event -- i guess extrapolating it, if the nra goes to a tea party event, it kind of seems like the nra supports the tea party. >> i think nra has a marketing brand name enough to know if we're there we're there to promote our singular mission of protecting the second amendment for members of our organization. there are many folks out there motivated by many other things but have a core belief in the second amendment. we want to tap into that vein. we make it very clear and people who understand the nra know we're not here endorse tax cuts or stimulus spending. we're here to talk about something which unites us l which is the second amendment. if you want to help us join the second amendment in addition to some of the other issues that motivate you, we want you as part of our team but we can't
get involved in promoting issues that fall outside of our core mission of being a single-issue pro-second amendment group. >> do you encourage members to do local lobby visits in district? >> yes, we do. we work pretty tirelessly especially during congressional recesses when washington lawmakers are home for people to either go to town halls or set up personal meetings while they're in thetrict. we encourage our folks to meet with dtrict staff even when congress is in session. clearly it is much easier to set up visits with your state legislators whoften live and work among us on a daily basis. even our local folks. really there's no substitute to personal interaction with lawmakers. if someone was to ask me the most effective way to communicate and be effective with a lawmer, it would be to set up a meeting with him or her. we do try to encourage that as much as we can. >> the evcs, how do you utilize
shop owners or gun range owners differently than you use the average gun owner? >> well, most of those individuals themselves are individualnra members who are communicating the same way another memr would be but we also understand that they have the ability to interact with scores, hundreds or thousands of gun owners and second amendment supporters that we may or may not be able to reach. while we want to mobilize them as an individual second amendment supporter, we also want them to amplify our message by reaching out to people who we may not be able to reach because they may not get our magazines or maybe they don't get our e-mail alerts or maybe they know the gun shop owner or range owner personally and he will have a higher level of credibility than a washington, d.c.-based organization. we use them to amplify the message to reach out to masses to help bolster and supplement what we try to do with individual members. >> beside having individual members lobby? >> well, it depends on the
individual member. if somebody's professionalnd plight and passionate and understands how to effectively communicate, that's great. if somebody turns a lawmaker off with his appearance or his behavior, that's not so helpful. that's why if you review some of our training materials, we give suggestions onow to maximize that visit and maximize that communication to achieve a positive outcome. >> one of t big impacts that the nra ha in the town is the scorecard and endorsement process. i was wondering if you could talk a little bit about how that plays in a sense to between both the legislative side and political side. >> sure. i'll first tell you a little bit how we go about making our endorsements and issuing grades in an election year. that's an important point to understand. in addition to nra being a single-issue organization focused only on gun issues, we are non-partisan. we don't pace on opinion on a
lawmaker based on whether he or she is a democrat or a republican but rather are they a supporter or opponent of the second amendment or somewhere in between. we're single issue, nonpartisan. we also have, as do many organizations, something called a pro-gun incumbent-friendly policy. that's somebody who's demonstrated a voting record is going to trump statements in support of our rights. that is if we have an incumbent lawmaker with a demonstrated pro-gun voting record running for re-election, we're going to support that incumbent over a challenger. the way we evaluate a candidate's grade and whether or not they're worthy of our support or op signature is we look at voting records for those who have them, send out a questionnaire to filed candidates who find out how they may vote on issues from the past or issues in the future. we look at their campaign terials, listen to their speeches. sometimes our professional staff will sit down and meet with them to talk to them. we rely on intelligence from our members who say i was at an event or know this guy personally. we'll take all that information and issue candidaterades in an election year. if you're really strong an nra
issues you'll get an " a." it is a way for us to communicate to those members and say regardless of how this candidate stands on any other non-gun related issue, here is how we evaluate his or her support or opposition to the second amendment and we encourage you to put this issue on top of your list when you go to vote on election day. it is a fascinating education tool so people can understand the differences inositions on solely gun related issues between candidates running for office in their area. >> -- legislation at the state and local level can sometimes be asmportant as at the federal level. do you -- with all the resources you have, you can't be in every single municipality and city in the country, do you rely on individual members to come to you and say, hey, my township is
banning the right to carry, then they come to you and the national office coordinates action? or are you really just keeping aware of everything that's going on? >> we do our best to keep aware of everything. but the united states of america with 300 million-plus people is a big place to cover when you're headquartered here in washington, d.c. while i think we do a very good job in monitoring all gun related activities inevery nook and cranny in the country, it is an impossible task to do all the time. so to answer your question, yes, we do rely on members. a local member who may get in touch with his or her state or local lobbyist. we look into the situation and decide what the threat is and what the best way is for us to mobilize members. sometimes what we may do is simply send an alert out to members just within that paicular town or particular county and try to get fks to come out to a local hearing. at the local level, 1 or 15 or 20 or 25 people show up for a board of supervisors meeting that's used to having nfive or
six people in the room, it is a pretty big statement. sometimes we talk to them about here are the things th we thk are priorities but at the same time they're alerting us to challenges and opportunities that we may or may not be aware of so we know where to fight the fight. we rely on them especially at the local level to keep us informed which is part of the reasonf you call into our office with a question or observation it won't cost you anything. we have the toll-free hotline to encourage people to do just that. >> you said there were six nra positions that lost in the last election. are the -- is that the end of it for nra or are there counter measures you're ying to take to reverse those? >> you talk out the six candidates that lost in the -- >> yeah. >> to be perfectly honest with you, every one of those candidates that lost was replaced by an "a" rated challenger. we'll probably have a pro-gun incumbent next time around.
this was an interesting year in that a lot of democrat incumbents were good on the second amendment who earned our support were defeated, not because of their votes in support of the second amendment, but because of a lot of animosity on other issues. i don't think i can think of more than one case where one of our endorsed incumbents wasn't replaced by and equally pro-gun challenger. they'll be replaced by somebod who is probably vote the same way and will be the beneficiary of our pro-gun incumbent endorsement policy if they seek re-election in two years. we'll just work with the new members and we do to educate them on dynamics of our issue and provide them information on good bills and bad bills and try to make sure our members are talking to the newly elected lawmakers some of whom have never cast a vote on the second amendment or a gun related issue to make sure their constituents are talking with them and reminding them you vowed to support the second amendment, we're going to make sure you make good on that campaign promise. >> i'm curious about your
organization's what is the board composition and how much lobbying do you do in house and how much do you contract thattous? >> our board of directors is 76 individuals, a third of whom are up eve two years. they are the ones that set the broad-based policies of the national rifle association that we as staff are required to implement. we put the flesh on bones. most of our lobbying is done in-house by nra individuals. there are some instances where we may have somebody to assist but through our state and local lobbying team, we cover all 50 states an our federal affairs team that covers all 50 congressional delegations. most of that lobbying is handled by professional nra staff member. >> how do you identify your key races that you're going to work on? i know you mentioned that in the races, the ones that lost, the people who lost were replaced by equally pro gun challengers. how did you decide to focus on those races as opposed to since
the challenger was equally -- >> depends on the dynamic. first of all, one of the criteria we have whether we'll support somebody is they have to be viable. we have many cases where we have an a-rated incbent being challenged by -- excuse me, let me rephrase. an f-rated incumbent being challenged by an a-rated challenger. but even though there is a huge disparity in their pition on the second amendment, based on the demographics and voting history, based on maybe some of the partisan tilt there is no chance to win that district. for us to spend time in that race we'll take time and money out of a more march gal race we could make a difference in. weave to look at the availability and look at the political landscape. we have to look at the sophistication of the campaign. we factor in a whole host of issues in deciding which candidates we're going to support. then as we look at the resources we narrow down the races to do we think our grassroots or financial or professional input on that particular race or
activism on that race i should say can make the most difference to maybe elect a really good pro-second amendment champion or maybe defeat somebody who's been really bad over the years but is subject to being defeated this year because of the political environment. there is a whole host of things we have to take into conversation. what we understand is the contributions our members give us in denominations of $15 or $20, we have a fiduciary obligation to spend those funds wisely. we understd that the guy who scratches out a $20 check once orr twice a year because he believes that fervently in the second amendment, we owe it to him to make sure we put that money and those resources to good use. so we take a look at the political environment and look at resources. we try to identify those races we think our targeted activism in that race may change the dynam dynamic, unelecting a bad incumbent or replacing a good challenger who will be a good
incumbent. >> does your mission change in light after school shooting or for example the virginia tech massacre, how your position as the grass root level changes and if you address things differently when sentiment for gun control may be higher. ? >> in the aftermath after tragedy we're all americans and we have to be sensitive to the emotions that are running high. i think unlike our opponents though, we couldn't prescribe remedies until we understand what the actual problem was. virginia tech is a very good example. i will never forget a fund-raiser that i had in my house -- in my office sent out by one of our oonents in the brady campaign after the virginia tech shooting that asked for $32, $1 for each of the individuals slaughtered at virginia tech already calling for new gun control before they even knew anything how did the shooter get the gun, how did he get on campus? so our underlying message doesn't necessarily change. that is criminals by definition are law breakers. they are not going to obey the law. are we passing laws that
disenfranchise and penalize law abiding citizens while empowering criminals? if so we don't believe that's a proper remedy. we believe in finding a balance to make sure we punish individuals based on their behavior while at thsame time respecting the second amendment rights of those who have done nothing to dishonor the constitution that would disqualify them from owning a gun. is there heightened sensitivity after something like this? of course. we're all human beings and all americans. nobody likes to see that. should we ever be blamed for the act of a criminal that does that? absolutely not. our message is basically always the same in that we want to punish criminals, not law abiding gun owners. we don't believe in blaming the tool, we and we think it's a much more effective way to reduce future tragedies to remove criminals from society, than it is to somehow blame lawful gun owners based on the type of tool that they own, so i guess that's the best that i can answer your question. >> ask a communication's question in a different way. >> sure. >> construct, to kind of sort out, what is it you know the elements of a strategic
messaging framework? it seems like you guys have a great kind of policy theme, protect the second amendment. you have, what also is pretty important, an emotional message, in that, to people -- don't let people take away your guns and your rights. once at's established, do you find yoursf deloping further distinctions in your messages as you try to reach women versus college-aged students, versus hunters? >> well, i think with all of the data, and it's frightening how many ta points people have on all of us based on the car that we drive or the magazines that we get, all of our members are united in the belief that the second amendment is an individual right. and they want to prect that. and all of our members understand that passing more gun control's only going to penalize them, not criminals. yet, there are different motivations of why somebody might be involved. and the more information understanding you have on what
motivates a person, that you can target the message, where the messages are going to change we want you to call the lawmaker who opposes this bill or supports this bill but some people are motivated by hunting issues. some people are motivated by losing their right to self-defense. some people, it's jt all about freedom. so by understanding what message's going to motivate somebody to all come to the same conclusion to take the same action certainly is helpful. now, finding the keys of what that message is, it's what is strategically challenging. but as i said earlier, the benefit, the build and benefit that we have in addition to doing this a long time our base is very big, very united because we're a single-issue item group. i don't think that you'll find a bigger bloc of people who will support. why this particular bill, how will this particularlection impact you, you, as an individual, and the more that you can personalize it, the more apt somebody is to uerstand why there's a connection in passing a bill in congress or winning an election, and their
future. and knowing what motivates them and personalizing that message and letting them know what's at stake is a great way to mobilize somebody to actually take the requiredction. >> in doing that, is that -- do you simply find those distinctions and those points of contact based on your experience, or do you use survey research, do you use focus groups? >> we do it l. we doit all. more is usually better. and we do want to know what messages are going to work. you know, we don't base what position we're going to take on a focus group owner a poll. but it does help now that you've established the position what's the best way to communicate that to get people to take action? and all of those types of tactics and survey/research is helpfuto know, for sure. >> one last question. >> how about somebody who hasn't asked yet if not we'll go to emily. emily, you're the winner. >> okay. i was actually wondering about, encouraging your members to call
their congressmen. >> uh-huh. >> does the nra ever create like a 1-800-number where they can call toll free and i know that there are some other organizaons that do that and if you do any ballpark estimates of what that might call per month or per call? >> we don't do that very ten. most of endeavs that we undertake to get their folks to call their lawmakers is to get them to call the lawmakers directly, to not use some third party. patch through service where somebody will call you and say, "can i put you through congressman smith's office." again, our members, i will not say are unique, but are so passionate that when they're willing to respond to the call to action, they're going to pick up the phone and they're going to call their lawmaker directly. they're going to send the e-mail directly. we try do, we try to give them the tools and the training to make sure that that phone call that e-mail is effective as possible in advancing their cause and our cause. >> that's one of the reasons why the effectiveness at the nra is where it is, because in many house and senate offices,
there's a certain discount to a call that seems to be manufactured or passed through, where this is like every vote really -- >> personal call communication is that the more effecttive is, right. >> it's a lot harder to do that but it's worth the effort. >> thank you very much. >> thank you. thank you. appreciate it. then, and since,
