Case Study: Sierra Club

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Over 2,500 supporters responded to a Sierra Club mobile call to action about important rallies happening the next day in their communities.

Challenge

How do you organize hundreds of events across the country with just one day’s notice?

On April 2, 2014, when the Supreme Court overturned limits to aggregate campaign contributions, the Sierra Club knew it had to take action immediately. The ruling meant that powerful executives could contribute unlimited money through PACs – overwhelming public opinion, and threatening the environment.

The Sierra Club decided to help Public Citizen, a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization, plan 140 emergency rallies across the country in opposition to the ruling. The challenge was: how could they ensure turnout, given the short notice?

Solution

Connect supporters with the event closest to them using text messages

The Sierra Club decided to launch a text messaging campaign to connect people with local events and make sure opposition voices were clearly heard on the day of the ruling.  Andy Wilson, Online Organizer for the Sierra Club, created a mobile database of the 140 planned rallies and used Mobile Commons’ amazing text message-location finder to let mobile subscribers text in their location to find the closest rally. He then sent a text message broadcast to Sierra Club’s 39,000 supporters on the mobile list:

BREAKING! Sierra Club: Supreme Court just decided to increase polluter $$$ in politics. Join a rally tonight. Reply w Zip Code to find closest to you.

Results

Over 2,500 people responded to the mobile call to action

Following the broadcast, 6.4% of supporters responded to the mobile call to action by texting in their zip code to receive information on the rally closest to them. The Sierra Club was extremely pleased with the results of the campaign:

I think we were really successful in supporting Public Citizen’s efforts to organize rallies in just a few days,” said Mr. Wilson. “Over 2,500 people texted us back! We know that Sierra Club supporters were out in force in many locations and in light of the short timeframe, I call it a big win.

Because 90% of text messages are read within three minutes, mobile campaigns are essential in urgent situations and a great way to inform supporters of breaking news. By using Mobile Commons’ text message location-finder,the Sierra Club was able to guarantee a successful turnout at the rallies and its members were able to quickly take local action.

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