Dear MoveOn member,
Think Obama's a shoo-in?
Think again. Romney is ahead in a whole series of recent polls.1 And super PACs are poised to spend huge amounts of money to sway the race—just like they did yesterday in Wisconsin.
The good news is that in this election the Internet is giving us whole new ways to fight back at a fraction of the cost of a traditional ad campaign—and we're miles ahead of the right-wing Super PACs figuring out how to take advantage.
You see, today a single YouTube video can get more attention than a big-budget TV campaign. And people are far more likely to be persuaded by something shared by a friend than what they see on TV.
That's where we come in. With a tiny social media team of just four staff and a few interns, MoveOn.org has figured out how to disseminate powerful messages to millions of people through social media. For instance, just one video we publicized on gay marriage alone reached more than 21 million people. To reach this many eyeballs with TV ads, it could cost almost a million dollars.3
Here's the kicker: We only need to raise $200,000 to fund this entire project for the next few critical months.
In 8 out of 16 national polls released over the last month, Romney is ahead.4 Anyone who says Obama's a shoo-in just isn't paying attention. But social media is giving us new ways to fight back—and MoveOn.org is on the cutting edge.
Research shows that more and more voters are getting news through social media like Facebook and Twitter.5 That's especially true of those under-30 voters.
We've spent a year working on the computer software and online tools that let us reach these viewers. Our high-tech platform supports a talented team of volunteer and staff editors who scour the Web for the highest impact progressive videos and graphics. When news breaks, they're ready to toss a wrench into the conservative spin machine.
But we need to scale up even more. Fox News reaches more than 2 million people per day. We can match that—we need to match that. We need to reach further into Facebook and other social media realms like Twitter, Digg, Reddit, and Pinterest, where hundreds of millions of Americans are spending huge chunks of time. The war of ideas is happening in short, 8 to 24 hour news cycles on the web, and we're ramping up to be right on the front lines.
Sometimes, all we need to counter the right's agenda is the right picture at the right moment. When Republicans in Congress convened a panel on birth control, but didn't bother to invite any women, that image of five middle-aged men said it all. Thousands instantly shared it on Facebook.
Other times, it's a gripping personal story that changes minds. When there was controversy about the Susan G. Komen Foundation, we featured a video by a gutsy breast cancer survivor named Linda, who had some no-nonsense words for the people who had let her down. More than 383,000 watched, as we and our allies mobilized phone calls and grassroots pressure—and Komen changed course.
It's an entirely new way of communicating, and MoveOn is proud to be a pioneer. We can't stop those right-wing SuperPACs from buying their old-fashioned TV ads. Yet. But we can beat them by investing in people-power and staying ahead of the curve in online campaigning.
Thanks for all you do.
–Angie, Brandon, Carrie, Linda, and the rest of the team
1. "General Election: Romney vs. Obama," Real Clear Politics, accessed June 6, 2012
2. "Super PACs' Let Strategists Off the Leash," The New York Times, May 20, 2012
3. "TV Cost & CPM Trends," Television Bureau of Advertising, accessed May 27, 2012
4. "General Election: Romney vs. Obama," Real Clear Politics, accessed June 6, 2012
5. How Social Media Is Taking Over the News Industry," Mashable, April 28, 2012
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