Michael is a beautiful healthy baby boy weighing in at 9 lbs. 8 ounces and 20 inches long.
We are so happy for the Burns’ family on their new addition!
When it comes to making a change in your community, the most powerful tool you have is the community itself. How you can mobilize your community has evolved with the growth of social media, but many of the traditional methods still remain most useful. In fact, all of these tactics should be used together to bring awareness and organize your community to support your issue and gain the attention of your elected officials. This article will explore what is known as “slacktivism,” a form of social media engagement regarding a cause, and traditional tactics to bringing attention and action to an issue.
In our age of social media, many issues become viral social media campaigns resulting in shares, comments, likes, and views but most of the time, little else. This isn’t to say “slacktivism” is entirely useless, in fact, it does raise awareness of an issue and can even inform people and get people talking about the subject. The problem lies in that these campaigns alone rarely result in action being taken. People comment, like, and share or sign an online petition and feel accomplished, like they have done something to help the issue when, in fact, it takes much more effort than that. This is why the term is a combination of “slacker” and “activism” because not much effort goes into participating in these online interactions and involvement often ends there.
This does not mean that online advocacy is useless, as previously stated, it can work wonders in raising awareness and spreading a message further and faster than many traditional forms of information sharing. It becomes hindered when it ends with this social media step. When people hit share and feel they have done enough and then move on. In turn, if it goes on to spark action and mobilization in the non-digital world, then it can be measured as a useful tactic. Online advocacy should be viewed as a tool, and not a complete solution to driving your issue.
The traditional ways are still the most effective for mobilizing your community. Traditional methods are complemented and enhanced by the online and social media aspects we have in the digital age, but the tried and true forms of raising awareness and prompting action still hold strong. As stated before, engagement efforts must be utilized offline in the community itself to see real results. Writing letters and direct mail, volunteer phone banking, going door to door, and organizing local precinct level meetings are proven ways to reach the people of your area and really add voices to your cause. These tactics allow you to know that you are reaching the population you intend to reach and also allow you to form relationships that will benefit your cause in the long run. These traditional strategies combined with an online strategy will help mobilize your community. The effectiveness of your traditional and online strategies, however, hinges on a properly developed and crafted message. It is vital that your message informs and is credible and factual. You also want to be prepared to answer any tough questions that may be raised regarding your position and help alleviate any concerns among elected officials, the media and the public. Having a message that is factual and based on credible personal stories and sources goes a long way in building support.
When bringing attention to an issue, both new and traditional tactics can be used together to mobilize your community, gain support, and ultimately bring about desired policy and legislative changes. Digital advocacy and social media campaigns are persuasive and bring awareness, while traditional measures bring people to concrete action within the community. A balance of these different tactics will help result in successful campaigns. These strategies used with a strong message, grab people’s attention and provide them with enough facts to make an educated decision to act. A community mobilized behind an issue is an extremely effective force in getting a legislative or policy change. In fact, it’s near impossible to get things done otherwise.
Need more advice or help?
For more information, visit us at www.arc3communications.com or contact Patrick Burns at email@example.com. We look forward to working with you to achieve your goals and help your voice be heard to bring positive changes to your community.
Arc 3 is looking for an intern that would like to further their experience in content marketing in the trade association, public affairs and government space. Desired skills include knowledge of content creation, social media management and analytics tools, as well as strong writing skills. Knowledge of design tools such as Photoshop, Canva and Google Drawings is a plus. Internship would be part-time or full time; virtually or at our office.
Applicants must be a current college undergraduate or graduate student. Academic credit can be arranged for internship.
We are a startup with a bold vision. If you are looking to gain professional experience in politics and public affairs while learning content marketing strategies, please contact our Founder, Patrick Burns at firstname.lastname@example.org
When it comes to crafting a successful email newsletter, there are many things to consider. At times, these considerations can be overwhelming, resulting in inconsistency in newsletter delivery and quality. Here are 10 tips to keep in mind that can help make for a successful email newsletter every time.