he'ses associate director for online advocacy at the center of american progress action fund. he's been a pioneer in using technology in advocacy situations for many, many years. he is -- he was the founder of the internet advocacy strat internet advocacy rouge and adjunct professor at georgetown, john hopkins and here at american university, where he teaches media and politics into the digital age, internet politic, digital political strategies, on and on and on. the founding team member of the media bureau network of pioneer and streamline media centers. contributing to politicsonline.com and serves on other editorial and communication organizations. joining him today, we are welcome -- we want to welcome mr. koster -- josh koster, who is the managing partner of chong
and costern agency that specializes in win or lose situations. highly contested issue campaigns, i guess, as well as political campaigns. he has clients in the fortune 500, among elsewhere. he has been known to coin the term nano targeting. so we thank you for your time and welcome you both here today and -- [ applause ] >> well, thanks for having us. we're going to split this in half. i'm going to start out, we're going to talk about using social media for our advocacy. probably go about 20 minutes or so and then josh will talk about how to set up online ad campaigns using facebook and variety of tools and then we should have plenty of time for answers and questions at the end. so you know, please enjoy yourself. i've been calling this presentation here comes social advocacy. a homage to college schey who wrote a book a couple of years
ago called "here comes everybody: organizing without organization" and it's how about social media has created a whole environment in which people are able to organize campaigns regardless whether or not they have an organization, and if in fact if you look at the people on facebook and twitter and things like that, you can see that there are individuals out there who just care about an issue passionately who have hundreds and thousands -- or at least tens of thousands of people in their networks and can do some pretty impressive things without having an organization behind them. and in many cases, or in some cases, those kinds of efforts even emerge into an organization. i think it was in the functions of the executive chester barnard wrote that from an informal organization, an executive will emerge and things like that, so there's a whole literature in the political science and public administration history that talks about how out of informal structures organization does emerge and leadership does emerge at times, and sometimes. and i think that in this case with social media, it doesn't have to become so formal because
the tools are so readily available and oftentimes free that you don't really need the overhead of an organization to make things happen. so that's sort of the -- the -- the lineage of the title. my contact information, if you need it, it'll be on the last slide again, in case that you need it later. so let's talk a little bit how things used to be. an i'm not talking about a long time ago but really only a few years ago. when we talked about online advocacy campaigns, we were talking about this process where organizations or campaigns would have an e-mail list, they would send an e-mail to that list, driving people to an action page, where they could sign a petition, send an e-mail to congress, send a letter or an e-mail or make a phone call to a corporate headquarters, whoever -- whatever it is that they're trying to influence, whatever the target is and then that message would get forwarded onto whoever will get it, in this case case, example, we talk about sending a letter to congress or e-mail to congress. and then congress acts on it. now, while the first amendment does guarantee your right to
petition the government with grievance, there's nothing in the first amendment that guarantees that congress will actually read your letter when they get it. many offices do. some offices are not as good. it depends on the issue, whether they care about the issue, whether they're locked into position, whether they think that your position is crontrary to theirs. sometimes they may delay reading it until the day of the vote. there's really no accountability because e-mail is really a closed-loof communication. when i e-mail as an organization or campaign to my activists, only me, knows that i've sent it and they know that they've received it. although i can't really guarantee that they received it even though i may have data that shows that they opened the e-mail. may have opened it long enough to delete it but i don't know if they've received the information and likewise when the message gets sent to congress, you know that they've got sent. you can track that and we can even know whether or not they opened it but we don't know necessarily if they read it, processed it, respond to, it took it into consideration. and and this is largely, because
as i said, it's a closed loop and now with social media, things get a little bit more interesting because now we start to look at a world where there's a lot of places where you can interact with policymakers, that's in public. in a sense, if you think about it, members of congress in the vast majority of them follow into this category ve set up facebook pages and twitter accounts, which are essentially virtual equivalence of a district or a washington, d.c. office. because you can go to a member's of congresses' facebook page and you're interacting with member of congresses' staff and the member of congress, but you're doing so in a place where anybody else who comes to that page can see it as well. this is very different from, interacting with a member of congress through e-mail, where only you and the member know whether it's member staff know whether the e-mail was sent or received. or even doing a protest outside of the member's office. well, if you walked by that protest, you can see that it's there. or if you -- if they took it -- a video, you know, if the use was there and they showed up and
it was on tv, on the news, and you happened to catch the story at the time that it was showing, and then you also saw, it too. but the thing about doing it on facebook or on twit serthat it sits there, and anybody can come to it, and you can always make sure that it's there. you control the exposure, you control how long it sits there on the member's page. you control how often it's being tweeted at them. you can mobilize people to tweet at them more frequently, so now we can send not just e-mail. we're still doing -- you know knocking on doors, even though we have e-mail, right? the phone didn't make that go aw away, the e-mail doesn't nake that away. new tools added to your tactical quiver and then we can also, in addition to sending e-mail, we can alert people by twitter and facebook, activists to go out and let their member of congress what to think. we can give them a set of tools that allow them to -- or a set of actions that allow them to go to the facebook page, tweet online at them, and then that
then sends the message to congress. couple of tools to think about here. and in the upper right-hand corner. this is a built, kind of a ready-to-use twitter capability. you can always into your own twitter petition where you just create a tweet that directs -- that targets a member of congress and asks people to retweet it. but you can track how many people who have done it, a landing information that you have a lot of information that a member can see when they land on the page and it keeps track who has tweeted it, most recent people are, how many -- who's the most -- people with the most followers who tweeted it and even set it up for map. so that you can see where the things -- where the people who are tweeting who are coming from. which creates some interesting dynamics. if you're concerned about members of congress only cares about people from their own district, then a map might show them that people from outside of their district are actually participating. i actually kind of continuing that that's no longer a factor and i'll talk about that in a moment. and you can also send them to
their facebook page, where you ask them to post on their wall. and not all members of congress vey facebook page and not everybody who has a facebook page allows you to post comment on their wall. only they can post comments on their walls. so even if you can't post something new on their wall you can always respond to something that they've posted on their wall and put your messages there so there's always work around. a great website called geovsm.com. goffvsm.com. it's a wikithat keeps track of everyone members of congress page. and if you find more that's not there, you'll send it to them and they'll ada adit to the wikiand all of that stuff. a nice price that if i'm going to target members of congress using this kind of strategy i'll create a list of members of congress that i'm actually targeting and a nice little spreadsheet and i'll have whether or not they're on facebook, whether or not they accept public posts, whether or not they're on twitter, what
their twitter handle is and if they don't have that, what their phone number is and i could always use an e-mail software program like salsa or capwiz. to target their e-mail. the old hat stage at this stachlkt game. if i can get people to post their facebook page that's so ideal because it's so public but if i can't do that tweeting at them, which is not quite as permanent of presentation because tweets come and go and flow through time, that i can also use that, and if neither -- on neither of those things and then i can direct them to make phone calls or a traditional e-mail to the office and now i can have a variety of ways to hit people in congress with -- with the activism message. now, why do we want to hit on multiple channels? i've already talked about the advantage of social media for doing that, but i think there's another one. this is some research that i did back when i was in -- here, on my disertation and was working
on why presidents go on tv to talk to the public when they can lobby congress directly. and this is all based on some research that was doing in 1904 by sir charles charington. sherylton did research on dog reflexeses. kind of a neurobiologist physicaliologist and spots a dog if you scratched them hard enough they start to automatically, do reflexive action like this? well, what charington found first was that that spot on the dog had a threshold, if you scratched it hard enough you got the reflex. not hard enough, and you didn't get the reflex. then he found that are there multiple spots on the dog where you could scratch above threshold and get the reflex so there were multiple pressure points that worked, then he found that if you scratched two or more of these pressure points, each one of those scratching, not enough to cause the reflex by itself, that the combined effect of subthreshold stimuli or multiple spots on the dog would reproduce the reflex of the dog. now i'm not saying that congress
is a dog. but if you hit congress on multiple channels, if you have them coming in with messages by e-mail, by phone, by social media, by facebook, by twitter, if you have online advertising media pointing at them, lobbyists walking in, all of these different channels that you can use to reach into those offices when you add them together, the impact is actually greater than the sum of the parts and that's why it's really important to remember, not to just use one strategy or another, but to combine them and use multiple strategies. now, i've heard a lot of people say that, oh, twitter is -- i mean you hear jon stewart say this, that twitter is silly, right? it's a bunch of people talking about what they had for breakfast. you can't say anything meaningful in 140 characters, it's just ridiculous. well, i have a long spiel that goes with there and i think that the first thing to remember is, how many people here have ever heard or read of a hikeu? okay, now i have gone through several books of hickus and i
have counted. counted characters and spaces. and i have yet to find a hikeu that has more than 80 characters. and i get 140 of them in a tweet. now you can describe the universe in a hiku, so don't tell me that you can't describe -- say something meanfully in 140 characters. if you can't, you're not thinking enough. you're not being creative enough. you're not using your imagination because you can do an awful lot with 140 characters. second, you don't have to limit yourself to a single tweet. you can make a three-point argument. premise one is tweet number one, premise two is tweet number two, and the conclusion is tweet number three. pop them out right in a row, and you've made a very comprehensive argument, or you can link to a 10,000-word or a 500-word essay. so you're not limited and then i think that the most important thing that people forget about twitter is it's a conversation yamtool and you can have conversations back and forth with people. couple of tweets at a time in each direction and have something that's much, much more
robust than a single maessage going out. you have a conference. show you an example of what you can do with 140 characters. now this is what i call the anatomy of a tweet. as you probably heard, congress and in the lame-duck session pass a law repealing don't ask, don't tell. all right? we originally had this law attaches an amendment to the defense authorization bill before the elections. we were trying to get people in congress to vote for this over the summer, and we -- actually, my colleagues at the center for american progress had -- had worked out -- action fund had worked out language for the bill specifically which said, you can vote for it now, repeal it, but it won't go until effect until such time as the president and the department of defense and the joint chiefs all certify that it's okay, so you can commit as a member of congress now, knowing that it's not going to go into effect unless the criteria of having the military and the chief -- the chief -- the commander in chief sign off on it, first before it goes into
effect. because everyone was waiting for a d.o.d. report to come out on december 1st saying it was okay or whether or not it was okay, well we have a guy at the center of american congress named larry korb. he has a lot of credibility in both liberal and conservative communities and in the military. and he had dane report that showed, not only is it easy to repeal don't ask, don't tell, not only is it the right thing to do but delaying it is actually harmful to the united states of security. and that you could vote for this with great kpchd so we wanted to make sure that key senators knew about this so that they would vote for it, so here's the tweet, it says, hey chuck grass low. read our report op don't ask, don't tell. and vote for the defendants authorization bill. now there's a lot of tricky things going to in here because the stuff that's in blue are actually hyperlinks in the tweet. @chuckgrassley is a hyperlink to chuck grassley's mention box, so whoever is monitoring chuck grassley and i think that it might be chuck grassley himself
monitoring his twitter account. when they click on "mentions" they'll see anybody who tweets with his name on it with the@ sign, okay? so kbhob tweets this and retweets this it drops into his inbox. second, it has don't ask, don't tell with a pound sign at the beginning. a hashing to aphash tag runs a search quiro twitter which means that if when you click it on a summary a live streaming page. from everybody who is tweeting. using that hash tag historically and currently, sflrpt so it's a conversation aggregator. because people who are talking this issue over a long period of time use the same common hash tag over and over and over again. people who follow the hash tag in order to keep up on the issue. they may have set a column in their tweet deck or other tool that they use to monitor twit cher does a constant search for the use of this hash tag. then there's a url that says, go to this -- this is made up url,
because you know, this is an example, it's a tweet. this -- don't actually go to that, it won't go anymore but basically a bit url that goes to the don't ask, don't tell. one of the many services that shortens urls. we want to shorten urls because of the number of characters is a premium in a tweet but bentley also tracks the number of people who click it it, so we can keep track of how many people are actually clicking to this report. very useful. then we have a very pointed ask and then vote for this bill. you know, now we're telling him what to do. we're referring to a specific vote in congress. classic online advocacy. and now the end here is very interesting. fyi, at des moines dem,@iowa. we talked about how hash tags create community, and well pound ia is everyone who is following iowa politics or iowa in general and grassley is the senator from iowa. pound p2 is the online community for progressive organizers. so all of the progressive
organizers know that this has gone out and they're alerted to it, but also des moines dem, is a blogger who focuses on iowa politics. and oneiowa is the gay rights organization in iowa. so we have alerted them the same way that we've alerted chuck grassley that chuck grassley knows of this report. and they can hold him accountable. now that's a very powerful message. it tell us grassley what to do. it gives him the information that he needs, it asks him what we want him to do and it focuses on one, two, three communities and two very focused watch dogs to make sure that he's accountable, that's an awful flot 140 characterancy actually probably about 135 characters so a lot to be done there. now, when you're using social media, it's important to reinforce your relationships with your audience. because social media is about a rec reciprocal relationship, all right? because social means interacting between people. and people aren't going to want to interact with you unless you give them some sort of value back so when you're starting to
