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NBAA Launches New Twitter-Based Advocacy Tool
April 8, 2013
It’s one of the most exciting new developments in NBAA’s ongoing government relations and advocacy program: Twitter messaging from the Association’s Contact Congress web page, which enables users to “tweet” their Congressional representatives with important advocacy messages on behalf of business aviation.
“Like the existing Contact Congress resource people use to send emails to their lawmakers through NBAA’s website, the Twitter version identifies a person’s elected officials based on the user’s mailing address and creates personalized tweets for them to send,” said Jason Wolf, NBAA director of Internet communications. “With this new, Twitter-based system, messages are sent as tweets that will be seen not only by Congressional staff, but also by the media and the activist’s own Twitter followers.”
This new feature is one more example of how social media can help amplify an organization’s advocacy efforts. “Not only will people send advocacy messages, they will be seen sending advocacy messages by their colleagues, friends and family,” Wolf said.
The new tool got its first test in March after Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS) introduced an amendment to block the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA’s) plan to stop staffing contract air control towers at general aviation airports around the country. NBAA asked Members to use the Association’s new Twitter resource to contact their Senators and House lawmakers in support of the Moran amendment.
“This first Twitter-based advocacy effort was only in place for about 48 hours because, unfortunately, the amendment was blocked,” said Wolf, but the brief campaign exceeded NBAA’s expectations. “There was even a direct response from Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) to one of the tweets initiated through our system, which just proves that this tool can be used to draw attention to key business aviation issues.”
In order to use the new tool, activists must have a Twitter account. Activists are prompted to log in to Twitter during the process of sending their pre-formatted tweets. For those reluctant to join Twitter, the existing Contact Congress direct-email tool will be remain in place, and will be updated with new messages as new issues arise. “We know that Twitter’s not for everyone,” said Wolf.
Now that the new Twitter-based tool has been tested, NBAA will begin educating Members about the resource, and the importance of making their voices heard.
“Our new Twitter campaign has a general No Plane No Gain message, where activists can share the importance of business aviation with their elected officials,” said Wolf. “We encourage Members to sign up for Twitter now, if they haven’t already, and take this new tool for a test flight. Then when an urgent issue arises – like the threat of per-flight user fees – they’ll be ready to act.”