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5 Steps to Designing an Informative Legislative Action Center

By: Chazz Clevinger and Joshua Habursky


1. Don’t Bury the Ask
When creating a legislative action center, you should never forget that one of your main objectives is to compel action. Getting a person from point A to point B to eventually submit their information for an alert is integral. Successful action centers can house a lot of useful information about advocacy, lobbying, and grassroots, but you never want your advocates to have to search to find where they need to take action and complete the mission. The ability to act should be available in multiple locations and your team should run multiple internal tests to ensure that the placement is adequate to deliver the ask.

2. Explain the Issue and Advocate Impact
Successful legislative action centers properly explain the issue, why it’s important, and the impact that the issues have to core audiences. Centers need to have carefully placed informational components so that advocates are compelled to act. Within the explanations, it is important to highlight things that motivate people to acts such as human action, behavior, health, etc. If you have multiple audience types, you should curate and tailor information or the issue explanations based on audience subsets. If I am a store owner, I should not be trafficked to information that is relevant to customer unless I personally search for that information.

3. Organize Campaigns by Timing & Relevancy
Many organizations churn out action alert after action alert trying to boast grassroots numbers with little regard for effectiveness and timeliness of a campaign. Successful legislative action centers will feature campaigns that are both ripe and relevant for advocates to act. Even some of the best advocacy organizations forget to clean up their action centers with outdated alerts that have already passed. As an advocacy professional, you need to remember that these alerts will still function unless you take them down. Sending old or outdated information to elected officials doesn’t showcase your cause or organization in a positive light. Make sure you organize your campaigns based on timing in the process and relevancy to both your advocate and the entity receiving the message.

4. Create a “One Stop Shop”
Your legislative action center should contain relevant information that an advocate needs to complete a task. You should craft your pages with links and other commonly referenced materials in anticipation for what an advocate might seek. You don’t want your advocates to leave the page and move to a search engine to find a bill number or to find their legislator. Collect this information or enable these tools to create a “One Stop Shop” where your advocate can complete the task. By enabling these features, you decrease the likelihood of having your advocates become distracted and leaving your action center without completing the ask.

5. Design for Ease of the User Experience
A successful legislative action center will always have an effective design that provides a user with an easy experience. The legislative action center should functionally work irrespective of the user’s device or point of entry. Before launching a major campaign, it is highly recommended that you test your alert on a variety of devices and browsers to ensure a seamless user experience. A legislative action center is an anchor of digital grassroots advocacy and you can follow these steps to make both the tool and your advocacy initiatives successful.

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