build your list for your campaign or for your advocacy program, you want to make sure that you reward people who retweet what you do. right? because they're sharing your message with their audience. and the thing to remember here is, research done by adelman world wide. tells us that experts and pearce more trust than institutions and so when you can get somebody to retweet you to their audience, if they're an expert or to their audience if they're a peer influencer, you are getting somebody who is a validated third party influencer who carries more weight with that audience than you do. that's a good thing. and you want to reward them. well, one quick way to reward them is everybody who retweets you throw them into a list of your super activists. these are the people who retweet us, and we like them because of it. and on fridays, every few weeks, on twitter, there's this thing called "follow friday" pound ff, a hash tag for people to recommend to other people what -- who -- who you think
that they should follow, all right? i follow these people, you should follow them because i think they're really good, kind of things. and i'm a validator. you trust me. you should follow these people because i think that they're good. that kind of stuff. well, with a list like this, i can tell people to follow the list instead of to follow a bunch of people, because there's up to 500 people on this list. right? and dynamic, as i add more people to the list, people who are already following the list automatically follow the people who i'm adds to the list. so there's a little reinforcement that i can give back and forth. you help me, i'll help promote you. i'll help people to pay attention to what you're saying if you help people pay attention to what i'm saying. that's part of the dynamic. and other things to create that reciprocity. and you also want to track the effectiveness of what you're doing, if you're putting out cob content about your campaign about your issue, you want to know how many people are reading it and the main people who are sharing it with other people. well, this a tool called back
type.com and you can put in the destination url, not the short url but destination url. the one that it goes to, and it'll tell you how many people have tweet nad version of that url. anybody who has commented on facebook, shared on facebook and click through and certain people if you click on the conversations, specific people who've tweeted it and what they've said about it appremium service that they're rolling out, which will also tell you the number of twitter impressions that it generates. so that you can figure out, not just how many people potentially saw it in terms of the number of followers of the people who retweeted it but how many times that it was actually served to a screen somewhere. because somebody was logged in, and it scrolled pa eed past the, very valuable stuff and measure the influence, both of your own channels on twitter, and of your audience's channels on twitter, so if somebody retweets you, you want to say, how influential was this person? you can't judge how influential
somebody is by how many followers. there are many factors. how much they have tweeted, mentioned. tools like twittelizers and klout with a "k." based on a variety of factors. i think that klout is better than twittelizers. they've been doing some interesting things and also some premium service like thrive, which comes from a company called smallact, that's smallact.com. or context mine, which is in you know as in gold mine, which -- and radiance 6 and melt water -- a buffen of tools. and they range from a few hundred dollars a month up into thousands of dollars a month. and they give you the ability to go deep into this stuff and look at the entire reach of your audience but these are really good for measuring the effectiveness of your own channel and for evaluate bhog is sharing your information and how effective they are on your behalf. you also want to be able to
monitor social media. now those tools they mentioned also monitor social needia but they're expensive so here air couple of free tools. socialmention.com does a snapshot like google of who is mentioning things on social media and also tells you sort of measure sentiment, is it positive, neutral or negative? remember it's a computer doing that analysis, so it's not perfect but better than nothing and especially when you're dealing with tens of thousands of hits. narrow it down to blog discussions, public pages on facebook. myspace, twitter. a bunch of other sources, google, buzz, all of that stuff. over here, a little more fun is called addictomatic. if you put in any keyword and boxes that you can customize. i like this, i like this, get rid of it. customize the page. what's happening in twitter, in big news, google blog search, what's happening on tweet me, what's happening on youtube, all related to this -- all related to this keyword, so now you get
a nice realization. i like seize mick, another tool. which allows you to create columns, not who's direct messages or mentions or but take any list from twitter and pop it up into a column to follow a subset of people naw are following on twitter that has a commonality. for example, you can set up a column, list of just journalists who cover your issue, and have a column and monitor of what they're tweeting for. very useful. i set it up for my colleague who does all of our tv media relation little at cap. now, hash tag can be a little daunting at times. and so are there tools like this, another one called, what the hash tag, wthashtag.com, hashtag doll org. a dictionary of what hash tags mean. people post the definition themselves and others click along and say that's a good one or a bad one and the best definition ofs rise at the top,
the worst definitions follow below but interesting things about trending hash tags, new hash tag, popular hash tags. random hash tags. that's very use will. if you see something trending related to your issue you could use that hash tag to attach to your message and ride that wave. because people are paying attention to that trending hash tag or that popular hash tag, you can get your message out in front of that audience. think about this. if you get a hash tag that 100,000 people are following and a brand-new twitter account with zero followers you can post stuff on twitter immediately using that hash tag and with zero followers you can put in front of 100,000. that's the kind of power that hash tags do. that's something that facebook can't do, that no other median can do they think that makes twitter one of the most powerful tools available. how are we doing on time? so that can be very useful. i only have a couple of more slides here. also -- only two slides so we're good. now, twitter's an interesting
thing. and, folks are on twitter a lot because i like to use twitter to moment what's my facebook page, to promote what's on my wob page. it's like the glue that holds all of the stuff together because most of the influencers that i want to reacher twitter. the press, the policymakers, all the key bloggers, they're all on twitter and you can get information to them instantly on twit earn then they can take it and either share it on twitter or facebook or they can blog about it or they can write about it so twoiter is the way to get the information to them and let them to decide what channels to share it out from there and more and more tools are designed so that you can get any information on any source and punch it out of any source to change software. tweetdeck.com allows you to to facebook, myspace, linked 'n, four square -- did i say facebook already? a whole bunch of stuff, all just by toggle and push out on multiple channels simultaneously with one post. very, very powerful stuff. so i can post something in by twitter and share it out through a whole bunch of channel through
one innerface. now this tool tweet spinner let's me target and find people who i should -- who i want to follow me and what it does is it let's me set up a series of keywords and a series of mimics. keywords that i want to follow, so whatever keywords that you think that you are important for your issue and i can set up -- mimic to, the followers or the people or the very organizations that i know that are very active in the issue area that i'm focused on and then what tweet spinner does is it goes out and find people -- '50s criteria and let me look at it and say yes, i want this one, yes, i want that one, yes, yes, no, no, and i click, load and it queues them up and it will follow them for me and then after three days if they don't follow me back, it'll put up a list of people who haven't followed me back and i can decide whether or not i want to unfollow them so it finds the people i need based on search criteria and then allows me to choose who to follow and who to unfollow which is a very nice
process cause it's semi automated, finding them burks it's manual in the sense that i getoclus who to follow and not follow so it's not just an automated process of following people so it's very, very targeted. it costs $5 a month for one account, $20 a month for five accounts. discounts for annual contracts. the price is per account, it will go down as you go up and the number of accounts, like i manage a program at cap that has 70 twitter accounts, okay? so it's a lot of stuff. all right? but it's very, very useful and you can set all sorts of criteria. i only want to follow femwho have a minimum of 50 followers and no more than 1,000 followers. josh and i had a conversation a while back that people between 200 and 300 followers are like the best people to get you to retweet you because they're likely to have a very personal relationships who follow them, which increases their persuasive think. now, remember, it isn't just about -- actually, let me -- before i go onto that, i want to give you a quick case study and then we're done.
we did a campaign where we were trying to convince members of the -- the members of the house foreign relations committee, or fairs committee i always get confuse. to co-sponsor a bill. the bill wasn't expected to come up for a bill last year. come up next year but we basically sent several hundred activi activists asked them nicely, your leader, we need you to step up and co-sponsor this bill. within 48 hours, two of those targeted members cosponsored the bill. and also co-sponsed. so we got five co-sponsors went a week. the chairman of the committee said let's do something about this. our antigenocide organization also pushes is -- is pushing.
in armed conflict with the u.n. troops against them in africa and he said let'snal one up too. and both of them were passed out of the committee unanimously. immediately after they passed it unanimously chairman berman contacted the program and said, we've done what you've asked us to do, would you please send your people back to our facebook pages to thank us so we know that we made the difference on that, within two weeks the lords resistance army bill was passed and signed into law, and within two months, the conflict minerals law -- bill attaches an amendment to the financial reform act, passed by both houses and sign into law, so two bills not expected to come up for a vote this year, was pass out of committee and signed into law within two months as a result of this campaign. now you have to be selective. it works very well for committees. and it works very well if you have a small list of targeted members of congress. but if you try to go beyond that, you know, it can get
really unwieldy. now when you think in terms of your audience and i'll just leave you with in final note, when you think about your audience, don't always think in terms of how many people are in your audience, think about who's in your audience? because having 100 very influential people in your audience is much better than having 10,000 people who don't give a rat's ass about what you're talking about and have no influence over anybody else, so that's really, really important. you need to think in terms of -- of quality of followers, not quantity, and the quality will follow from that and that's where i will leave you and here is my contact information again, if you need it and i'll turn it over to josh. >> thank you. >> what? >> i need to get that deck when we're zploon oh, sure. >> so my name is josh koster. i'm a digital ad specialist.
we also do the e-mail, the social media, all of that, and the reason that that's relevant is because there's so many different reasons to use online ads that -- really, there's no excuse not use them no matter what you're doing online, period. there's some small way that online ads can drive your audience bigger, can help you reach out that -- that one extra influencer and sometimes it's the only way to push a message. social media's really, really great when you're talking about messages that are popular or when you're talking about messages where you already have -- you know a food movement, you're talking about foods. so you'll go talk to people in the food movement, but, what if for example, you're a corporation, and you need to lobby congress to pass a bill that is completely unpopular, or pass a bill that no one even knows exists because it's so esoteric and dramatically impacts your community? that's where online shine, they shine everywhere but sometimes
it's the only way that you can punch through and the reason that i mention this is not to sort of tout their use and evil corporate lobbying, but to say that if it can be used to pass that, if it can be used to pass you know bills that the american people would be outraged if they actual lie knew what was in it and then it could be used by the people who have their public on their side or a corps actvisits on their side incredibly effective. i will show you how to do it to some extent. i need to spend a little time with you on the theoretical so before i do let me in the theoretical. but before i do, let me find out what y'all know on online advertising and advertising. raise your hand if you have ever ron a google ad or a face book ad. a really high percentage of an audience. raise your hand if you ever sent a blast e-mail through an e-mail blaster, if you have done any sort of online organizing of any kind. awesome.
okay. now one more. raise your hand if you remember clicking an online ad. that is an insane amount of people for a room. typically one in ten will admit to it. so there is two kinds of advertising, really. there is brand advertising and direct marketing. brand advertising is an apple ad. it's most car ads you see they're ads where the theory is you show someone a message, either that there is a sale on friday or that the new beamer is awesome, and you show it to them enough times that the message sinks in and then you don't need to show them anymore. they now know something you told them. and when it comes time to buy a computer, they think apple is awesome. direct marketing is an ad that shouts at you on tv. it's the bill my mays ad. get the shamwow. they expect if you don't call that number when the ad comes off the air, they're ever going to hear from you again or sell a product to you. many of those product you can't get unless you call that number
or google it specifically by name or go directly to the manufacturer. the same is true in all mediums. that really everything falls into either one of these two camps. and online is no different. in fact, you're usually doing both at all times. but they're very difficult. the way they -- you know, on tv, the difference between infomercial and a brand ad is over. but when you're working with a google ad that has 95 characters in it, it's a little -- often people will try to do too much. often people will try to do both when the way to do both is to do brand advertising and a separate campaign with direct marketing, maybe 20 separate campaigns with direct marketing into various types of tasks and audiences. and most people go awry when they don't differentiate their goals there is not a whole lot you can accomplish in any one given 95-character ad. so direct marketing ads in online are ads with a call to action. they're designed to grow a list.
click here, sign up for breaking news and action alerts. sign this petition to help stop so and so. sign this open letter. campaign, give $50, help defeat so and so chip into their opponent. and brand ads are the ads that actually tell you something. so and so hates puppies. so and so voted against this. why aren't you standing up for america, congressman whatever. and often with brand ads, the purpose is not that people remember the ad, it's that they forget it immediately, but remember what was in it. in fact, with brand ads, we're leaning on a phenomenon known as source amnesia. everyone in the world thinks that political ads don't work. everyone in the world says negative ads get so negative, it turns me off. but the simple fact of the matter is three weeks after the ad is run, when you ask them about the topic of the ad, they will often state whatever the ad said as fact. and if you ask them where they heard it, they say oh, i read it in the newspaper. and that happens all the time. and in fact, you know, one of
the things you'll hear a lot with negative advertising is i don't -- it gets so negative, i don't even want to vote. that's the point. that's the point sometimes when the races get that bad, you know, sometimes political consultants will look at the math and they'll say, you know, our team of core voters is way bigger than their team of core voters, even if they're more popular generally. let's make so it no one wants to participate in this election and then we win it. anyway, enough in the abstract. let's get down to how to actually do this. those of you with computers should pull them out, turn them on, and pull up a browser.
