Cover Story: Cows and Chickens and Naked Celebs! (Oh My!)
Taggart says it’s critical for an organization to know its audiences and how each likes to receive and digest material.
“People of the boomer generation [generally] don’t know anything about social-networking sites,” she says. “My mother engages with the Internet in other ways. She e-mails me e-cards or interesting articles. She doesn’t post or share on MySpace. She prints out e-mails and reads them. They keep files of printed out e-mails. That [information is] all very important. It does relate to fundraising.”
As for the peta2 group, Taggart says, its members can be difficult to get a handle on, explaining, “As a fundraiser it’s tough, but you have to have an open mind to the value of someone who doesn’t really give money.”
Bartlett adds that the younger generation is certainly a group to keep an eye on. About 1.4 million people between the ages of 13 and 21 receive PETA’s e-newsletter.
“You’re building a bridge between the person and the organization, which is priceless,” he says. “And we do run microcampaigns on sites like Facebook. If you get a dollar from [each] of these people, it’s a huge amount of money.”
Not all about demographics
Almost every day a person can switch on the news and hear about somebody doing something bad to an animal. For PETA, that means there’s never a shortage of animal issues to hook onto an appeal. So the organization tries to be ready to act as soon as something comes up.
“Unfortunately, there is always some kind of animal-cruelty issue that is going on that we can work with,” Taggart says.
One of the most successful examples of this was a campaign PETA executed during the Beijing 2008 Olympics this past summer. The campaign — attacking the horrific conditions that have been documented on Chinese fur farms — was a blend of direct mail, e-mail, Web site content, video, and a little help from U.S. Olympic swimmer and gold medalist Amanda Beard.
PETA used the Olympics as a springboard to highlight the cruelty at the farms, sending an appeal in the mail followed by multiple e-mail appeals.