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Sci Tech    H3'ed 3/11/10

Michael Hoffman Helps Nonprofits Ride the Web to Success

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Welcome to OpEdNews, Michael. Please tell our readers about See3 Communications.

Thanks Joan, a pleasure to be here.

See3 Communications helps nonprofits and socially responsible businesses succeed on the web. We help with online fundraising, advocacy and education. We work for many progressive clients, including Refugees International, American Jewish World Service, NARAL Pro-Choice America, Women's Sports Foundation and many others. What we actually do is build websites and campaign microsites, produce and deliver online video, use social networks and blogs to reach out and engage new audiences, and consult with organizations about how they can best use their resources to succeed online.

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Being so low-tech myself, much of this is Greek to me. I do much better with practical examples. Let's pretend that Citizens for Election Reform (me) comes to you and says, "Michael, we've heard good things about you and See3 Communications. What can you do for us?" Can you walk us through a potential scenario to help our readers understand more in depth what you actually do?

I would tell Citizens for Election Reform that their strategy of spending their money on a print brochure isn't the best use of their efforts and that the Internet today represents the best opportunity for them to reach out to and connect with people who care about their issue.

Based on their needs and budget, we designed a three-month campaign for them. Lets imagine that the goals of the campaign are to:

1. Put pressure on Congress to pass election reform legislation

2. Raise the organization's profile among key constituencies

3. Grow the Citizens for Election Reform list so that they can communicate with a wider group of activists for future campaigns and for fundraising

Based on these goals, we designed a strategy that includes:

1. A microsite -- a small website totally focused on their goal, and including a petition (here's a real example of such a site we did for the Mississippi Center for Justice -

2. A short video that explains in simple language why election reform is still needed this video will live on the microsite, and be a tool for social networks and bloggers to easily spread the campaign message

3. An outreach initiative designed to get people talking about this campaign. The outreach has three parts blogger outreach (finding the influential bloggers to write about the campaign), social media outreach (using Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to take the campaign message to people interested in these venues) and paid media, primarily using Google text ads and Facebook ads to drive very specific traffic to the site

We also provide the organization with detailed campaign reporting throughout and a final assessment of the return on investment of the campaign once complete.

The campaign was a huge success, the laws passes, the world is better and Citizens for Election Reform are seen as the most important advocates for election reform issues leading to big list growth and lots of new donors to the organization.

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Joan Brunwasser is a co-founder of Citizens for Election Reform (CER) which since 2005 existed for the sole purpose of raising the public awareness of the critical need for election reform. Our goal: to restore fair, accurate, transparent, secure elections where votes are cast in private and counted in public. Because the problems with electronic (computerized) voting systems include a lack of (more...)

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