oh. okay. i'm going to just do this from my personal account. if anyone gchats me in the middle of this or pings me in the middle of this, forgive me. and where you're going is facebook.com/ads. so we're starting with facebook ads because, frankly, they're the most intuitive do it yourself platform. and all of the other forms of advertising that are more traditional, the way you think about targeting mail, the way you think about targeting tv, the way you think about messaging more broadly is how you think about messaging
facebook ads. and then you get into some of the other powerful targeting platforms, it gets more esoteric into digital types of targeting that don't exist elsewhere. so we're going to start by talking about acquisition ads. because for most nonprofits and advocacy campaigns, these are their bread and butter. the thing about acquisition ads is usually what you're trying to get people to do is not your end game. usually what you're trying to get people to do is not sign a petition or join your e-mail list or become a fan of your facebook page. your end game is to pass a bill. and the way to use them is any time you're going to do anything that expends energy, if you're going to push around a petition, or try to make a press on something, or any time you're sending out an e-mail that says take this form of action, you run just a little bit of ads asking people to do the same thing and see if it goes anywhere. because you have perfect transparency. you can see how much you spent,
how many times your ad ran, how many times it got clicked on, what percentage of people took the desired action. three months later you can go back and look at what percentage of the people who came from ads ended up donate to organizations on the futures solicitation. these ads are slow burn and sort of year-round. and you're talking about taxes today, you're running ads about taxes today. and if tomorrow you're talking about deficit reduction, then you're running ads about deficit reduction tomorrow. now with acquisition ads, it's not about hammering a message in. it's about going to the people who are already going to take that action, who already agree with you, and then showing them this tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny way that they can get a warm fuzzy for promoting their cause. and showing that ad to them just enough times that if they were going to take action, they took it. so we're usually talking about very, very small audiences or psycho graphically narrow, green yaks around the country, gun nuts around the country.
generally fairly low frequency, low cost advertising. so let's do one. is anybody here actively working in advocacy? okay. anybody here have an issue they want to make a test case out of? someone blurt out a challenge. >> cheaper textbooks. >> cheaper textbooks. okay. because this is an issue that pertains to students, facebook is actually the first place you would start anyway. not only is it ubiquitously used, but you can do all sorts of school-based targeting. if we want cheaper textbooks, we should probably just get kids who just got whiplashed from their first round of college textbook purchasing. let's go ahead and say in college and, gosh, people who are freshmen this year, are going to graduate. okay. now there is 1.2 million
americans who have bought one semesters worth of college textbooks and as of right now are probably purchasing their next round of textbooks and are furious about it. let's get more esoteric. does anybody have a weird issue that they saw some documentary on they don't think anyone in the world is paying attention to? no one? okay. video games? [ inaudible ] >> i'm happy to do video games, but you said video games and free speech. so i want to make sure. >> supreme court case. >> i'm not sure i'm familiar with it. but let's try. if you're going to advocate around it, what were the circumstances. give me 30 seconds. >> violence and games. >> there is probably a couple of constituencies we're going to want to talk to here. we're going to want to get who play video games and don't want any sort of regulation on this
factor to join our organization to sign a petition, to do something that creates some sort of direct marketing lead. we're going to also want to talk to the people who are most vocal on the other side of this issue and tell them, you know, you don't have a to -- there actually is evidence out here that this isn't a crisis. you're also going to want to talk to influencers like the press. we can start off with basic interests like people who like violent video games. or we could if we wanted to get influentials, we could go down to workplaces and get people who work at the associated press. and "the new york times" and reuters. i forget they just merged. whoa about aol-time warner.
and there is 13,000 people who work at major media, establishment media institutions. now to talk to 13,000 people five times a day, to run five ads to them, which is a pretty heavy threshold, you never get that high on tv unless you're trying to do a one-day sale that is in three days or unless it's two days before an election. to do that, we're talking maybe $200 a week to just carpet bomb these people with ads. now if this was, say we're trying to get the list grown and we were using -- dang it -- and let's say there are a bunch of other people on the other side of the issue. and to sort of let them know that there were two sides to this, you could -- i don't know enough about them, but we would probably start with some psycho
graphic target like i would imagine it's mom potentially have concerns. so parents. so i won't be sexist. we'll do husbands. we want to talk men who are married and have kids. let's get rid of the ap, the press targeting. let's talk to men who are married and have probably kids still in the household who are old enough to play video games but young enough to be worried about. so let's call that 30 to 45. and let's say we want to really, really, really, you know, get in tight around it. let's say we want to -- to target this many people it would cost thousands of dollars per week. so let's say you have a much smaller budget than that. well, what you can do is instead
of doing say 30 to 45, do 30 to 31, require an exact age match, do a little sample to them. and then do say 36 to 37. and then do 45 to 46. and set a very low daily budget. run just a little bit of ads. and you can actually see as long as it's identical ads going to all three groups, you can see which group has a higher affinity for it. in fact, we have a number of clients who can't afford polling and focus grouping who now use facebook for all of their market research. the trick to that is setting up controlled hypothesis-based experiments. we think this is going to work. if we wray our ad in such a way that if they click on it, they're expressing interest. like to is a clear, cold crisp reaction throughout. after two or three days, you have dialed in. you know that it's actually men who are in their mid 30s who are
potentially influential on this. or you know that it's women in their late 40s. you can track not just that they're clicking through and the level of engagement, but how deep does that engagement go? do they take action? do they take a secondary action? do they sign a petition and chip in 10 bucks to run a "new york times" ad about it? this right here, the power of the market research is why all organizations, even if they're not growing a list, even if they're not trying to advocate congress today should be running online ads. because you learn so much more about who you're trying to do your business development, who you're trying to solicit money from. who you're going to later try to activate. the general public at large, whoever you're trying to communicate with as an organization from this than you can from any other small dollar investment. and you can actually set up sample sizes that are relevant and answer questions like if s there a gender split between our issue, how do we talk
differently to the genders? how do we talk differently to old people versus young people on this. now brand ads are a little different. with brand ads, you want to just carpet bomb people. it's about how many times did somebody see the ad and how good the ad is, how memorable the ad is. in fact, when we think about buying brand advertising online, we think about it not in terms of how many impressions are you going to run or how much are you going to spender months but in points, how many times will the average person we're aiming for see it. as a result of this, it has caused many people in the communications space to doubt that any type of new brand advertising has any impact. it took a while for that to happen on tv. it took a while for it to adopt into radio. it took a while for it to adopt into cable. and it took -- despite the quickened pace of change in online, it took a long, long
time for people to accept the value of this as a sort of persuasive medium. but to tell a sort of story or case study about how this can be used persuasive, and what i mean by let's do 20 campaigns at once and touch all things at once, let's look at how at lou dobbs' exit from cnn, which don't let anyone tell you differently, was a fairly orchestrated affair. so prior to the immigration debate, pro immigration reform agents want to show the other side that they were there and they were angry and they were going to be a very loud part of this conversation. they wanted to fire a shot across the bow. and they thought a good way to do it would be to sort of call somebody who they perceived as racive and xenophobic, that and sort of make a thing out of it. of course they didn't have that much money. they were a nonprofit grassroots organization. so the traditional way that you
would do something like this is buy tv ads. and end up calling him out for whatever the problem. or try to orchestrate a really large grassroots campaign with tons of people calling cnn. and try to get the advertisers to boycott for instance. but what they did in this case is they had enough money to run -- to either make or run a tv ad. and so they made one. and we put it on a website that said click here to run this ad. chip in. there was a credit card form on the site. the ad right there said we want to run this anti-lou dobbs ad during "latino in america," the premier of it. and so chip in 25 bucks because that gets us one episode in one medium market. and then we made facebook ads and targeted cnn employees, aol-time warner's employees, their law firms' employees, ap's employees. of course we had a whole press cluster, the actual insider cluster. and we did it right off the
outset. we knew if their reputation management team and brand management team and corporate saw these ads, they would be i need to monitor this. i should set up a google alert or set up a whole deck crisis center for it. before we even told the list we had this ad, the minute that e-mail dropped out, we made sure that the people at cnn and cnn's influential parent companies and such knew that he was being targeted for this. and maybe sure they knew a tv ad was coming. we made that very clear on the website. we also targeted people who we thought would give to the ad. these were very different-looking ads. instead of being soledad o'brien, why don't you ask lou dobbs what it's like to be latino in america. it was help oust deputy constable during being latino in
americ america. and for that we targeted people like -- oh, come on. i'm just going to clear that out. there is something i have -- ah. screw this. i'm just going to start over. okay. i'm not sure -- [ inaudible ] >> do i? is it still bringing through the parameters? it is. okay. well facebook is not cooperating with me at the moment. but we targeted the progressive
activist community. and many of these people are people who are really used to the idea of chipping in to arian ad. if they're on moveon's list, they get that e-mail all the time. if they're if they read coast, they see tonight home page all the time. so this idea of put in 20 bucks and actually run an ad once is something they're very comfortable and familiar with. because we were able to differentiate between the cliques that came from coast and the cliques that came from half po and fans of moveon, we literally did this for thousands of tiny little audiences in the progressive space, we were able to identify very quickly exactly which audiences in tight psycho graphic clusters were revenue positive. we were able to say here is 20% of the people we targeted on them and every dollar we spent we get a profit out of it. they gave more than it spent to get them. so we then started running ads to raise money to finance the actual tv buy. now we got pressed when we announce wed were doing this. not very much, but we got some.
and of course all the people who were really going to be impacted by this had their google alerts. and then as we raised money, we got presses. we were getting closer and closer and closer. the day we said we had the money and were going to place the buy, we got a very good amount of press. and of course, of course this was the plan from the beginning. cnn rejects the ad because it's hating on one of their hosts and running during one of their big premier nights, which is a colossal mistake on their part. the minute they did that, it became the story that you saw when you searched for lou dobbs. it was covered by so many wire service and so many organizations at that point that you search for lou dobbs, it was actually what you found on him. not part of it, but what you found on him. even after they rejected it, we of course then took it to another organization, got it run. and since there was now reporters who covered the story, it was toes get them to write the next chapter of the story which is hey, this thing is going to run.
and shortly after he resigned on the air unexpectedly. i honestly wasn't sure it was going to work. and all that happened for a budget that couldn't have both created a tv ad and ran it once nationwide on a cable channel that has the lowest ratings of the three. so do you see what i mean about not mixing, for instance, and about thinking about each target anson individual target. and in every case asking yourself what am i trying to accomplish in this tiny, tiny, tiny 135 characters and 95 i have in a google ad. and frankly, 20 you have in a banner, except they're much bigger and pictures. before i -- i could talk about this for a long time. but i want to stop and ask are there any questions. is there anything i said that people want to hear more about or other types of stories or practical applications that we can just -- i can show you?