The first step in creating an eye-catching, accessible, and successful newsletter is choosing an appropriate and most importantly, mobile friendly, newsletter template. You may be surprised to know that 51% of recipients unsubscribe from email newsletters that aren’t visually appealing (optinmonster.com). This means you can lose over half of your audience by having an unappealing template. Companies like Mailchimp allow you to easily create simple and effective email templates or choose from pre-made designs that are already optimized for mobile devices. Make sure to keep your audience and purpose in mind when creating or choosing your template; gear your design towards what will perform best with them.
After you have chosen your template design, you will need quality content to fill your newsletter for your readers. This content can be organized by predetermined newsletter subjects, such as having each newsletter cover a specific topic or content area, or just have each newsletter contain specific content types as press releases, event recaps, and thought leadership articles. You will want to develop organizational strategies and decide what works best for your purposes, but always make sure you have top-quality content. If readers aren’t interested, they will not engage and even worse may unsubscribe to future newsletters.
If you are considering a newsletter, chances are you have a mailing list ready to send to. Whether you have a list already or plan on building one from scratch, you should always be willing to grow it further by gaining new subscribers. This can be done by implementing a newsletter sign-up form on your website. This can be a pop-up that greets visitors to your website or a form implanted on your homepage somewhere visible and easily accessible. Again, this form should be mobile friendly. You can also link people to your newsletter subscription through social media or physical email sign-up forms.
Having an extensive mailing list could also mean you have readers that are interested in different policy issues, products and services, or information. You can design multiple newsletters that are geared towards these differing interests and can be sent to the subscribers who want to see it most. There are many tools to track reader patterns and activities (buying trends, demographics, etc.) so you can make sure the content these audiences are receiving is tailored to their interests and increases the chance they will want to remain engaged with your newsletters.
When potential readers are going through their emails, they are usually scanning subject lines to determine which emails to open and read. If your subject line lacks creativity and relevancy, it is likely to be skimmed over without a second glance. It is suggested that subject lines be no more than five words and use catchy and energetic words. Taking time to run your subject lines through programs such as CoSchedule’s Email Subject Line Tester can help gauge how your subject line will do with your audience. Take time with your subject line, it will help drive open and click-through-rates!
It may sound like a broken record, but in today’s mobile-driven world, it is of utmost importance that all of your newsletter content is geared toward mobile devices. More than 75 percent of people check email on their smartphones and mobile devices. If your newsletter is not optimized for mobile viewing, many of your readers won’t bother with it and could become frustrated and unsubscribe. Luckily, most templates offered on email newsletter platforms are mobile-friendly, but it is always a good idea to double check.
Your email newsletter should be more than self-promotion and advertising, it needs to help form a relationship with your audience. This is where the strong content comes into play in providing helpful and thoughtful information that communicates with the reader. One trick to building a strong bond with your readers is to send newsletters frequently as opposed to every once in a while. Weekly or monthly newsletters, as opposed to quarterly or bi-annual newsletters, help remind your audience why they subscribed and that you are interested in keeping the relationship going.
If you have social media that you use to share relevant content or organization updates, integrate those platforms into your newsletter. Having links to your various social media accounts will help you gain followers there as well. Also, make sure to have your contact information and a link to your homepage for readers who may have questions or want to get in contact with you right away. This also adds to the relationship building by allowing your readers to keep track of the content and announcements you may release between newsletters.
Whereas your email newsletter shouldn’t just be self-promoting advertising, you do want your readers to take action of some sort. Whether it be going to your website, following you on social, taking part in a trial, becoming a paying member, or partaking in a survey you will want to have a call to action (CTA). Also, this CTA needs to be eye-catching and easy to engage with so readers will take the necessary steps. This usually takes the form of a button or link towards the end of your newsletter that stands out. If you have engaging content and have formed that relationship, readers are more likely to take action.
