What can candidates, consultants and staffers do with their email lists in the wake of Trump?
I wrote a general overview several months ago on what to do with your digital infrastructure after a losing race, and the lessons still hold true. In fact, there are also some things staffers should be doing, too, after a loss. But the subject is worth revisiting in the wake of November’s results.
We’re in a unique moment, with a president-elect who has never before held public office, and the idea that he soon will be an anathema to many in the industry and voters alike.
Now, the Electoral College hasn’t voted, and Donald Trump hasn’t yet taken the oath of office. But the coming days and weeks are an organizing moment for the left and #NeverTrumpers.
Much like after the 2000 election and recount fiasco, there’s a divergence in the popular vote and who will be our next president. This will lead to unprecedented levels of anger and frustration in our country. You can see it with the street-level protests, and in the donations pouring into well-known progressive activist groups.
Planned Parenthood and the ACLU have already seen surges of donations. In the former, many of those donations were given in the name of Mike Pence — a hook other groups should look at replicating.
Meanwhile, various Democratic groups at all levels have been flooded with new activists and volunteers.
So what to do with this new energy? Think big.
Rules for Revolutionaries: How Big Organizing Can Change Everything (disclosure: authors Zack Exley and Becky Bond are friends of mine) talks about the organizing they did online and offline for Bernie Sanders.
One of their lessons is to empower your volunteers to build the organization itself. This can be a new way of thinking about online organizing. Your email list isn’t just an ATM. Rather, it should be looked at like a roster: every person on your list has unique skills and talents. Use them fully.
Don’t limit your reach by only asking supporters to click on petitions and give money, or for volunteers to sit around and stuff envelopes. Consider asking your best supporters to help define your work and the direction you should go.
In other words, ask them to step up and own parts of the 2017 plan. Set your supporters free, and see what you can build together.
Laura Packard (@lpackard) is a partner at PowerThru Consulting, a Democratic digital strategy and web development firm.