The Importance of Online Communication for Advocacy and Legislative Affairs

Politics as a whole has been completely transformed by the emergence of the Internet. While pre-Internet forms of media still continue to dominate Washington, there is little doubt that online communication is having an impact. Today the Internet and associated online tools of email, blogs and other social media are considered to be indispensable tools for anyone involved in public affairs. These cost-effective methods are able to reach millions of people almost instantly.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Marc_Smith

There are several important differences between older forms of media and newer, online forms of media. One of those differences is that online communication greatly increases the complexity of messages. While traditional forms of communication allowed for two or three core messages, we can now have multiple messages using online communication.

In addition, message delivery can now be completely unfiltered as a result of the ability to communicate online. This was not the case with traditional forms of media, in which communication was filtered directly by the media. While messages featured centralized control in the past, today that centralized control has been removed in online communication.

Another important difference between traditional forms of media and online communication is that interactive communication is now possible. The receiver can communicate with the sender. In the past, only one-way communication was possible. This has made it much easier for the public to become involved in issues that affect them on a daily basis.

In order to compete in today’s environment it is imperative that you have a comprehensive understanding of the tools available to you. Trying to navigate the world of public policy and politics while using strategies Media Relations Handbook, by Bradford Fitchfrom yesterday is one of the fastest ways you can find to be ignored.

Developing an online communication agenda ensures that each of your public policy issues blend seamlessly with your offline goals. These goals typically include the promotion of an agenda, increasing membership or followers, enhancing productivity, feeling invested in a cause, and raising money.

To find out more about how you can use online communication methods to further your cause or issue, consider TheCapitol.Net’s Media Relations for Public Affairs Professionals course and our Advanced Media Relations Workshop.

TheCapitol.Net also has Capitol Learning Audio Courses that can help you learn more about how best to use different tools and techniques to communicate more effectively.

For more information about media training from TheCapitol.Net, see these resources:

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