Where advocacy organizations and associations often fall short is one area where government relations professionals can thrive: digital and social trends. Because advocacy groups and associations are often required to stay non-partisan, they appear bureaucratic in nature, “where innovation can be undervalued and work ethic insubstantial,” according to The Hill. However, many believe that technological innovation has improved things for legislative and issue-based advocacy.
The first method in which technology has changed the political realm is social media. Not only has it changed the way people interact in general, but it has also changed the way members of Congress interact with their constituents. It has also decreased the cost for members to communicate with constituents. Given the cost effectiveness of social media, email is losing its efficacy. Members are transitioning from using email for marketing to texting and social media platforms.
Fly ins and grassroots organizing are also becoming more effective with the advent of new technology. For example, “with the unpredictability of congressional schedules and the stress that ensues for association staff, legislative staff and constituent attendees, these underutilized apps offer solutions to real problems at reasonable costs.” These same apps can be used to do grassroots organizing. Therefore, advocacy organizing is just as important as political organizing. Organizations would most likely be more successful if they utilized the technology that is available now, whether that be apps, social media, or even innovative email marketing.