When your newsletter is looking finished and ready to go, there is one last thing you need to do before sending it out to your subscriber list; send a test. This will help you make sure there are no broken links, optimization issues, or any other problems. This will also allow you to see it from the reader’s perspective. You could easily do this by having a list of people on your team to send a test email to. It is usually better to send a test to more people than just yourself, this way, you get multiple sets of eyes to catch anything that you may overlook. Sending a test also includes sending your newsletter to specific subscribers to test things like send times, subject lines, and content success so you can see what works and what may need changing. In reviewing the test, don’t forget to review the email newsletter on your mobile device.
For more information on email newsletters and to find out how we can help you with your marketing campaigns, visit us at www.arc3communications.comor contact Patrick Burns at email@example.com. We look forward to working with you and building successful email marketing strategies together.
In a digital age, content marketing is one of the best marketing strategies that can be used by associations’ large and small. There is a wide variety of options in the world of content marketing and choosing the best types of content for your association can be challenging. Of course, you do not have to use just one type of content, in fact using a variety of different content formats is good for keeping your membership and stakeholder audiences interested. These different types of content can be tailored to fit your association and reach your target audiences. This guide will identify two of the most popular forms of content out there right now and explain what each of these can accomplish for your association.
We have all read listicle articles in magazines or on social media, even if we didn’t know that is what they were called. In fact, the article you are reading right now is a listicle. Listicles are highly popular due to their ability to be very informative while being easy-to-read and aesthetically pleasing. Arranging information in a list format and including numbers in the title and body of the article has been proven to be psychologically attractive and draws in readers. People like having their information in list form; and with a catchy title, this form of content can greatly increase page views, shares and likes. Listicles will usually have a numerically based title, for example: “Top 10,” “6 Ways to,” “5 best,” etc. These numbers can either be a ranking system or simply organize information into the list. Unlike How-To articles (which we will discuss next) listicles do not necessarily have to show someone how to do something or teach a skill; it can simply be used for informing readers or for entertainment purposes. The items in a listicle will usually be related to an overall theme such as “10 Things to Consider When Writing Captivating Content for Members”. This theme will be something related to your association that will attract your membership and stakeholders. Listicles are immensely popular and can be tailored to any policy or content bucket.
How-to articles are another extremely popular form of content. The how-to article is written in a sequence of steps and shows the reader how to perform a skill or complete a task. In the past it was enough to use a title like “How to do…” but now, with social media and endless online articles for your members and stakeholders to choose from, you have to be creative with your titles and content in order to catch the attention of readers. How-to articles are much more specific than listicles, usually explaining a specific task or skill. Often, listicles and how-to articles can cross paths with steps and guides written in a numbered list format like “10 Easy Steps to Building a Remarkably Popular Website.” This translates roughly to “How to Build a Website” but uses much more exciting and interesting language. Like listicle articles, how-to articles increase traffic, shares, and likes and can benefit your SEO and keyword placement. Writing how-to articles that take a unique approach to a topic and take a new angle on what might be a well-known subject to your members is the key to leveraging this content format.
In the End, Quality Content Works
Ultimately, the most important thing about creating content is making sure that it is of high quality. You can pump out countless content pieces, fast and furious; and have them all fall flat because there is no value to them. Quality over quantity is the golden rule when it comes to creating new content for your marketing campaigns. Well-crafted content will boost the visibility of your website and ultimately increase your audience numbers. Interesting and readable content will go far in engaging your membership and keep them coming back for more. Strong content is also more likely to be shared on social media, thus acting as free advertising and driving traffic to your website and generating membership leads for your association. While the two content types discussed in this article are the most popular and effective, they certainly are in no way the only types you can use to be effective. In the end, if you create quality content, your membership and stakeholder audiences will rely on you time and again as a trusted and valuable resource.
For more information or help with your association’s content marketing visit us at www.arc3communications.com or contact Patrick Burns at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to working with you to achieve your goals and develop successful content marketing strategies to help your association grow.
What is the difference between an email newsletter and an email marketing campaign? This is a good question and one that a lot of companies and organizations may have when designing their marketing strategies. This article will help distinguish between these two tools as well as help you create and implement an email marketing campaign that is successful.
First things first, let’s take a look at the difference between an E-newsletter and an email marketing campaign.
