West Coast Reflections on Content, Email Lists, Mobile-First Design and more

I spent the first week of September in Los Angeles with cStreet Campaigns’ VP of Operations Amy Leaman, meeting with both existing and potential clients, as well as the good people at NationBuilder. Below are a few reflections I had on the plane ride back to Toronto:

  • There is no substitute for face-to-face meetings. I spend a lot of time on the phone and running webinar-style trainings, but those simply can’t compare to sitting down across a table from someone. For 2014, I’m committing to spending at least twice as much time on the road as 2013.

  • Campaigners & organizers are thinking harder about their email lists. In two different meetings, we had in-depth conversations about best practices for reactivating inactive supporters on legacy email lists and when to purge your lists. Both conversations were challenging but gave me a lot of hope about the seriousness that people were taking their engagement.

  • Mobile-first responsive is the new responsive design.  It’s been a few years since mobile-responsiveness started to take off in web design and development, but everywhere we go people are still surprised and excited to see mobile-responsive done mobile-first (where the design is built first for the smallest screens, and then scaled up to desktop). This is not even to mention when you combine it with NationBuilder’s SMS tools for a whole new level of mobile engagement...

  • Leveraging NationBuilder for content-producing organizations is going to be a big deal.  Every meeting we had was with an organization or campaign that produces original content, and testing & designing to improve both the virality of and engagement with that content is going to be a major task for the fall.

Lastly, big thanks to the team at NationBuilder who took us in, showed us around and gave us the HQ tour.  Special thanks to Jim, Adriel, Jesse and Joe for the warm welcome; and it was also great meeting everyone else!