As an advocacy organization, one of our ongoing challenges is getting our messages heard by Congress. After all, they receive hundreds of thousands of email messages from constituents, they have to devote entire staff to filter through it, and most of the time it’s a losing battle. We get that. That’s why we train advocates on how to build personal relationships with their elected’s offices so the office will (hopefully) listen to what they have to say. Sending an email action alert is part of a much larger effort, and we know that the email alone will likely be ignored.
I have always appreciated GetActive’s less competitive but bigger picture “let’s work together and come up with a solution” approach to the issue. Capitol Advantage, one of their competitors sends frequent “Does your Advocacy Product DO THIS?” emails, and this one takes the cake, literally:
Say Happy Birthday to Congress!
All year long, Members of Congress receive thousands of messages from organizations and their constituent communities, telling them their thoughts on a particular issue and how they would like them to vote.
One of the latest online tools from Capitol Advantage, Capwiz·XC Birthday Alerts give you an automated, fresh, and positive way to express good will to Congress and ultimately raise awareness of your organization/issues.
So let me get this straight. I’m literally fighting for people’s lives here trying to get my organization’s anti-cancer message in through the clutter we know as email and you’re filling Congress’ inboxes up with “automated” birthday greetings?!? I know how wonderful it makes me feel when my electric company sends me a computer-generated “Happy Birthday” message. I know the thought and love that went into it and I file it appropriately. When the office of a Member of Congress can’t read email from constituents on the day the Member was born because they received 100,000 automated good wishes, how is this a good thing?
What am I missing here?
The subject of the email from Capwiz says it all:
Does Your Advocacy Vendor Let You Wish Members of Congress “Happy Birthday”?
No. My Advocacy Vendor doesn’t encourage me to add to the empty noise that’s already filling inboxes and blocking out messages that matter. Maybe they want to leave it to me to work on delivering that birthday greeting…in person.