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Media Strategies for Political Advocacy in the 2020 Election Cycle w/ Swing Left

By Alan Baldachin, and produced by HBA Studios

How do you crack the code on effectively messaging political advocacy on social media? What is the right tone, what are the right platforms, and what is the right targeting? One organization that seems to be nailing this challenge is the progressive, grassroots political advocacy organization, Swing Left.Swing Left was founded in the wake of the 2016 Presidential election. The initial, basic idea was to develop a tool by which individuals could plug their zip code into Swing Left’s website and quickly locate the nearest US House district whose seat was, in 2016, decided by a small margin and might be “flappable” from red to blue in the 2018 midterms. So the idea was to identify the “swing seats” in the 2018 midterm elections and to mobilize volunteers to help flip the US House of Representatives from Republican to Democrat. In and around this advocacy, Swing Left developed a highly visible social media campaign mixing in voters and volunteers with influencers and celebrities, all in service to Swing Left’s ambitious activist swing seat agenda. Those short videos with celebrities each speaking a line or two telling you how to vote? That was Swing Left. And, as we know, the 2018 midterms were a historic blue wave, particularly with respect to the House, and many observers credited Swing Left as a significant factor. In other words, mission accomplished. On this episode of The Medium Rules, Alan sits down with Michelle Finocchi and Marc Smrikarov, respectively the Chief Marketing Officer and the Head of Communications of Swing Left, for a discussion around Swing Left’s highly successful media strategy leading up to 2018 and, of more moment, and how it is thinking about creating and deploying media in the months leading up to 2020. We cover the shifting political landscape since the 2018 mid-terms, how Swing Left is evolving its advocacy for a Presidential cycle, its priorities for the coming cycle, as well as how Swing Left is developing and deploying technology in service of advocacy. We hope you tune in, listen and watch this very interesting episode by a group that represents some of the most skilled advocacy entrepreneurs in the country.

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