From the Advocacy Leaders Network blog:
The final event in our 2013 Advocacy Leaders Network event series took a deep dive into the latest and greatest uses of mobile technology for advocacy, including apps, shortcodes, and responsive design. The event was complete with informative presentations, lively conversations, and many takeaways. Of course, we also took this opportunity to launch an Advocacy Leaders Network mobile app, and Beekeeper Group’s new Advobot, a mobile virtual presence controlled via mobile app, even made a brief appearance.
Gabriela Schneider, Communications Director of the Sunlight Foundation, gave the keynote address. Sunlight Foundation is nonpartisan nonprofit that leverages data and technology for more effective democratic participation. They frequently release mobile apps and API’s that empower organizations and citizens, several of which Gabriela explained in her presentation, inspiring many in the room to consider how they might also leverage Sunlight’s data in addition to their own.
A panel of experts from different organizations and providers then took the stage to share successful strategies for implementing mobile technology. Beekeeper Group’s Shana Glickfield led this panel of experts through a spirited talk where representatives from prominent organizations shared their experiences with getting buy-in, launching, and getting members to adopt their mobile technology. Here are just a few of the important points they shared:
• If your member base is not often sitting in front of a desk during the day, you are a prime candidate for mobile communications.
• You can get a sense of the mobile technology your members use from seeing which devices people are accessing your website. Demonstrate demand for mobile technology using both the latest in mobile usage data and direct feedback from organization members.
• Mobile applications are extremely useful for conferences and Hill Fly-ins so that you don’t need to overwhelm participants with paper and can update users in real-time.
• Promotion of the app to your audience is key to adoption and demonstrating success. Provide incentives like prizes and exclusive information to inspire users to opt-in.
• Apps don’t have to be expensive and can even be used as a fundraising tool. Examples include selling sponsorships of the app or having PAC donations functionality.
Finally, participants and speakers broke into small groups to discuss their specific challenges, approaches, and experiences with mobile. People left with valuable information and well aware of the steps to get from idea to success. How do we know? Via their feedback forms on the ALN mobile app!