Virgin America goes Web 2.0 in its Advocacy Efforts

posted by Brendan Hodgson

Through its innovative LetVAFly site, Virgin America has taken its advocacy efforts online – incorporating both YouTube and blogs – as it seeks to galvanize grassroot support for its campaign to obtain permission to operate on local routes in the US.

Update: You can read more about the issue here.

Although the proof will be in the pudding in terms of whether the campaign is successful, and in determining the extent to which this component of the campaign actually impacted that success, this is – in my view – a potent example of 21st century lobbying and public affairs at its best, most creative, and most strategic given the digital environment in which we all now live, and which is transforming our business.

The site itself not only informs and educates visitors on the issue in an easily readable, friendly and understandable format, it also engages them to take action. It goes beyond text, using video and static imagery, to convey its messaging. It presents third-party support – in the form of letters from prominent politicians and organizations - in a compelling and easily readable format. It links to editorial coverage in the MSM. It provides visitors with the tools to directly engage local government representatives. It provides banners that supporters can add to their own sites. And they even sell merchandise. 

With respect to the blog – I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. However, in just a day, the video has already garnered more than 10,000+ hits – demonstrating the power of an integrated campaign that connects media, lobbying and digital. And the video is good. CEO Fred Reid is personable, passionate and likable – and puts a face to the organization that reflects the Virgin brand.

Merchandising aside, and I say that rather casually, each of these activities are increasingly critical elements of any integrated campaign intended to influence decision-makers – PR to drive GR and lobbying, Digital alongside media, and all focused on driving action.

This is an example of an organization that clearly understands how advocacy and public affairs is changing in the Web 2.0 and Internet age.

(Hat tip to Om for the lead)

Disclosure: Virgin Mobile is a client of H&K Canada.

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