Results tagged “Alison Pepper” from IABlog

Big Data Empowerment: Promoting Civic Engagement

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The following post is the first in a series examining how the use of commercial data and innovative data analytics techniques are being used to empower individuals in a variety of ways. 
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It’s not exactly a closely-guarded secret that voter turnout in the United States has a tendency to lag well-behind other established democracies. While it’s probably not fair to compare U.S. turnout with countries that mandate voting (a fine is a pretty effective way to encourage participation), the U.S. still trails behind comparable non-compulsory voting countries such as Austria, Sweden and Italy that experience turnout rates near 80%.[1] In the U.S., about 60% of the eligible population votes during presidential election years, and about 40% vote in midterm elections.[2] When presented with global images of long lines in Kandahar and the Sudan, where citizens risk limb and possibly life to participate in the most basic of civil rights, the U.S. turnout rates can dull the senses of even the sunniest of optimists.

In November 2008 President-elect Barack Obama swept into office on the tide of the highest voter turnout rate since 1976. Obama and his staff were credited with running one of the savviest campaigns to date that fully-utilized the internet as a means of reaching out to potential voters with the right message at the right time in the right place. The campaign was widely-credited with not only harnessing the power of newly-emerging social media platforms, but also with becoming one of the first campaigns to realize the potential of leveraging the use of commercial data to help ensure that possible voters were seeing messages that mattered to them, and more importantly, messages that could inspire them to take action and participate in the civic process. Since 2008, political parties of all shapes and sizes have been exploring the judicious use of commercial data to get newly-engaged voters to the polls. 

With the 2008 election being historic for many reasons, it’s easy to lose sight of an often overlooked, yet fascinating development - that when used appropriately, the marriage of commercial data and relevant messaging can lead to an uptick in citizens exercising that most basic of civil rights, voting. 

About the Author

Alison Pepper

Alison Pepper

Alison Pepper is Senior Director of Public Policy, Interactive Advertising Bureau.



[1] Source: FairVote, The Center for Voting and Democracy, www.fairvote.org

[2] Source: FairVote, The Center for Voting and Democracy, www.fairvote.org

Small Publishers Tell Congress: Don't Forget About Me

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“What keeps us coming back is that this event opens an opportunity for us that we don’t have on our own. Yes, we could call and make an appointment with someone in Congress, but we wouldn’t have the same impact. Secondly, this is a chance for us to network and get together with people who do similar jobs as us, and that’s very rare. There are a lot of long tail publishers, but not a lot of community amongst them. There are a lot of best practices and lessons learned that doesn’t get passed on. This gives us a chance to get input from other people in the industry and network on a personal basis.”  
— James Martin, Community Powered Media

Last week, more than 50 small publishers came to Washington D.C. to meet with 27 House and 9 Senate offices, representing 24 districts and 11 states plus the District of Columbia. Small publishers converged on DC to highlight the importance of the advertising-supported internet empowering small business growth in America.

Now in its fifth year, the IAB Long Tail Alliance Fly-In  brings small publishers to Washington, DC to educate Congress about what digital advertising means to them, their employees and their families. Small publishers, known as the “long tail” of the internet,  have been created and transformed in massive numbers across the U.S. with the advent of the ad-supported internet. Providing information and resources on a diversity of topics ranging from baking to politics, these small publishers represent the very best of the new economy of the internet.

The digital media landscape is not just about the larger players in the marketplace, but also the diversity of smaller voices seeking success on their own terms and scale. This annual trip to Washington for small publishers is part of IAB’s commitment to make sure that Capitol Hill does not overlook this crucial base of the internet economy that is powered by digital advertising.

Fly-In 2013Providing an opportunity for small publishers to speak directly to Congress  is the best means to bring to life the very real threat posed by ill-conceived legislation that would disproportionately impact small publishers. These small publishers  are the new face of ‘mom and pop’ shops. They represent a diversity of voices that simply could not exist without interactive advertising.

The Fly-In also included a full day of training sessions and roundtable discussions created specifically to address the business interests of small publishers. Small publishers, ad networks, and media executives shared actionable insights on how the community of small publishers can improve their businesses. The two-day event also served as a unique networking opportunity for small publishers, who, for the most part, work from their homes and have limited opportunities to meet other small publishers like themselves.

About the Author

Alison Pepper

Alison Pepper

Alison Pepper is Senior Director of Public Policy, Interactive Advertising Bureau.

This week, IAB brought together 44 small publishers from 18 states to visit Capitol Hill for the IAB Fourth Annual Long Tail Alliance ‘Fly-In’.

While much attention in the digital ecosystem is paid to the larger players, a growing and vital part of this world are the small businesses. These small shops are often at the cutting edge of breakthroughs in information and entertainment, and they truly represent the sort of self-empowerment that we value as Americans. By convening members of IAB’s Long Tail Alliance, we can show policymakers the real difference that these pioneers are making in the field.

During this week’s Fly-In, members of the IAB Long Tail Alliance joined IAB in the nation’s capital to meet with members of the U.S. Congress and their staffs to give legislators and policymakers a better, fuller understanding of the challenges and concerns facing online entrepreneurs and the negative impact that legislation and regulations may have on their livelihoods and businesses. Since most of these smaller digital companies are dependent on advertising revenue, the policies that impact digital advertising have a direct link to their livelihoods.

IAB Long Tail AllianceIt is vital for Congressional leaders to consider and appreciate the consequences of their work in the online arena of our members—many of whom are small, family-owned businesses that rely heavily on advertising to sustain their entrepreneurial mission. The timely, grassroots message that the IAB Long Tail Alliance brings to Capitol Hill each year is a key reminder of the growing importance of small digital businesses to our industry and to the overall national economy.

These IAB members not only represent the best of the internet—they represent what the ‘American Dream’ is all about. These are passionate small business owners, many of whom are home-based, who took a hobby and made it into a career. Many of their sites exist to serve a strong social or community purpose, generate rich content, and all provide a valuable niche service to users. They are changing the landscape of digital media every day for the better. I often hear chatter about how politicians should look out for the little guy—well, the little has done digital.

IAB’s Long Tail Alliance Fly-In was launched in June 2009. Since then, hundreds of ad- supported small publishers have networked with lawmakers and staff in the U.S. House and Senate to ensure their voices are heard and valued, and to share their perspectives on how additional legislative action could create unwarranted and unmanageable barriers to their current operations and prospects for future growth.

These online entrepreneurs are the new face of small business in America, and it is crucial that their voices are heard on Capitol Hill. If you are one the scores of digital pioneers out there who want to have more of a say in how policy affects your business, I would invite you to find out more about the IAB Long Tail Alliance. This is a special member category for publishers who sell online advertising opportunities indirectly, through ad networks or directly, and have revenues under $1 million per year. To learn more and to find out how to qualify for membership, visit www.iab.net/longtailalliance.

About the Author

Alison Pepper

Alison Pepper

Alison Pepper is Senior Director of Public Policy, Interactive Advertising Bureau.