An e-newsletter is a regularly occurring email that contains strong informational content that relates to your readers and their lifestyle or interests. Newsletters are not advertisements and do not push products or services. Instead, these emails develop and build relationships with your audience by relating to them on a personal level. This content will be related to your business or market and drives website traffic which can lead to conversions.
An email marketing campaign consists of many different types of emails used together in a strategy to persuade the recipient to take an action such as making a donation or purchasing a service or product. An e-newsletter is considered a part of an email marketing campaign, in addition to other email types such as welcome emails, promotional emails, retention emails, and nurture emails. We will discuss these different email types further, but for now, just think of an e-newsletter as one tool in an email marketing campaign.
Now that you know the difference between e-newsletters and email marketing campaigns, we can discuss how to develop and implement a successful email marketing campaign.
Email is still one of the largest communication tools used today, with 90 percent of adults and 74 percent of teenagers using email regularly according to the company OptinMonster. This makes email one of the most efficient ways to reach your customer base. Here are the steps you can take to create a lucrative email marketing campaign.
Before beginning to design your emails, it is important to set goals you want to achieve with your campaign. These goals will vary depending on your business but some of the common goals are:
Keep in mind your conversion goals when developing your email marketing campaign goals so one can help the other.
Opt-ins are how you will initially get and grow your audience. These are forms strategically located on your website where visitors can sign up to receive your emails. It is important that these are eye-catching, well designed and prominent without being annoying or overpowering. Having a pop-up when people navigate to your site, a visible form that stands out on your homepage, or an exit pop-up when people are leaving your site are good ways to catch the attention and drive your call to action(CTA) for subscribers.
As we discussed earlier, there are different types of emails that can be used as a part of your campaign. These email types will work together to help you reach the goals you have set.
Content and design are very important aspects of a good email marketing campaign. Without strong content, catchy subject lines, and professional, clean design; your emails will be overlooked, go unread, or you could even lose subscribers. Strategies such as personalization, valuable information, polls and surveys, and incentives can be used to help drive open and click-through rates. It is also very important to include a call to action in your emails that encourages your readers to take an action like making a purchase, partaking in an event, or becoming a paying member. These are best when short, clear, and to the point and will work for you if your content and design are strong and relevant.
There are many programs and services available to help create email templates, automate email scheduling delivery, track success and goal completions, and help to segment your audience. Services like Mailchimp provide all of these aspects in one place and can help you make sure your campaign runs smoothly. Tools like these are necessary to keep track of where you stand with your goal completions. This can also allow you to test new ideas and gauge the success rate of these ideas, giving you much control over your own success.
Anytime you are sending a mass email it is always smart to do a test run. This can involve sending your email to people designated as test readers, such as an inside marketing team; to check for errors, broken links, and to see what your audience will see. You can also do test runs with your audience to test things such as send times, calls to action, and subject lines. You will always want to track email activity with your subscribers so you can see what works and what doesn’t. This way you can keep doing things that are working with your subscribers and change and test things that might work better. This will be key to helping you reach your set goals and drive conversion goals as well.
For more information or help with your email marketing campaign visit us at www.arc3communications.com or contact Patrick Burns at email@example.com. We look forward to working with you to achieve your goals and develop successful e-mail marketing strategies to help you grow.
Arc 3 Communications welcomes Paul McNally as Account Executive. McNally is a recent graduate of Kennesaw State University with a bachelor’s degree in Communication & Media Studies. With a strong passion and skill for writing, research, content creation, marketing and media, he is the perfect addition to Arc 3 Communications.
During his career, McNally has worked on many impressive projects. His proudest work was teaming up with the non-profit Sober Living America in creating a media kit and campus event at Kennesaw State University which raised awareness of addiction among young adults and students. He wrote multiple articles that were published in the 2018 edition of KSU’s communication magazine, Pipeline including alumni stories; coverage of the dedication ceremony of the new radio lab named for the late Rhubarb Jones, a beloved Atlanta country music radio host; and a story on a new study abroad program in Milan, Italy. Prior to attending Kennesaw State University, Paul attended the Art Institute of Atlanta where he studied graphic design and animation. While a senior at KSU, he interned for an entire year at Arc 3 Communications with company president Patrick L. Burns.
