Experiments in audience-centered advocacy media
Many advocacy media making methods derive from an earlier age of broadcast media. By testing ideas through phone polls and focus groups, they miss out on the honesty of observed behavior, the power of iterating in real-time against audience insights, and the unparalleled speed, cost, and scale of digital. What’s more, while most traditional research approaches are good at finding broad-based, tepid support, they don’t have a mechanism to discover the energizing, mobilizing storylines that drive real change. A new method for advocacy media development is needed, not only to make better, more authentic content, but to break free of the message-poll-based micro-targeting techniques that can exacerbate partisan polarization.