October 04, 2007

Charity Tries New Advocacy Tactic in Health-Insurance Battle

President Bush’s veto this week of a children’s health-insurance bill has inspired one charity, Families USA, to try a new advocacy-campaign tactic—advertising on blogs.

Families USA, a group in Washington that promotes low-cost health care, has taken out ads on 14 primarily left-leaning political blogs such as Crooks and Liars and Talking Points Memo in an effort to convince Congress to override the veto of a bill to extend and expand the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, or SCHIP.

The ads link to a video that the group created, Kids vs Bush, and urge people to sign a petition and contact their Congressional representatives.

Families USA decided to try “blogads” for the first time because it wanted to reach people who were not on its traditional advocacy lists, said Geraldine Henrich-Koenis, deputy director of communications. “This is an issue a lot of people are behind,” she said. “It has broad appeal. We thought that using the Web was one of the best ways to reach people we haven’t reached in the past.”

The charity says it will also advertise on cable news stations CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the issue, the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, is placing ads on Google that appear near stories with the keyword “SCHIP.” They include a link to an article on its Web site that criticizes the health-insurance bill, saying it sets income limits that are too high and would encourage some families to drop private health-insurance plans.

Have you tried advertising on blogs or Google? If so, have the ads been effective? Click on the comments link below to share your thoughts.