Washington, D.C. — Today, Priorities USA announced significant investments in digital media to create long term success for Democrats online. In addition to investing 100% of its own 2022 cycle advertising budget online, Priorities has built a multi-faceted digital ads training apparatus to ensure that the entire progressive space can take advantage of the ever-growing opportunities to more accurately target and connect with voters online. This initiative is supported by extensive analysis in which Priorities found that communicating with voters online was far more efficient than traditional TV advertising. To better position the entire progressive infrastructure for more effective digital advertising, Priorities has made the following comprehensive investments aimed at sharing information and providing critical resources to allies.
Tracking the Online Political Landscape
Ad Hawk, a new online tool developed by Priorities, tracks political ad spending on Meta, Google, and Snap platforms across Senate, gubernatorial and House races. The tool serves to demystify digital advertising and empower local organizations with data they might not have had access to in previous cycles. To date, over 400 progressive strategists across more than 100 of the largest progressive organizations are already using the platform to track what candidates, party committees, and outside organizations are spending online. This includes where they are spending and on which issues. This critical information allows these organizations and campaigns to adjust their own strategies when necessary.
Training and Fellowships
Since 2018 Priorities USA has funded a training and fellowships program as a means for sharing the information and best practices for digital advertising that the organization has developed. These free trainings include sharing research findings, digital best practices, creating platform-specific content, and the basics of digital advertising. Priorities’ training team also offers office hours to individuals and organizations looking for hands-on assistance building their programs. In 2022 alone Priorities has trained over 500 organizations, staffers and young professionals on key digital skills at no cost. This builds on the 1,300 alumni of previous training from 2018-2020.
Additionally, Priorities’ paid fellowship program has provided individuals from historically underrepresented backgrounds with technical training and hands-on professional experience. This program is primarily designed to serve young Black and Brown people just starting their careers who might not otherwise have access to professional political training. Many people who have completed the fellowship program have gone on to work in the digital space in other large Democratic organizations and have the opportunity to become leaders in the field. Because so many progressive campaigns are focused on communicating with voters of color, it is paramount that the people making the ads look like the people they are talking to.
This cycle, Priorities is providing funding and support to six grassroots organizations in AZ, MI, NV, GA, and other battlegrounds that are looking to use digital ads to make long-term social and political impact by mobilizing voters of color, young voters, and low-propensity voters. In addition to funding, grantees receive in-depth training for their in-house staffers and ongoing support developing ads and research. Lastly, Priorities is expanding its digital coordination work that began in 2020. This includes bringing organizations together to ensure they aren’t duplicating efforts or unknowingly leaving a constituency or region out of programming. This is critical because Democratic spending is more dispersed and requires more coordination to be effective.
These investments are timely following a recent announcement from Facebook that it would again prohibit new political and social issue ads after November 1, 2022. In addition to ensuring that Priorities’ own digital programs were prepared for the policy shift, the organization alerted partners and allies to the changes while offering guidance on how to navigate them.
“At Priorities, we’re proud to share our resources and knowledge with the broader movement and help build the pipeline of future Democratic leaders and staffers,” said Nick Ahamed, Deputy Executive Director of Priorities USA. “Not only are we designing tools and programs to prepare Democrats for the digital age, we’re working to ensure that our organizations look like our voters. Getting more diverse voices into the room to write ads, analyze polling data and have access to this technology is critical to giving Democrats an edge and growing the next generation of the party. Our commitment is more than simply investing our financial resources, but leveraging our time, staff capacity and partnerships to ensure that Democrats are equipped to win the campaigns of today and tomorrow.”