In his free time, he likes to read, write, draw, and spend time with his wife, Cobb County school teacher Trish McNally and their lovely black Labrador, Malcolm. Together the couple loves traveling, hiking, and enjoying nature. They just recently returned from traveling abroad with the Workaway program, a service program that allows people to work a variety of jobs in return for food and board, in which they volunteered all around Europe. During their three-and-a-half-month trip they worked on farms in Sweden, art festivals and foster animal care in Wales, a tango event in Germany, gardening in London, as well as visiting Amsterdam and Denmark.
“I am really excited to work with Arc 3 Communications to bring clients quality content and account service,” McNally said, “It is an innovative company doing amazing work with the top associations and companies from across the country right in the heart of downtown Marietta.”
For several years, the Georgia Secretary of State conducted the Peanut Poll, a straw poll held every year at the Georgia National Fair in Perry. Each year, the straw poll focused on participant’s choices for federal elected office such as President and U.S. Senate. One of the most successful straw polls in the country, the poll was a part of the Georgia Secretary of State’s mission to raise awareness about elections and encourage voter registration.
However, in 2017 with no major election pending, the Secretary of State’s office sought to re-brand the Peanut Poll to be a contest to have Georgians pick the best high school football team in the state. In addition to a re-branding to reflect the change in direction of the poll, the Secretary of State sought to develop a new website and online polling system that would allow Georgians to vote for one of the 460 high school football teams online and on tablets at the Georgia Grown booth at the fair. After voting, participants would be directed to the Secretary of State’s online voter registration page to check their registration status and register to vote if they had not already. The new “Gridiron Showdown” Peanut Poll sought to engage high school students who were now eligible to register to vote, but had not yet done so.
With the Georgia National Fair coming up quickly, the Arc 3 Communications team worked expeditiously with the Secretary of State’s Outreach Staff to create a new and unique brand for the Gridiron Showdown Peanut Poll. A new mobile first website was developed that incorporated a polling system that allowed for visitors to quickly vote for one of Georgia’s 460 high school football teams. Upon voting, Georgians were directed to the Secretary of State’s online voter registration page. At the Georgia National Fair’s Georgia Grown Booth visitors were presented with i-pads upon which they could visit the website and vote for their favorite team while voters from across the state also submitted their ballots on the website. The website polling system calculated and displayed the results in real-time as they happened. Each day at 5 p.m, a special guest would announce the results at the Georgia Grown Booth at the Fair. Voting results announced on the website were easily able to be shared on social networks.
The new Peanut Poll brand incorporating a football referee raised awareness about the new nature of the poll and athletic directors from across the Georgia High School Association were excited about the poll and encouraged students, athletes and parents to participate. The Georgia National Fair also publicized the straw poll and the opportunity to vote at the Georgia Grown booth.
By the time of kickoff and voting began, media outlets around the state had already started talking about the Gridiron Showdown Peanut Poll and social media was buzzing. After ten days, over hundreds of thousands of votes had been cast making the Peanut Poll one of the most successful straw polls and voter registration efforts in the country. The Peanut Poll was embraced not only by high school communities in and around the Georgia National Fair in middle Georgia, but by 460 school communities from across the entire state. Participants from all walks of life participated in the Peanut Poll, including some celebrity voters such as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue who visited the Georgia Grown Booth and cast his vote for his favorite team. Special guests who announced the daily results included Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black who also cast the first vote at the fair online.
In the end, the new Peanut Poll was a success in its ultimate goal of encouraging folks to register to vote. The Georgia Secretary of State’s online voter registration page saw not only a surge in visitors, but also an increase in voter registrations. Because of the 2017 Gridiron Showdown Peanut Poll, new voters will cast their ballots in the 2018 Elections for the first time. These new voters will cast their ballots for something more important than their favorite football team; they will have the opportunity to vote for who will serve them in public office at the local, state and federal levels.