>> when you attach a picture to a banner ad, how big should the picture be? >> well, it's -- you want to start with the highest rez possible, but you don't have much file size at all. so it's going to end up being pixelated. but if you are trying to run say banner ads, which are a lot more expensive, it's two, three, four, up to $20,000 impressions versus facebook which is 30, 40 cents per impressions. what you do is start with something like a facebook ad where you can take a one square inch picture and you test the 20 pictures you think could be a good picture. and you see exactly which one people are clicking through for. and you hand that one to the designer and say make me a banner ad with these three pictures. and then you go pay ten times as much to run these much larger animated ads, you know exactly what is going to work. that also works by the way if you're ever going to run billboards. run them as banner ads first.
they're just online billboards. if you're going to print online ads, see which logo is gets more clicks. 2/3 you're going to send out a mail piece to very, very narrow issue audiences, you know, get in to facebook and get that issue audience, and focus group your hooks, focus group your ads. focus group are you going to use a male or a female in this mailer? believe it or not, the differences are pretty staggering. and up until facebook ads and google ads, most of this couldn't be done unless you were going to do a multimillion-dollar ad buy. the research costs alone were such a large amount. and now you can do it with a couple hundred bucks. >> i have a question using facebook or something like this for market testing and that sort of stuff. i'm wondering if [ inaudible ] probably not exactly identical populations on facebook and
necessarily in your target demographic in the political sphere. and i'm wondering if you translate one square inch facebook picture that goes to a banner ad, if you have to think about [ inaudible ] >> you absolutely do. and as long as you know in advance who you're trying to reach with the end game media, whether it's a mailer or a billboard or something, typically it's not that problematic, because you can get so tight with your targeting that you can really drill in and see now only do i want to target greeniacs, but i want to see the difference between men and women, i want to see the difference between 2000 young and old. and when you look at it with that much depth, i think the bias is not as profound. the bigger thing you have to be careful is not testing enough things. not saying if enough times because it's very toes draw false conclusions from the data. i'll give you an example. most often when your ads get
astronomical click-through rates in politics, you're targeting the exact wrong audience. there is a point after which if they're clicking through beyond that, you're reaching people that you're outraging with your ad, not people that you're exciting with your ad, because excitement doesn't carry you past a certain click-through rate. any other questions? >> from the perspective, if you were trying to figure out how to get to that point, what advice would you give folks to -- what are the questions you have to answer or ask and answer in order to make -- to take you to the point where you're deciding which of these kinds of ads to put into place, given your campaign objectives. what do you need to know in order to get to -- >> okay. so the first question flat-out is what are you trying to accomplish.
and that seems obvious, but the amount of times i've seen people bion line ads because someone said oh, we need to have google ads rung is just -- it's embarrassing. so you actually need to say we need to run google ads to get e-mail addresses, or run google ads to get from net click, or target members of congress who are googling themselves. if you know that, the next questions are actually somewhat explanatory sometimes. the next important question is budget. it's really truly hard to do persuasion advertising, brand advertising to change the public opinion on the low amount of money. if you're going to try to influence a million people, you need to pay to pound a million people with media. and so persuasion advertising, you can get priced out of it. if you're not going to be running tv and other forms of persuasive media, you probably still can't afford to do it online, although it is cheaper, the entry cost is lower. the next question is really what
is my tech. believe it or not, how good is my tech. if you have a good -- if you're running an advocacy organization that has invested in a website that allows you to auto generate action pages and petitions like a salso or a convio, then often there is no other reason. you just should always run ads. you can clone a page quickly, set up a second data channel and say all right, here were the google ads names. here is what we got out of the google ads and how good they are three months later, two months later. and as long as you set up the tracking and sink just a little bit of money and a little bit of money, within a couple of months you'll figure out exactly where to put your money and what your process. and it does really change from organization to organization. if your tech is bad, if you can't quickly generate an action page around, you know, we're going to try to push a -- this
specific bill so let's put up an action page for it. let's put up different page for the press which is almost identity which has a different different page for different constituency we're talking to, often the fact that you're targeting so well here, that can't translate to the technology. if you're sending ten different audiences to the exact same place, it's really no different running a tv ad to a giant audience or mailing a massive group of people because at the end of the day all you get in a facebook ad or google ad or frankly a banner add is a snippet. and it's what whets their appetite and gets their attention and brings them into the process. but it's the landing page that ultimately determines if they're going to give the money, if they're going to join the petition. if they're going to go on the do anything meaningful at all after you've gotten them to click. and so if you don't have the ability to generate those and create those and be very nimble about that, it's often -- you're often just wasting money. >> can we -- i want to open it
up to general questions at this point. so on all topics, whatever. >> i'm sorry. >> no, no, no. i'm just concerned about the length of the video. so we're good now. all right. other questions for josh? please keep on with that, of course. >> okay. i've got stuff i can -- >> my name is sam. i'm have minnesota. a couple of years i've been here an american, the talk was for people in the social media sort of advertising space that sort mainstream advertisers hadn't yet bought in and there was always 2% or something like that with the media. has that changed or is that still social media is just kind of a tiny fraction of where advertising budgets are going? >> well, social media is still a fairly small fraction.
but digital advertising has grown to become a very, very large fraction. in fact in the corporate space it's as high as 15% in many industries. chevrolet now spends 30% of their whole ad budget online. and in politics, it's becoming more and more big piece of budgets. this past year we saw the independent expenditures spending enormous amounts of money on this. and the reason frankly is they're always run by professionals and there is no one's ego involved with it because no one's name is on the ballot there. usually it's sniping from afar. so they can make much more calculated decisions that actually ends up happening in the nonprofit. and campaign space. the other sort of rise you saw is the adoption of the industry has now accepted the fact that online ads move public opinion. they've always known that about tv ads. they've always known that about mail. they've always known that about
radio. up until this past cycle, very few of the key people who control budgets and control how campaigns were run had accept the fact that if you run enough of a message then the public will notice it, remember it, and if it's a good message, it will change their mind, or can change their mind. and that has since been proven over and over and over again by my firm and many competitor firms in all alliterations of the question whether you can win elections using online ads as the primary medium. it's been solved. whether or not you can boost name ids? it's been sovtd solved. it makes the whole tv buy go a lot further. been solved. so now you're seeing sort of professional buy-in that we've hit that tipping point is the answer. we'll are really bringing their money now. >> josh, you had a specific number of shifting so much percent, a small percent of your tv ad budget online. >> yes.
yahoo and [ inaudible ] that showed if you allocate between 10 and 15% of your overall media budget to digital advertising, whether we on tv before, radio before, mail before, or all of the above, if you allocate 10 to 15% of it, you have a return -- sorry, the message recall is over 100% better and the brand recall is over 100% better. one is 128% better and the other is perfectly 100% better. i just can't remember which is which. it's staggering. and the reason why, if you think about say a tv buy, the rule of thumb in politics is if you're going to run an ad, you're going to run that at least a thousand points. 600 is the point which you don't even bother anymore. what that means is the average person will see the ad ten times. and the absolute floor is six times. if you do that, the average ad will sink in. now that's enormously expensive to do. and tv ads are really good at telling stories. they're really good at making
impactful -- you can articulate an emotional message in them. it doesn't have to be a factual message. you can build a whole narrative in a tv ad. but they're expensive to run a second time and a third and a third time and a fourth time and a fifth time. the reason that adding a certain percentage of online back in is so cost-effective if you're already doing traditional media is if you think what 600 points means, the average person cease it six times. but that also means some people see it three times, other people see it nine times. some people see it once, other people see it 11 times. after that sort of mid hump, everybody who has seen it a bunch of times side has remembered it. before that made hump, depending how good the ad is some people will straight-up never know they saw it if they only saw it once or twice or three times. but if you can tell the story in a tv ad, if you can pay to show an ad three or four times to somebody and take it and remind that same person of that exact same story another 50 times online, then they'll remember
it, even if they only saw it on tv three times. and you can do that because facebook has, for instance, 30 cents per thousand. google banner ads are roughly about $3, $2 per thousand depending on who you're targeting. even the "washington post's" home -- i'm not sure the "washington post" has home page ads, but the main article read page ads are still way cheaper eyeball for eyeball than print, mail, tv, radio. and even though they're absolutely a lower impact ad format, a google ad isn't just a 30-second spot. it isn't. if you're doing a media blend, if you're already using high-impact ads to tell hard-to-tell stories, then i don't you can use these low-impact ads to remind millennium people they saw the story and thought it was cool. you see it a lot. toyota is putting out a new line of cars and you'll see toyota banner ads everywhere. or recently msnbc's whole lean forward thing.
you're still seeing the banner ads on the progressive blogs. and the tv ads have since really subsided. but the fact that they're still running the banners means the tv buy that pretty much ended a little while ago as far assy tell from watching msnbc is still having an impact on driving a message in. >> think about this. what you just heard [ inaudible ] right? getting it from two channels, the tv and online, adding that extra channel actually has an impact that is greater than just adding that extra bit. >> yes. and i don't know that this is true. i have no study of this. but my personal belief and what i've seen from just having done this is i think that the more mediums someone gets a message on, the less likely they are to remember where they got it from. and with public opinion and trying to sway public opinion, i hate to admit it. but on any given issue there is
somebody out there banking on that fact that they're going to be able to pound an idea into someone's head, and the idea where they got that disappears. and so sort of knowing that and counter organizing that and sort of counter messaging that is vitally important. any other ideas? any other questions? >> with what you just said. [ inaudible ] do you see the cost of them increasing? or do you think because it's so easy to take a facebook ad -- >> no, they will definitely increase. we're seeing it. it's been happening for years. and it's happening more and more and more and more. these ads are actually the only as far as i know perfect competition marketplace besides like ebay out there right now. they're actually traded as commodities through open exchanges where people put bids in. and whoever -- the algorithm dictates is the highest expected value based on the bids and the likelihood of getting clicks and
all these other factors, historical advertiser quality, every time one extra person gets into, you know, bidding on say a search term, everyone's price goes up a little. and so it's not even like in tv where they need to print a new rate card for tv prices to go up. it's one of the things that is really interesting about it is we'll get in a lot of situations say in an election cycle where we're bidding on so much inventory and the other side is bidding on so much inventory. and the gubernatorial candidate is also bidding on so much inventory that prices will go from $2 per thousand to $25 per thousand in a matter of four hours. and where the actual math then becomes can we make them burn more money? if i have more money and my client has more money in our bank account than the opponent does. we'll drive up the costs all day long and burn money so they burn their bank account. >> can you speak to the difference between doing these facebook ads as a cpc which is
the default cost per click as opposed to a cost per impression? >> yes, absolutely. so there is many way to bid on these ads, not just on facebook, but google. many of the open commodity exchanges you can bid to have the ad show up, called a cpm, cost per thousand. you can say i'll pay a dollar per click. you can bid in many cases on actual leads, actual e-mail signups, people signing your petition. you can say i'll pay instead of a dollar per click, i'll pay $5 for every e-mail address i get from this. and they can actually track that. and so pretend for a second that i'm facebook, and that laura is coming to me and saying i will pay you a dollar per click. and abby is coming to me saying i will pay you 26 per click. who do i sell to? show of hands if you think i sell to laura who is willing to pay a dollar. show of hands for abby who is willing to pay 26 cents. how many think the answer is i
don't know? that's exactly right. because what if -- what if abby, who is willing to pay 26 cents a click is clicked on four times as often as laura. her 26 cents is then worth $1.04 to me. ma what if a third person comes in and says i'll give you 99 cents for all of it. if it's roughly the amount you expect per click, even if her expected value is a dollar and hers is a 1.04, often it makes sense if you don't know that much about them to give them to a third lower bidder who has no risk. there is going to be 99 cents no matter what. i'll take a lower return in exchange for knowing i'm going to make money. >> so a cpm buy may give you an edge in the bid? >> yes, it often does. if your ads are clicking through it higher than the average for those auctions, the specific auctions, it's almost always
cheaper to bid cpm. so all right, i'll just come out and say it. on facebook that magic the system in 0.04%. if you're ever going to run a facebook ad, write that number down. it's very important. the point i would cross 0.04% is the point at which you start having your bid magnified by its quality as opposed to having it shrunk by its quality. so if you have a 0.08% click through rate as opposed to 0.04, instead of one in 25, it's 1 in 2500 people click on it, then you pay half as much for your clicks. now if you're willing to then on top of that say i'll take all the risk on me, facebook, don't worry about this, i'll bid cpm, you get it a little cheaper than that. and if you can get it higher, you get it up to 12.2%, you end up spending one-third as much on your ads, impression for
impression, click for click -- i'm sorry, click for click, not impression for impression. on google numbers very, very different there is the banner ads, the search ads, the gmail ads, the behaviorally targeted ads, the contextually targeted ads. they all have their own numbers. and it would sort of be wrong if i said what they were because they would change literally issue to issue. but as you have ad campaigns going, as they get better and sharper and more crystallized, and as your return investment gets better and better, at some point you're going to want to switch. as some point as your click to rate goes up and your cost per click starts to diminish, switch over paying to just to run the ads because you know they are going to work and you can get them a lot cheaper just by bearing the risk on yourself. >> the behavioral target as opposed to some other target might be worth exploring. >> sure, it does it make sense to go through the standard online advertising. we started with the easy stuff. we just showed facebook. it's based on registration data.
google search ads are the other really common first kind of ads people buy, because they're -- they're kind of idiot-proof. if you put any effort in, they have a good ori. those are ads where the way it works is someone -- when you google something, you're asking a question of the internet. i can pay to have my answer be one of the answers. so if the search term is immigration reform, people literally type in i want to buy ads on the word immigration reform. any time it's searched, the ad word determines what order to put those ads in. search ads are great for list growth because often people are actually trying to find a way to get involved. often it's the most zealous activists. and especially early on, if it's say two years before something is going to happen, and they're still looking at it, if something has been table and they're still googling about it, those people are zealots. then there is contextual
targeting. if you're on gmail, those are the ads you're seeing in your inbox. those are also based on key word bids. but they're based on the presence of the words on a page. so rather than saying i want someone who is searching for information on immigration reform, you say i want someone who is reading an article that contains the phrase immigration reform you. actually do patterns of words. you can say i want people who are reading articles that contain one of these 20 words and none of these other words. so for instance, if you were trying to target around gay issues on the pro equality side of it, you would want to exclude terms that were used by the other side. you would want to exclude derogatory terms. that's a great way to end up on a site that is advocating the wrong way. you with a want to exclude -- you might want to bid very specifically on terms that are sort of lingo specific, like lgbt.
you don't hear conservatives use that phrasing ever. you never hear -- if you use the word, for instance, pro-life, you'll end up on pro-life websites and pro-choice websites. but if you use the word pro-choice, you almost always end up on pro-choice because the right never uses pro-choice. then there is placement targeting, which i want to buy an ad in "the new york times" so i buy an ad on "the new york times" there is geo targeting that says i want to buy ads in d.c. so, you buy ads in d.c. there is behavioral targeting, which is instead of it being based on someone reading the "new york times" today or someone consuming, you know, going to a liberal blog, it says i want to target people who have been to liberal blogs in the past month. now that's in its infancy, and especially google is super good about people's privacy. so you can't do as much with that as the human brain immediately goes to oh what they can track what i'm doing and target me off of it.
it's based on have you ever left a bar and gotten an invisible ink stamp or concert. and you want to go back in and no one will probably ever notice it. but if you want to you can put it under a reader and they'll say yeah, you can go back in. that's how these targeting work. if someone owns a liberal blog, they can put a stamper on their site. and it can say, like for instance if your organization wants to target people who visit your site but didn't sign up for the e-mails asking them if they would like to sign up for e-mails, you put the visible stamp. and as those people go around the internet and youtube, youtube has a reader. and if it says they have been to your site and you're bidding for people who have been to your site, even though you're not buying youtube necessarily, even though you're not buying cnn, you can follow one of your visitors as they go from youtube to cnn with ads being like hey, did you mean to finish the donation you started? or hey, sign this petition that we know you saw earlier.
