Leaders of the California unions that spent $75 million to defeat Proposition 32's union-busting campaign in November discovered something during the bruising battle: 40 percent of likely voters were not watching any Prop. 32-related TV commercials, even though the spots droned on nonstop throughout the fall.
Fusing a sophisticated data-mining operation with messages sent through social media platforms such as Facebook, the unions changed how they were singling out voters younger than 40 who don't watch TV. Within weeks, they saw support for their position among younger voters climb from 40 percent to 60 percent.
The organization has invested $9 million over the past three years in a program called Million More Voters to broaden its base beyond union members. Union leaders searched for nonunion voters who shared their beliefs on economic or cultural matters. The program has put them in touch with nearly 4 million Californians.
"We have a bad habit in campaigns," said Larry Grisolano, one of the Obama campaign's top advisers who consulted with the labor federation two years ago on how to create the new approach to profiling voters. "After the election, you turn out the lights, you fold up the tents and the residual value of what you did is not even collected because the mission is done - the election is over."
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
California Unions and Social Media
The San Francisco Chronicle reports on how the California Labor Federation used technology in 2012 and is building a base for digital activism in 2013.