Children model the behavior of their parents and this includes in the digital communities of Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat. When parents share posts about their lives, and then monitor these posts for likes and followers, children take note. While parents would never want to post anything that would be a negative influence on their children, there is little guidance to help them navigate parenting in the digital age. Below is a social media parenting guide for how to set a good example for your kids on social media.
Cyber security is an issue of critical importance to political campaigns at all levels in the wake of the hackings of the 2016 election. Both the Republican and Democratic parties have faced challenges and are making significant investments to help prevent hacking in the 2018 election cycle. Some of the most significant recent cyber security failures in politics were a result of an email phishing attack. These include the hacking of the Hilary Clinton Campaign’s Chief of Staff John Podesta’s emails during the 2016 election and the hacking of the Marcon campaign before the French Presidential Election.
While we’ve written about the importance of political campaigns securing their websites and provided tips for how to keep social media accounts safe, we think it important to provide tips on how to avoid an email phishing attack to your campaign.
What is phishing? Phishing involves the use of fraudulent emails and copy-cat websites to trick you into revealing valuable personal and organizational information — such as account numbers for banking, credit card and donation platform accounts and the key login IDs and passwords you use when accessing these accounts. When hackers go on phishing expeditions, they lure their targets into a false sense of security by hijacking the familiar, trusted logos of established, legitimate companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple. A typical phishing scam starts with a fraudster sending out millions of emails that appear to come from a high-profile company in the hopes of getting folks to inadvertently click. In some cases they are specifically targeting your campaign. Phishing is one of the most popular methods of attack for cyber criminals. There has been a tenfold increase in phishing campaigns over the past decade reported to the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG).
Here are some tips for how to avoid email phishing attacks:
Learn Common Traits of Phishing Emails: There are some common content traits to phishing emails that can help you in recognizing them. Many are poorly written and contain spelling errors. Phishing emails often use spammy words such as “free’, ‘profits’, ‘no fees’ to promote offers. Many contain urgent in the subject line and threaten the loss of an existing account. These emails often have no personalization field for the recipient and contain no email signature for the sender. Finally, phishing emails often contain fake logos and poor structure. Be weary of logos of poor quality or an email message whose header and footer content looks different from the usual content you receive from a company.
Pick Up the Phone to Verify: If you receive a request for personal or financial information over email do not respond. Pick up the phone and call the company yourself using a number in your rolodex, not the one the email provides. Hackers use pressure tactics and prey on people’s fears by noting the urgency of the matter. If you have reason to believe that a company needs personal information about you right away, pick up the phone and confirm it. As a general rule, you should never share personal or financially sensitive information over the internet.
Do Not Click : Do not click on the link provided in an email provided by a company requesting personal or financial information. Type the URL into your web browser yourself or use a bookmark you previously created. Hackers can mask the true destination of a URL, even though a URL may look real in an email.
Verify a Site’s Security: Before ever submitting any personal or financial information to a website make sure the site’s URL begins with “https” and there is a closed lock icon near the address bar. Check for the site’s security certificate as well. If you get a message stating a certain website may contain malicious files, do not open the website. Never download files from suspicious emails or websites. Even search engines may show certain links which may lead users to a phishing webpage which offers low cost products. If the user makes purchases at such a website, the credit card details will be accessed by cyber criminals. Be wary of pop-ups. Pop-up windows often masquerade as legitimate components of a website. All too often, though, they are phishing attempts.
Keep Your Browser Up to Date: Security patches are released for popular browsers in response to security loopholes that phishers and other hackers discover. When an update for your browser is available, download and install it.
Keep Anti-virus Software Updated: Use antivirus software and be sure to keep your software up to date and enable spam filters. Antivirus software guards against known technology workarounds and loopholes. Anti-spyware and firewall settings should be used to prevent phishing attacks and users should update the programs regularly as these updates are made to counter new scams. Firewall protection stops access to malicious files by blocking the attacks. Antivirus software scans every file which comes through the internet to your computer and prevents damage to your system.
Periodically Check Your Accounts: Be sure that you are reviewing campaign banking, credit card and donation platform accounts daily to check for irregularities in your online transactions.
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