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How to Advance Advocacy with Mobile Apps

Posted by Kim Harwood on Jan 27, 2016 12:00:00 PM

mobile_app.jpgAre you effective in organizing a voice for meaningful change for your members and industry? Consider mobile technology to support your advocacy endeavors.

Why Mobile Apps?
When it comes to advocacy, communication is key. However, it isn’t always easy when we all live such busy lives. But what if you could be with your members at all times? More importantly, what if you could engage your membership when it is convenient to each individual member?

Associations that have deployed mobile apps have that advantage. After all, consumers spend 85% of their time on smartphones in apps. By offering a mobile app solution members are already familiar with, they will be more willing to engage. With the rise in app popularity and tech advancements, mobile app costs have dropped from the initial App Store release. Plus, the benefits you can reap significantly outweigh these monetary costs.

Apps for Advocacy
There are many mobile advocacy app and membership app platforms available to your association, rich with features perfect to support your activities.

Scout for Threats and Opportunities
Want to know opinions on hot topics or what focus a proposal should receive? Take five to 15 minutes to push out an alert, set up a poll or create a survey. If you’re succinct and purposeful, you will improve your turnout. The app does the results tracking for you.

Plan Your Response
Set up a discussion forum or chatroom so members or committees can collaborate on the message proposed for Congress virtually.

Inform Your Members
Consider sharing resources and research. Push personalized surveys to collect stats such as “140 out of 150 medical professionals surveyed have an ongoing issue with insurance…” With a newsfeed pushing hot, short information bites, members can choose to read more now or later from the app.

Rally and Lead your Members
Allow members to contact their state or federal level representatives through the app. Giving the members fast access to Representatives is a start, but preparing the member for communication is equally important. If members can see their representative’s voting history, relevant research, suggested speaking points or even a canned email message, they can reach out with confidence.

Track Member Actions
With these tools, your members can have a voice in Congress and your association can track the effort along the way to impacting political changes.

Many associations find their shortest path to influence happens when members and Congress meet face to face. Armed with research, speaking points, representative voting history and a legislator appointment schedule, members descend on the capitol to share a message and materials with their Representatives. For associations like the Florida College of Emergency Physicians (FCEP), this happens annually in the spring. Resources and research are available in the member app and visiting members can report the outcomes of each visit.

According to Niala Ramountar, FCEP Director of Education, “We’re using the app to detail all of the legislative appointments that have been scheduled with our members and all 160 Florida legislators. This will replace older processes that involved continuously updating and printing large spreadsheets. With push notifications, we are able to alert our members of new changes in their appointment schedules in a timely fashion.”

Providing unique content and channels your members can only find on the app will help drive initial usage. However, once your members have downloaded the app, the biggest challenge lies in keeping the app’s content fresh and up-to-date.

An app with features to enable two-way communication, resource sharing and feedback loops is the perfect platform for your members to voice their unique needs and collectively organize meaningful change in politics and beyond.

Results@Hand is the Official App Partner of ISAE.

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Topics: Mobile, events, Advocacy

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