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BY Miranda Neubauer | Wednesday, September 26 2012

Advocacy groups and poitical campaigns are a key audience of a new tool that aims to help groups or companies connect their e-mail lists with social media discussion.

The new company,, was co-founded by Cheryl Contee and Roz Lemieux of Fission Strategy, who both have many years of experience working for political and advocacy organizations.

Even as social media has become an increasingly important communication tool, many advocacy organizations have had a difficult time justifying spending money on it, Lemieux said in an interview.

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What Effective Political Advocacy and Eating Your Vegetables Have in Common

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Thursday, September 20 2012

Shayna Englin speaking at Personal Democracy Forum 2012 in June. Englin argues there is an "advocacy gap." Photo: Esty Stein/PDM

A newly released research report has found empirical and anecdotal evidence of a deep gulf between what congressional staffers need from the advocacy community in order to shape policy and what the advocacy community actually does.

The report, "The Advocacy Gap: Research for Better Advocacy," from Englin Consulting, Fission Strategy and Lincoln Park Strategies, surveyed staffers on Capitol Hill and what they said are effective forms of contact and input, and then surveyed 4,000 members of advocacy organizations who had signed up to take action on behalf of those causes or organizations. The researchers asked those people, who they call activists, what they think effective action is, and what they do in practice. It turns out that taking effective political action is a bit like diet and exercise: The activists understand what the most effective actions to take are, but tend to take the easiest, least effective forms of action, like sending messages through their advocacy organization rather than showing up in person at their member of Congress' office or at a town hall meeting.

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