>> and you put that stamp in the ad itself too? >> not with google. some networks will let you do that. some networks will actually let you put it in your e-mail, your html e-mail so you can target your e-mail list with ads when they're elsewhere. if you want the the say chip in to run this ad and people chip in to run the ad, and you want to make sure that people who paid to see that ad, see that ad, it's a very easy way to sort of make sure that your donors actually feel like the ad is ubiquitous. in fact, you see this in an enormous amount on amazon and big retail sites now where you'll go look at a new digital camera, and all of the sudden you start noticing ads for that exact digital camera all over the internet for the next week and a half. but it's not that us targeters know that you brandon go to certain sites. we have no idea. we just know that, you know, if you have been to the site like
say progressive blog, and there is depending which ad network they might have a set of cookies that you can target say for people who like progressive blogs. and i can follow you elsewhere. but i don't know it's you. no one does. it's just i know that that machine has regularly visited progressive blogs. and so i can talk to them, even if i'm not going to pay the rate progressive blogs charge. even if i'm using ehow which is a really cheap way to buy them. >> he is trying to make you feel less creeped out. there is a big debate with regard to advertising and spam and there was a congressional hearing just last week about this. so there are certain things that can be done to make sure that you get ads that are morel vanity to what you want, but the fear is oh, that means they know too much about me. and the truth is that a lot of that information is being protected against you. >> it's completely black box. google is so -- google and facebook are so, believe it or not, insanely protective of
their users and customers' privacy, it would just crush their business if there was big scandals. that believe it or not, people in my position are constantly asking them to let us target more. and they're constantly saying no. now there is something i'd like to talk about for just a quick second while we're on it, because we dovetail with the social media, and that is social seeding. i know you said size doesn't matter when it comes to the size of social media. i completely agree that i would rather have incredibly influential people than not a lot of influential people. but if you're going to get influencers, you want more of them rather than a few of them. if you're going to target an audience you want as many as humanely possible. for instance, if you're going to tweet three times a day, if you have 100 followers, you know, you might expose your ads to -- or your tweets to 100 people three times a day. but if you have 100,000
followers, the same exact amount of effort tweeting goes so much farther. so facebook ads are beautiful for growing a facebook fan page. and there is a trick to it. and that is in the ad tell people to click like. when you're doing brand advertising to promote a facebook page on facebook, you'll notice there is like buttons underneath the ads. if someone clicks that and you're advertising a page that. >> become a fan of the page without ever going through to the page. so if you -- say you're trying to get people to show their support for this bill that is about to come through. say show your support by clicking like. you can get facebook fans in such enormous volume and good fans, because you can target whoever you want. that any time our clients launch a facebook page, any time any of our clients are going to put a video out there, are going to do anything that needs to rely on any sort of reality, we focus very hard on effecting as large of a population with that first
batch of the virus as possible. i mean think of the term viral. think of a message as a cold. if a disease is super virulent and it kills someone like that, and you know, you infect three people, what if those three people get sick and die without ever going -- pretend you're a terrorist. they get sick and die without ever going and interacting with anybody else. you won't succeed in spreading your virus. but if you take your pathogen and release ate dt super bowl, everyone goes to the airport, they go home. it doesn't have to be all that virulent. the amount of people you infected touch so many people that it grew some legs. 10 there are multiple ways. >> not really. >> there are multiple ways something can go viral. kit go viral because it gets passed on in a higher rate. so you send it. the average person sends it to ten people. and at least one in ten of them goes on to send it to ten people. but that rarely, rarely happens. it's lightning in a bottle when you get that.
usually it's you show it to ten people. one in ten alone will go out and show it to nine people. so you'll get a little bit of a tail of the viral at, but then it peters out. with social seeding, the idea is use these ads to take it and do it at the super bowl. because if it's got legs, if it's going to get passed on, the more people you originally give it to, the higher the likelihood not only that it gets passed on at all is, but also the bar for it becoming a big hit is a lot lower. because all you need is one of the right people to break it. so if you're going to launch a facebook page, if you're going to go do any sort of online promotion, if you're going to launch videos, and the point is you want the press to cover your videos, you need a highview count. so drive ads, drive clicks directly to the video and drive up the views. expose the video to more people so that when a reporter goes to look at it, oh, gosh, 200,000 people have looked at this, when
in fact only 25,000 of those people found it because it went viral. and that right there is how corporations use the internet to influence things without doing any sort of grassroots whatever. they infect a large population. >> if you combine the two strategy, yeah. and if you happen to have people on your side, it's awesome. >> more questions? [ inaudible ] over here? >> so what is the future? what is the next step in social media in terms of politics and political campaigns? when does the social media guy get a seat at the strategy table? where is this going? >> it's happened. >> it's happening. i have a seat at the strategy table at cap. i've had one since i got there. so it is happening. and it happened before the people at the top really understood what social media was about. it is even happening among
people who don't understand, but know it's important, which is a good step. although that said, it's still not happening quite as much as it should. but i think the more -- i mean you watch tv. you watch the news. and at the end of the news broadcast, the reporters, the anchor says "and follow us on twitter and facebook." eventually that's going to get pounded over the heads of people enough that they're going to go maybe we should. and maybe we should do it ourselves. and i just think it's -- it's reached the point where it's growing virally. it's growing on its own. >> yes. >> it's only a matter of time. i think then the next -- we've already started, but sort of the phase that we're moving deeper and deeper into is the mobile aspect of social media, which is becoming incredibly powerful. people are buying smart phones. people are buying web-enabled phones. more devices. video games are connected to the internet. you get a nintendo game boy and you can connect with people online these days. 10 there is more and more of
that will create more and more value for and therefore increase the attention paid to it. >> i also think you're going to start to see the industry -- the political advocacy industry start to be taken over by people in digital. not in the near term, but we've already started to see for the first time campaign managers whose previous jobs where they were campaign as a digital guy, not a press guy or finance guy. you're starting to see people go to their digital team and hire that team first because digital impacts fundraising. it impacts mobilization. it impacts get out the vote. it impacts paid media carpet bombing. it impacts the way you get people to an event, even if it's a 12-person event. so you're starting to see the first generation of digital people who have been in digital long to actually be campaign veterans coming out. >> right. and the reverse of, that you're seeing more and more of the traditional campaign or consulting firms recognizing that this is happening, and they're bringing a very high
level -- higher level digital strategist people on their own teams rather than an intern or an entry level person. they're starting to bring senior vps and the like into their staff so that they're integrating. you're starting to see it go both directions. >> the way of streaming now? >> it's funny. david winston who is a political pollster on the republican side at an event i put together in 2005 stood up in front of us, an audience in one of the events i did. we have reached the point where we no longer should be thinking about online campaigns and offline campaigning. we should be thinking about campaigns that were both online and offline that was five years ago. he was an old school established political pollster. he got it. and i think we're just seeing that evolve very steadily since then. >> i think to some extent we're going to see a shift in traditional campaigning that you can't predict what it's going to be, but, you know, the first
time as we get more and more data, the first time -- this is the first time ever that in-house staffers have had enormous amounts of data at their disposal to analyze. so we're starting to see something that hasbeen happening in corporate, which is the rise of the statistician and the quant as one of the most valuable players in the competition. as people are at least pocketly quant organized who really take numbers and analysis seriously, we're going to start to see organizations change dramatically as people get into leadership roles. and we're going to start to see the way the doors are knocked change dramatically. and it's not going to be digital per se. it's going to be decisions that you don't even think of as digital, like how many bodies do we allocate here being made based off digital information. and it's going to be people who understand what all of these data points mean and how to analyze it who are ultimately calling many, many shots in campaigns. >> thank you, guys. very, very much. [ applause ]
[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> second, no new taxes unless the people vote for them. and third, return as much as possible additions and authorities to cities and counties and schools, closer to the people. [applause] >> with your help, that's exactly what i intend to do. the budget i present next week will be painful, but it will be
an honest budget. the items of spending will be matched with available tax revenues, and specific proposals will be offered to realign key functions that are currently spread between state and local government in ways that are complex, and efficient. my goal is to achieve get aer accountability and shift the responsibility back and forth from one level of government to another. the plan represents my understanding of our real dilemmas and possibilities. it's a tough budget for tough times. when dealing with a budget gap in the tens of billions, i must point out that it's far more than waste and efficiency that we have to take out. yes, government wastes money, and i'll be doing a lot about that starting this week. but government also pays for things that most people want and that are approved only
after elected representatives debate their merits and finally vote them into law. they cover the spectrum from universities, parks, health care, prisons, tax incentives, environmental protections, firefightering and much else. but choices have to be made. and difficult decisions have to be taken. at this stage of my life, i have not come here to embrace the -- delay and denial. [applause] -- to embrace delay and denial. [applause] >> in reflecting on our difficulties my thoughts turn to those who proceeded me, and what they faced and what they were able to accomplish. my father, who took the oat as governor 52 years ago, his mother, ida born on a ranch in
can a louisa county in 1888, and her father leaving missouri in 1852 and traveling across the planes of sacramento. i tried to imagine the difficulties my great deprand father encountered. let me read from the diary that he kept during his long trek west ward. on the 26 of june we came to the dessert. -- desert. it was 49 miles. we road 19 miles in it. on the 26 of july we came to the second large plane also 40 miles long. here we lost seven oxen who died of thirst. thousands of cows, horses and mules were lying about dead. we discarded wagons by the hundreds we saw wagons stand
that would never be taken out again and more than 1,000 guns that had been broken up. here are treasures that can never be taken out again. we can only imagine what it took for august to leave his family and home and travel across the ocean to america and then across the country, often through dangerous and hostile territory in a wagon train. but came, he did, overcoming every single obstacle. yet he wasn't finished. after a few years he went back to his homeland and found a wife. augusta. and he brought her with him back to california. their granddaughter, my aunt, is here with us this morning. this march she'll be 99. aunt connie, will you stand up and let everybody see you? sure. stand up. can we get a light on in here? [applause] >> sure. turn around and see.
by the way knows two are hankering after my job. it may be a while. so relax. [laughter] god willing, the genes are good. i won't say anymore. we can only imagine what it took for august shuckman to leave his family. no. that's what you get when you ad lib. all right. [laughter] >> but here's the point. it's not just my family. every californiain' is aired in some history, some history of
overcoming challenges, much more daunting than the ones we face today. people who survived the total transformation of their way of life. to stories of courage abound. and it's not over. the people of california have not lost their pioneering spirit or their capacity to meet life's challenges. even in the midst of this recession, californiaens this year will produce over $2 trillion of new wealth as measured by our state domestic product. [applause] >> the innovations of silicon valley, the original thinking coming out of our colleges and universities. the skill of our farmers, the createivity of hollywood and small business is everywhere. it all gives hope to an even more bauvend -- abundant future up ahead.
