Director of Sales Operations Mike Senich joins our blog today to share how his experience in the public and private sector helps guide advocacy campaigns today with Community Architect, Majority Strategies’ new, strategic approach to advocacy that merges data and political insights to help businesses, trade associations and others achieve their public affairs goals.
Drawing from your time on the Hill, what mistakes did you see being made as organizations sought to influence elected officials to support their position on an issue?
Organizations often felt that if they couldn’t put together a significant budget along with a room full of lobbyists and consultants that they couldn’t be effective in influencing elected officials to support a specific issue. The mistake is becoming paralyzed by large budget numbers and feeling like you can’t do anything. With all of the available resources of data, targeting, and digital advertising, there is no reason groups should sit on their hands and not try to influence elected officials to support their positions no matter what their budget is.
You previously worked at Facebook. What role do you see Facebook and other digital mediums playing in successful advocacy campaigns, both today and, say, 10 years from now?
I believe if you aren’t on Facebook you are doing your clients a disservice. Social media advertising is one of the most powerful tools you can use when trying to execute a successful advocacy campaign. Social media networks have some of the best available data and targeting to advertise against, and we know it works. You know you are in front of only your target audience, and you are speaking to them with a unique message paired with thumb-stopping creative. There really isn’t a more effective medium out there than social media advertising.
10 years from now is a little tricky to answer. I don’t have a crystal ball and with all of the changes and updates coming from Silicon Valley leading up to the 2020 elections, I wouldn’t be shocked if some of these platforms move away from politics and advocacy all together, or simply eliminate the ability for targeting when it comes to political and advocacy campaigns. We have already seen Google and Snapchat make changes to the way you can target, and I imagine other organizations will follow suit. With that being said, you can’t get better ROI on your digital ad dollars in today’s environment than using the larger platforms like Facebook and Google. These organizations will all be around 10 years from now no doubt. The real question is what limitations they will place on the advocacy industry when it comes to their ad policies.
How would you define the Community Architect difference?
The Community Architect difference is about authenticity. We aren’t simply asking people to say “yes” or “no” or to show support or outrage at a specific issue. We are asking real people who are passionate about issues and causes to engage with supporters, elected officials, and even opponents to start a conversation about finding a solution to complex problems. It’s easy to get people excited and play on their emotions to create a divisive environment, but that rarely leads to two sides working together to find solutions. Community Architect paves a way to educate, show support, increase engagement, and find common ground with real people to solve some of DC’s toughest problems.
What question should we have asked you?
Well, I think the question that everyone should be asking themselves is, if they are devoting a large portion of their budgets to digital and digital content, why aren’t they asking their digital partners to be at the table with their consultants and lobbyists when crafting messaging and content strategy? If only the quarterback needed to know the play, it wouldn’t be necessary to have a huddle beforehand. Involving your digital team from the beginning of a project is what will lead to the most successful outcomes. It will help teams avoid mishaps like miscommunication among group members and having to constantly align on strategy because we overlooked having all of our key players in the room when decisions were happening.
Learn more about Community Architect and get started today. Contact our team today.
Mike Senich joined the Majority Strategies team from Facebook, where he worked on the U.S. Politics & Advocacy team as the Client Partner for Republican Politics. Mike holds a degree in Political Science from The Ohio State University and earned his MBA at Miami University. Following the completion of his MBA, Mike moved to Washington, D.C., to join Speaker John A. Boehner’s political office, where he served as CFO.