Case Study: Human Rights Campaign Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal, Part 4
HRC also learned that canvassing overall didn't work too well for the repeal of DADT. While it was successful in D.C., it didn't do so hot overall, and after two months, HRC stopped using canvassing for DADT.
It was also challenging to keep hope alive for the repeal and keeping people engaged.
"There was a moment in time when there was a lot of confusion in the public with what was happening with DADT because the path of the bill becoming a law was so windy in this case," Paine shares. "Once it passed in the House, there was a lot of hoopla and celebrating; the public didn't necessarily know there was another huge hurdle to get through."
"It was challenging having hope," Lott adds. "There were so many times we thought this was dead. And trying to keep our members invested in this issue for a long time was challenging. We were focused on this for over a year, and that was tough to keep up the momentum for that long."
But in the end, HRC was able to overcome these challenges and achieve its mission. The media attention for the legislation was a big part of that.
"It needs to be said, we all know how much media attention was being paid to this issue," says Paine. "People who weren't used to hearing about issues related to LGBT and equality were hearing about the potential repeal of DADT almost daily in the news. That made a huge difference for our success."
HRC's multichannel efforts contributed a lot to that.
"What we learned long ago when we first integrated our renewal series is that you have to measure the whole," says Paine. "You can't say direct mail isn't raising as much as it did two years ago, and it's either your agency's fault or your copywriter or whoever is managing the program. You have to say, 'OK, we're raising more money online now. Are we lifting the boat overall in the amount that we're raising?' You have to take those silos down."