[applause] >> and so do our teachers, our nurses, our firefighters, our police and correction officers, engineers and all men of public service who faithfully carry out our undertakings. this is a time to honestly assess our financial condition and make the tough choices. and as we do, we will put our public accounts in order and the public sector will accelerate, and our company will produce new jobs just as it has after each of the other 10 recessions since world war ii. as californians, we can be proud that our state leads the rest of the country in energy and energy efficiency. [applause] >> i have set a goal of 20,000 megawatts of reknewible energy by 2020 and i intend to meet it
by the aappointments i make and the actions they take. there are hundreds of new jobs to be created. if authorities make sensible and bold decisions. it's also necessary to make sure that our laws and rules focus on our most important objectives men mizing delays and unnecessary costs. all -- i'll meet with exist from a broad range of california business and energy to work on common problems and the breakdowns that we have been seeing. we're going to break the barriers that have been holding us back. we live, after all -- [applause] -- we live, after all, in the eighth largest economy in the world. torre last decade california has actually outpaced the
nation in the growth of our domestic product and in our product i have the per capita. that means each person working in this state is working more effectively in terms of what is produced in the country and in any other state. [applause] >> aside from economic advance, i want to make sure that we do everything we can to ensure that our schools, our places of -- are places of real learning. [applause] >> our budget problem is dire. but after years of cutbacks, i'm determined to enhance our public schools so that our citizens of the future have the skills, the zest and the character to keep california up among the best. [applause] >> one of our native sons, yo sya roit, became for a time one of the most famous of american
philosophers. he was born in 1855 in a mining camp that later became the town of grass valley. i mention him, because his philosophy of loyalty is exactly what is called for. loyalty to the community to what is larger than our individual need. we can overcome the sharp divisions that leave our politics in perpetual gridlock, but only if we reach into our heart and find that loit, that devotion to california above and beyond our individual narrow perspective. [applause] >> i also mentioned josia royce because my father spoke to me of his loyalty. i didn't really grasp its importance, but as i look back now, i understand how this loyalty to california was my
father's philosophy as well. it drove him to build our freeways, our universities, our public schools and our state water plants. [applause] >> in the coming year, we'll grapple with problems of our schools, with our prisons, with our water supply throughout the riblet and the environment. we'll also have to look at our system of pensions and how to ensure they are transparent and actuaryly sound and fair to the workers and the taxpayers. many of these issues have confronted california one way or another for decades. certainly since the time of governor earl. it's sobering and enlightening to read throughout inaugural addresses of past governorers. i don't imagine too many of you do that. they each start, these
inaugural addresses on a high note of gran jury then focus on the same issues. education, crime, budgets, water. i thought a lot about this. and it strikes me that we face together as californians, not so much problems but rather conditions. life's inherent difficulties. a problem can be solved or forgotten. but a condition always remaining -- always remains. it remains to elicit the best from each of us and shows how we depend on one another and how we have to work together. with realism. with confidence. with loyalty. in the deepest sense, to california, to my forebearers to process tearty as our song says, california, here i come,
>> we'll have more inauguration coverage on c-span when rick scott is swarn in. live coverage from tallahassee at noon eastern. next a debate of the republican national committee. "washington journal" begins at 7:00 a.m. also this morning a news conference with outgoing house speaker nancy pelosi. >> for these children, our children, and for all of america's children, the house will come to order. >> with the start of the new congress this wednesday, look back at the opening of past sessions online at the c-span video lady brare. with every c-span program -- library. with every c-span program. all searchible.
all free. it's washington your way. earlier, republican chairman michael steele debated four challengers who all want to lead the party into the 2014 elections. he is criticized at the debate by his challengers about his management in party operations and finances. this debate was moderated by americans for tax reform and tucker karlson of the "daily caller." this is 90 minutes. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, thank
you for joining us today. my name is grover minor quest, i serve as president for americans for tax reform. two years ago, we hosted a similar debate for the chairmanship of the r.n.c. in the sense that while 168 members of the republican national committee will be making a decision on the cherylmanship, this is a decision that affects everyone who cares about the country, the republican party and we thought the more transparency the better in candidates making their positions known to the whole country. we offered the same to the democratic party who decided to pass on that level of transparency. most recently tim kane the head of the d.n.c. thinks he'll be cheryl again, so they have slightly differently structured elections on that side. here we have not just an open and more transparent process but now a tradition with this
being the second of the debates in forums put second election cycle with the debate forum before us. i want to thank all the r.n.c. members who will be casting votes. if i could ask the r.n.c. members to stand so people in the audience can see. [applause] >> and i certainly want to thank all of the candidates, anne wagner, sala new assess and ryan prevuos who are staveding for office and we had over 900 questions submitted to the website. 3 million hits on the website. so a lot of interest on this election, and i want to thank the susan b. anthony list who is a co-sponsor of this, marjorie, if you could stand.
[applause] >> and the co-host for today's debate "the daily caller" tucker carlson. "the daily caller" is one of the stronger news sites. >> thank you grover. we've been covering this election pretty aggressively and an honor to be here in what is almost a culmination of the story. the candidates have by lottery been assigned places on the stage and the order of questions has been determined the same way. so it is fair, and they have agreed to the rules which will become evident has the unfolds. there will be a series of ke questions and formats in round three, however, we are going to have an opportunity for people watching this debate, in this room and on c-span to ask their own questions via twitter.
so if you are interested in submitting a question, please do so. it's r.n.c. debate and then indelude candidate's name and debate and we will pose those question ins round three. the candidates are going to start with questions -- opening statements. you are up first? >> thank you. a.t.r., our wonderful sponsors that are here and members of the republican national committee. ladies and gentlemen, it is time for some tough love at the republican national committee. how can an organization that has lost its credibility, it's $20 million in debt, and steeped in misal management and drama actually lead us into the next election cycle of 2012 and offer change? i think it's time for real change and a change of course at the republican national committee. the r.n.c. has been the most
important and relevant and impasseible organization in well over a generation in america and dare i say the world. and it is broken and it needs to be fixed. aened it doesn't need to be fixed for us. it needs to be fixed for our country. we cannot endure four more years of barack obama. i offer myself to the republican national committee and those here and watching us today. i believe i offer a true new direction, new leadership and a real new team. that we must have in order to restore credibility to our donor base to our membership and most importantly to the public out there. i offer 20 years of experience in politics and public service serving at the most grassroots level and as a staffer who worked in districts. i went on to chair the republican party and took it over when we had nothing but a line of credit and ended up
with many terrific victories including winning the missouri house in for the first time in over 20 years. and i traveled the country raising money. i offer a true package. i offer, i think something that is complete. it's fundraising. it's management. it's communication and in knowing how to win elections. i believe that our best days are ahead at the republican national committee and i ask you to join me in renewing and restarting the r.n.c. >> good afternoon. my name is some aany sis and i'm asking for your vote for the chairman of the republican national committee. i think the r.n.c. is in a crisis and at the time of chris -- if you take a look at some of the challenge that is we face across the country and we as a party face to bring this country back, we have to elect
more republicans and make sure we can fund the job that needs to be done. so what i bring to the table is a set of unique skills that cover what we need for the next chairman. over the last several years i have served as chairman of the michigan republican party and served as a county member and i've run for office as well. but today is going to be about fundraising. unfortunately we're starting out this cycle with one of the biggest debts. we've got to raise $20 million before we even start banking money for the next election race. all the technical things that are necessary are done and funded most importantly. i think we need somebody who can make the trains run on time. so what i've done over the past is i have the political skills necessary based on the roles i've played and management skills necessary in order run a large organization and most importantly i think i have the fundraising skills where i've raised money in the most
difficult times like in a state like michigan and successfully raised over $29 million in our state alone. so as we look forward to what we need as the next chairman, i think you need somebody who can articulate the message and make sure the trains run on time and make the changes necessary. with that i offer myself as a candidate for chairman. thank you very much. [applause] >> hi. i'm maria seeno and fist let me thank tucker and grover and marjorie for hosting this debate and also our r.n.c. members. and all of you happy new year and welcome to 2011 and to the 2012 elections, because the race for president has already begun and a billion-dollar campaign is well underway. that's one of the reasons the election for the r.n.c. chairman is so important. it's important, because next
scharme faced with significant challenges. in addition to mounting a campaign to compete against $1 billion. that's why i'm running for r.n.c. chairman. i know what it takes to manage the r.n.c. i've traved for this job most of my life and worked with or at the r.n.c. for the last 30 years and managed every successful program on budget. i know what it takes to retire big debts and build and rebuild strong national campaign committees. i did that with congressman bill paxson when we turned around the r.n.c. and won the election. i am a fundraiser. i have the respect of major doners from around the country and i've raised millions and millions of dollars. my past experience has also taught me the importance of a strong, state party organization. they are essential to winning presidential elections. they are essential, because
that's what we admitted 2000 and 2004. i plabbed. i raised -- i planned and raised funds and put together a program for reach state and heck, i even ran the republican national convention. i know i cannot do this alone. i know it takes a team that i'm prepared to put together. and that's what it's going to take to win the elections in 2012. thank you. [applause] >> good afternoon. i'm michael steele, chairman of the republican national committee. happy new year. thank you to grover and to his team at a.t.r. certainly tucker "the daily caller" and our fine friends at the susan b. anthony list. when i began this job in 2009, we couldn't find anyone to say they were republican let alone
run for one. we couldn't find people who actually believed that we could do it, that we still had value. "time" magazine claimed we were an endangered species not that long ago. and so in coming to the r.n.c. where we were hemorrhaging our base and supporters long before my tenure began. where our donors were frustrateed in anger and our core bheefs were questionsed, we put together a small team and got -- got together those who committed themselves to the hard work. i'm a glass-half-full kind of guy. i don't see the crisis as some may see it. i don't see it as something where the alarms go off and you
start throwing and remaking and boeing up. but you get down to the heavy, burdensome work of rebuilding, and we did. and in 2009, new jersey, virginia happened. in the beginning of 2006 massachusetts and hawaii happened. and we began to see in ourselves the opportunity to win. and as we get this next cycle, that reality continues from us larger than anythinges. we fired pelosi, the democrats wanted to hire her back. that will take up its time in this mantle. but to go forward and build on successes we have had, i ask for your support in doing so as the chairman of the republican national committee. [applause] >> i think the cameras can take a break now. my name is rants previewous.
that's what happens when you have a greek and german for parents like mine. i want to thank you grover and tucker and marjorie for putting this on. i'm running because i believe the very american idea is at stake in this election. our country is about to walk off a fiscal cliff, and as all of you know, pretty soon we're going to have more people riding in the wagon than driving the wagon, and the r.n.c. needs to restore the trust and confidence s of our major doners, our grassroots activists. when i took over as chairman of the wisconsin g.o.p., we had loads of debt, and we didn't have a lot to build on. think i you all know our blue sness somewhere between minnesota and maine. we did it with people like scott walker, our new governor and ron johnson defeating russ feingold. shawn duffy.
shawn duffy is now where dave overy used to be. we flipped both houses of the legislature, and we won five out of eight congressional districts. but you know what the best thing is? we did it the right way, we did it together with the conservative movement one and for all tea party act terrorists, knows wisconsin, we could be proud to go to the polls and say that's the kind of republican i want to vote for. you know why? because our republican party understands we are not in competition with the conservative movement. we are part of the conservative movement. and we learned that if we could do three things, we could rebuild our party and our credibility. and those three things are pretty sitch. we need find people of their toward run for office. we need win elections. and then finally, we need govern like we campaign.
