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Advocacy Advertising – 3 Mediums to Engage Your Audience

Raising awareness for a brand or an organization is no easy feat, even on a good day. Raising awareness for a political or advocacy issue is an entirely different challenge. By definition, advocacy advertising is the use of marketing to support a particular message or cause.

While particular results of marketing campaigns differ across industries, the underlying theme of generating awareness to increase engagement is universal. As such, the advertising channels for an advocacy campaign often overlap with the advertising channels that, for example, a local dental practice might use.

In the past, advocacy advertising mediums primarily included print, magazines and radio. However, as the modern consumer ingests news and information largely through online platforms and via digital devices, digital marketing channels are used frequently and in tandem with traditional marketing channels to amplify advocacy efforts.

Incorporating traditional and non-traditional advertising mediums in your advocacy campaign allows you to reach a larger audience, better engage with those who are likely to support your cause and run a campaign for a larger duration in a cost-effective manner.

Below, we’ve outlined three advertising channels that are highly effective for advocacy organizations to reach the modern consumer in a manner that fosters brand trust and generates a return on investment.


Print Ads


Running print ads for your political or advocacy message will have a hard-hitting, high-visibility impact on your campaign. While the print newspaper industry has declined, the value and the trust in print media has not. Advertising within news is not only safe for your company’s brand, but it can increase your return on investment for those ads.


According to multiple research institutions, including Kantar Media and IAB, studies have found that 84% of consumers believe advertising within or on news platforms increases or maintains brand trust. This is regardless of the sentiment or topic of the news story. This “trust halo” is of particular value for advocacy or political campaigns.


By running ads within a local, trusted publication, advocacy organizations not only get in front of consumers invested in their local community, but they also generate trust and brand awareness. The Times Union is part of the fabric of the Capital Region – delivering a world-class, multi-media experience that enriches the people and businesses of our local communities.


We are the leader in local news through the wide reach of our daily and Sunday print publication and the local leader in New York State political coverage. Through our understanding of the importance in covering the happenings of NYS, the Empire State page is a valuable resource to advocacy and political groups alike. Via a hard-hitting, high-impact advertising position aligned with valuable legislative and political content, your organization can reach readers who are engaged, affluent, educated and prepared to act.



Targeted Display Advertising


People who are actively engaged in their communities and vote locally are more likely to follow local news, according to a new report from the Pew Research Center and the Knight Foundation. While their media “diet” varies (4 in 10 people use at least three different sources for news each week), the format in which they consume news is typically digital in nature.


For advocacy and political groups planning the ways in which to share their message, placing display advertising at the forefront of a marketing plan is a must. Local news sites, such as, are a way for advocacy organizations to maximize their budgets through targeted ad impressions in order to reach their coveted audience demographics.


Through targeted digital advertisements, you will expand the reach of your organization and increase the visibility of the issue or message at the forefront of your campaign. As more and more budgets are allocated to digital channels, your advertising plan must follow suit in order to compete.


Learn more about the custom targeting capabilities available on today.



Email Marketing & Newsletters


Email is one of the many direct and convenient ways to reach your organization’s target audience. An email marketing campaign is when a brand creates a number of email messages to send to a specific group of recipients, typically over a couple of days or weeks, with a pre-defined goal or desired outcome. When done right, email marketing allows you to connect with the right person, with the right message, at the right time.


And, as consumers seek professionally produced news content from sources they prefer, it is no wonder that email newsletters have increased in popularity across a multitude of industries.  However, creating an email list, crafting the content and delivering it effectively is challenging – especially when turnaround time is tight and human resources needed to build out the process are scarce.


This is where the Times Union can help. We have created themed newsletters for our highly engaged audiences to receive daily, weekly and monthly. One such newsletter is the very popular Capital Confidential. Delivered straight to the inbox of subscribers, Capital Confidential (CapCon) keeps its dedicated following up to date on the latest in New York State politics. Delivered daily to over 6,500 subscribers, CapCon features content from our world-class newsroom and premium advertising positions for advocacy organizations to get in front of an audience invested in the overarching topic of the newsletter.


Newsletter subscribers want to hear from us! As such, newsletters are a great component of a well-rounded email marketing strategy.


Wrap Up


While digital advertising for advocacy organizations is both highly effective and necessary to reach an audience in the digital world we are a part of, complementing digital marketing tactics with print ads increases the overall effectiveness of a campaign. However, it can be challenging at times to know exactly how to align digital and print advertising tactics in order to create a cohesive brand or well-aligned campaign. Below are a few ideas to get your campaign started off on the right foot:


  1. Utilize calls-to-action on print materials similar to how you would do so within a digital ad.
  2. If there are (digital) campaign hashtags, include them within print ads/promotions.
  3. Although a bit self-explanatory, we feel as though we should mention this… Make sure campaign messaging is consistent across digital and print channels.


Looking to launch an advocacy campaign for your organization? Get in touch with us today!


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