and if we can learn to govern like we campaign, then and only then will we be able 20 take back the white house in 2010. thank you. [applause] >> first question. there is no formal job description for the position that you're each campaigning for, the chairmanship of the republican national committee. what do you think is the most important task for the chairman of the r.n.c. in 2011 and 2012. if eelected many, what would you focus on as your biggest responsibility? >> fundraising and everything else. think i we have tremendous challenges. this is going to be among the top. i took the time before stiding to run to call the doners what it would take to get them back. i was surprised to hear almost all of them are ready and able to come back but found out
oftentimes they weren't even asked for a contribution. i would spend the overwhelming majority of my time fundraising to them states turn out the votes. >> i would do three things, the first thing is get our fiscal house in order. we have to practice what we preach as republicans, and i think we need to get our debt under control. we've called for a two-year budget matching the budget cycle of an election cycle. using that, looking at the dollars raised matching that with the dollars that can be spent in the coming cycle. secondly i would rebuild our fund raising organization, the funds necessary to beat barack obama and add to the house. and third build strong, state party organizations. we have learned time and time again during a presidential cycle, you do not win presidential elections without a strong state party organization. and i have called for an 18-
month, 18-month state victory plan that would be due april 1 of this 4 year to get us on our way. >> certainly, dealing with the finances of the organization will be extremely important as we go into a presidential cycle. we have a $ooh million line of credit that we have structured with a bank that will start being paid and ongoing vender and other responsibility that is carry over from the 2010 election cycle. so that clearly will be a priority as i articulated to our budget committee at the time, they passed the budge net 2010 and certainly for this upcoming year and the entire membership knows that is a priority. i think just as importantly, and maria touched on it. is what we do to continue to build for our grassroots. going into this period, it's going to be incredibly important that we continue to
engage the opportunities we have with individuals outside of the party itself. so i see those as dual opportunities for at least the first-quarter or two, to make sure that we hunker down and get the money tight and right. make sure the dollars, whether it's refinancing on the debt, whether it is making certain that we have the opportunity on the ground with our fundraisers and our doners out there to become a part of this team and certain our grassroots. >> i think our first priority has to be and must be in electing republicans. but to do that, we need money, and we need a lot of money. we need a chairman that is going to put his or her head down and spend literally five or six hours every day making major donor calls and visits literally working like an absolute dog getting our fiscal house in order. the other thing we need is
unity in our party. we need to speak to the republican party. a.t.r., s.b.a. we need to be working together. and lastly what i mentioned before in my opening, we need keep credibility in our party. we need to govern like we campaign and keep our elected officialings accountable so that unity unity peace can actually happen. i think that's the most important peace of the party we need to keep our eye on. that, money and ultimately electing republicans. >> thank you. the job description is really to be the standard bearer of the party. and that has multiple facets underneath it. it's supporting our party platforms. it's recruiting -- and welcoming tall conservatives who have been such a part of our movement in the last election cycle. it's about winning elections
and winning the white house in 2012. that's job description of the republican national committee chairman and to do that you have to raise money. you have to restore the donor program and it would be my hope once doing the audit and putting our fiscal house in order. putting the management checks and balances and pulling together our finance ministers of the past, new and old to put this plan together and ask for money, put a plan forward. a business perspective that puts forth the path to victory which is the main job description of the republican national committee. >> before we go to the next question i want to remind the hash tag is pound sign r.n.c. debate. our next question, how do you balance the desire of conservative candidates with what is reality. what is the balance? did you see for instance the victory of christine o'donnell
as a triumph of principal or disaster? >> well, i look at it as the chairman of the republican national committee. our job is to grow the party from the bottom up. and the job of the chairman is to make sure that we provide our state parties with funds. we provide our state parties with resources, talent, technology and boots on the ground to elect the candidates that the state parties and republican voters put forth. and i see that's thousand balance should be. it goes to the -- that's how the balance should be. it goes to the state party. >> maria is exactly right. in this last cycle there were a lot of dynamics that played with the state parties. for the fist time the state parties -- for the first time the state parties were engaged like never before.
we opened victory offices in january as opposed to august of this year for the sole purpose of engaging an activist base so they can come out and participate. and they did. so you saw whether it was in delaware or california, a level of activism that i think was long overdue and welcomed for this party. at the end of the day the national party's role is to stay out of the business when it comes to their election nominees. while that may upset some who want to see other party committees around this town do the same, it is improperer and wrong and when they do you pay a dear price in support from activists and donors, and you pay a dear price because at the end of the day you wind up losing states you otherwise could win. >> i think our party has to mean something and being a
conservative has to mean something and i think our chairman has to be an outspoken unabashed conservative republican that can hold our elected officials accountable. but i agree that balance at the end of the day the chairman of the r.n.c. has to support our nominees. but i do believe state parties have a role and some have taken that rule 11 members of the jury and supported republican candidates preprimary in their states, and under our rules we allow for that and give the power to the states to make that decision. we did that in wisconsin. endorsed preprimary run, and we have a late primary in september. we had to do it. and it worked. but it worked, because the state parties that had power under the rules of the republican national committee to do that. i support that and i would support that as chairman going forward as well. >> if there's one thing we
learned from this last election cycle, it's that the people decide who is going to win elections and people who are going to decide who wins on the republican and democratic side. it is the job of the republican party to stand up for our platform and ideals and recruit candidates that will be true to our conservative principals and values. at the end of the day the people will decide who win those primaries and it is our job to then win the republican election. it is our job to grow the zort every single state and every courthouse and legislative district across the country. i think there many throughout who have really lifted up the grassroots. it's important we have the funding to see the jobs through. in order to win the general elections. thank you. >> i really don't think we need to have a whole lot of balance
in the sense that i think the primaries work and the voters work. the voters know who they want to vote for and i think it's always been a mistake when somebody comes in and says this person is too conservative or whatever it may be. i think that's a mistake. i think we should let the primary process work and the states are equip to handle it. we've got to trust the voters. when we as republicans put forth best candidates, we win. when we run like democrats, we lose. i think it -- we should let the voters decide and then push for the people elected. >> the next question will be asked by marjorie with the susan b. anthony list. >> susan b. anthony list primary mission is to advance and mobilize pro life women in the political process.
we represent social issues which is a unique opportunity because as families go, so depose the nation and civilization. and that's in direct contradiction with the dwhrad we ought to have some sort of truth on social issues and improve along the issue of what moves america. i had the privilege of interviewing each of the candidates along with the national organization for marriage. we took our role seriously. so my first question is on marriage. and here is what it is. and this is on behalf of national organization for marriage. the traditional definition of marriage unites over 80% of republicans. while certain elites try to put this on the wrong side of history. regardless of how you see your role as chairperson, you're almost nut a position to defend
traditional marriage by a member of the media. what is your best 30-second case for marriage between one man and one woman? >> michael steele? >> it's town darblee to who we are as a nation and how we define ourselves as people. the idea of the man and woman joined together to create family is as old as time, and we are as a nation, tied ourselves inextricably to that. not to the exclusion of others or to diminish anyone's individualty, but to say in a very supportive way that the family unit, the family concept is an ideal we aspire to and what we work towards to create a healthy environment for our kids to grow into. so in the future they too can be contributors to our country and nation and history and our legacy. it's as rooted in those ideas and those traditions.
there are a lot of discussions and debates about the definition of family and e6r7b has their own way of making it. as a party, we have said clearly that we support this ideal, that we support this tradition. and i think that that is a very good spot for the party to be in. >> i don't believe that judges can rewrite the constitution and redraft what marriage is. i think marriage is -- there's a sanktyty of marriage. i believe that. and i believe with michael in certainly that it's foundational in our lives. i believe our kids and children should grow up with one's father and a mother if possible. certainly with support. single parents, it's certainly hard. i don't believe anybody should be denied dignity in this discussion. everyone should be loved. but at the end of the day, i believe marriage through the
sanktyty of marriage should be between one man and one woman. >> i agree that marriage is between one man and one woman. it is the true fabric of our society. and i live my marriage beliefs. i have been faithfully and i guess happily married for 24 years. would you agree, dear? i have to ask him. for 23 years we have three beautiful children. i live my family traditional values and my sankty of marriage as i -- i also think it's wonderful as a state party chairman as i was to watch these kinds of values reaffirm legislatively. when we won both houses for the first time in 50 years and elected a republican governor, we were able to pass legislation that a constitutional amendment that
in fact, it reaffirmed your 80% rights beef in this that marriage is between one man and one woman. >> look. think straight forwardly marriage is a religious and cultural tradition that has existed for over 2,000 years and a natural aspect of life and i think marriage is between a man and a woman and the family unit is important. and actually, i think both our belief in activity to promote the marriage and promote the nuclear kind of our traditional family is an important distinction that we have in america versus almost every other country in the world. so i think it's a religious and cultural gld america and worth fighting for. >> i believe in traditional family. marriage is between a man and woman, and i believe that because it's been a big part of my belief and family upbringing, and i stupt republican platform. -- and i support the republican
platform. >> question, what has been the republican party's greatest failure takeover last 10 years? >> not doing what we say we're going to do. not living up to the promising -- promises of our platform. i think that what we saw in this last election, certainly in wisconsin is what happens when you put true conservatives on the ballot that speak the truth that, speak to the principals of our platform, and even in wisconsin, we can turn a state red. a state red by sticking to the principals of our party. people were defeated, because a lot of us in this room were tired of going to the polls holding our noses and voting for republicans that didn't uphold the basic principals of our platform. and i think that thanks to a lot of groups, including tea parties and a.t.r. and our own republican party, regrouping,
and really getting back to the basic, we were able to save our party. but like i said, the bigger issue is saving our country. we can save our party along the way, but we need stick our principals in order to do that. >> takeover last decade the republican party at various levels has been in and out of power. and at all times it's the people that decide. when we get into powe, and we lose our way, -- into power, and we lose our way, the people have a way and this marvelous democracy that we live in have a way of righting that wrong. and one of the big failures has been too much spending and growth and debt. our deficits and debt are out of control. what we are passing along to my children and your children is wrong. we have got to reign in spending. we have got to take a serious look at everything on the table
and get our debts and our soaring spending out of control. and we have to do that authentically, really, and every single day. otherwise the people will toss us out. >> i just remember two years ago when we came off of the worst cycles ever, we basically walked around and talked to republicans around the country and poll apologized for losing our way. we voted for the bridge to no where and higher taxes and spending and stopped voting and acting like republicans and stopped talking about the issues the american public believes in. this is a nation that believes in conservative principals. when we walk and act and talk like republicans we win and when we do it like democrats, we lose. so our biggest failure is we stopped acting like republicans and lost faith and belief in that we are a conservative party and represent conservative principals and we paid the price for it. this time around we got a
second chance that's all it is is a second chance and opportunity for republicans to start acting like republicans or the public will throw us out again. >> first passing mccain-feingold. that was a mistake. [applause] >> you're taking up my time. [laughter] second and what everyone else has said, losing our way on spending. i think sol said it best. when we lose our way on spending and taxes and when we lose our way on the deficit, we lose elections. voters at the ballot box. if we learned anything from our friends at the tea party it's that we need stay on focus and on message. cutting the deficit won elections in 1994 and 2010 and i agree we've got a second lifeline here. we better use it. >> thank you.
i believe all my colleagues here hit it right at one level where we've certainly walked away with the contract for nerns 1994. -- for americans in 1994. we started to define ousts outside of what we were and what we believe in. and again, democrat light does not sell well in the public. and the other thing equally important where the party got it wrong and fell off the rails is we stopped talking to people and trying to connect directly with people and expanding and reaching. we're the party of lincoln, the party that understands the value of the individuals in this american enterprise and how part of our charge is to go out and crab grab as many people -- and grab as many people that make this up believing in the value of individual liberties and free markets and those system that is have helped to build a nation. so when we stopped talking to
our friends in the latino and african-american community and stopped engaging with individuals and made asungses about well, they don't vote for us anyway, that's when we started to lose. going forward, we will lose big . it's a very different day. >> the next question begins with anne wagner, you described the r.n.c. chairman as the standard bearer of the party. given that interested in what it means, what would disqualify someone from -- specifically what beliefs would that person have to aspouse for you to say that person is not a republican? >> they must belief in the kind of pillars of conservativism many of us hold near and dear. free enterprise.
personal responsibility. there are three pillars that are key. one is a 'tisical side that rapes in this out of control government in spending and assault on our freedom at an economic and personal level. there's also a pillar of national defense. and i will tell you after my time serving as united states ambassador, i have a great appreciation for the strength of our military and the third pillar would be that of a traditional values and whether that is a sanctity of life or marriage or whether that's the second amendment, whatever the social values are that are out there and we hold deeply and dear to our heart, those are the three pillars that are important to carry, and if you can't carry all three, i don't think you should be serving as chairman of the republican national committee. [applause] >> yes. i guess i would basically use ronald reagan's time that if someone's with us 80% of the
time, they are probably republican. i would say we have sthads stand on our principals. we articulate them in a thoughtful way, and if a candidate standard bearer someone who is going to represent our party 80% of the time or more, i would consider them a republican and if not we would have a problem and have to take a look at that seriously. >> i default back on what ronald reagan taught us that is there are three legs to the stool. protecting the family, reducings got to the waste and spending, and a strong national defense. and i think that really sums up what is in our party platform and what we as republicans stand if for. >> i would agree with all that and also say having done the job for two years and recognizing this country is much bigger than we think it is sometimes. and it runs a lot deeper with its passions than we would like
to believe on a host of issues. i see the zwrob as chairman of the standard bearer is to hold that platform, yes. but recognize that enthat comes into our party will have some problem with our platform. and your responsibility and opportunity is to work with them and help them if they want to be active and assume leadership, they will have to come to understand the importance of these principals and what they mean, but we cannot be a party that sits back with a litmus test and exclude. and the national chairman cannot go into a state and say you're less republican than you are, therefore, i will not talk with you and only talk with you. that is not the republican party i joined at 17 years old. and it will not be the republican party i lead over the next two years. trust me. >> i think that being the standard bearer for the republican party has to take into account that our country
is in great payroll. as i -- per i will. as i -- our country is in great peril. i think the chairman ought to take a chance and promote that conservative platform every time that he or she has an opportunity to do it. because right now, just without anything barack obama and nancy pelosi did this past two years, normally it costs about 19 cents on every dollar made in america to run the federal government. without anything that they have done, it will cost by the time my son is my age, it will cost 40 cents for every -- from every dollar made the america to run this country. if we don't have a sharme that understands being -- a chairman that understands being a republican means something. if you're pro a.i.g. and pro bailout, guess what, you might not be a republican.