Aly Rowse, Author at JVA Campaigns


Aly Rowse, Vice President

Since joining JVA in 2016, Aly Rowse has worked with a wide array of clients across the country, from national labor unions to public affairs organizations. As Vice President, she brings an organizational mindset to client-side consulting and ensures plans are executed flawlessly.

Aly grew up outside of Pittsburgh in a family of unionized steelworkers and coal miners. Her passion for labor and progressive politics led her to complete her degree at Ohio University and work with the Alliance for American Manufacturing and in the office of US Senator Sherrod Brown.

Aly resides in Washington, DC, and can be found running, skiing, or going to concerts on the weekends.

10 Ideas to Reach Young Voters and Audiences Online

10 Ideas to Reach Young Voters and Audiences Online

In the United States, 99% of 18-29-year-olds are internet users, with nearly half admitting to being online “almost constantly.” If you want to influence young audiences and inspire them to take action, whether that means voting, being an advocate, or supporting your cause, you’re most likely to reach them online. 

Reaching young audiences has become increasingly complex over the years due to growing privacy concerns and increasing targeting restrictions. However, it is still possible to target these audiences with accuracy, influence them with the right message, and get them to take action. Here are 10 ideas on how to do it. 


1. Target on the right platform.

The first step in reaching young audiences online is targeting on the right platform. 70% of U.S. adults 18-29 use Facebook, 71% use Instagram, and 95% use Youtube. Well over half of U.S. adults are using these platforms daily. Social media platforms are where the vast majority of young adults in America get their news, socialize, and consume media. If you want to reach a young audience, this is where you’ll find them.

2. Prioritize mobile formats.

Smartphones make up 80% of social media browsing. If you want young audiences to see your content online, you must prioritize content formats that are viewed on mobile devices. That means creating vertical content, creating short-form videos, and following fast-moving trends. It also means bidding higher on mobile ad placements. 

3. Talk about issues young people care about.

It’s no surprise that 18-29 year-olds care about different issues than older generations. While young Americans don’t necessarily all share the same opinions or care about the same issues, surveys have shown that the environment, racism, and affordable health care are the top three most likely to drive them to take action or engage with your content. If you want your audience to be genuinely interested in and engaged with your message, make sure you’re talking about the issues that affect them.

4. Use short videos.

Short-form video is one of the most effective message formats, especially when targeting younger audiences. Shorter videos (20 seconds or less) are generally more attention-grabbing and are easier for viewers to digest quickly. They also tend to come across as more relatable and genuine than longer and professionally produced videos, which is especially important when targeting Gen Zers or millennials.

5. Use organic and relatable content.

Using organic content humanizes your brand and message. It can make your message seem more genuine, personal, and relatable than running ads alone. Young adults especially don’t want to feel like they’re seeing just another ad. Make your content and message creative, and truly speak to your audience, as if the information is coming from a friend.

Changing Strategies: Political Ad Targeting in 2022 and Beyond

Changing Strategies: Political Ad Targeting in 2022 and Beyond

Ad targeting capabilities have changed significantly over the last five years, especially in the political and advocacy space. Growing calls for higher privacy standards across the globe have changed the way companies track and use personal data. Here’s everything you need to know about the current ad targeting landscape and the necessity of new targeting strategies.

What Has Changed?

New Laws

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a regulation of the European Union that went into effect in 2018 and could be considered the world’s strongest set of user data protection regulations in existence. The law places strict limits on what data companies can collect on users. It forbids companies from collecting data from consumers without their expressed permission. Because so many U.S. tech companies work with the EU in some way, they are all required to have a GDPR strategy. 

California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) went into effect in 2020 and impacts all companies conducting business with California residents. The law essentially forbids companies from selling personal user data to third parties and gives users the option to opt out of data collection. California has the fifth largest economy in the world (as of 2021), so the impact of this law has swept across the globe. 

Phasing Out Third-Party Cookies

Cookies have been deployed on the internet to track users and collect data since 1995, so it’s a big deal that they’re going away. The data that cookies provide is valued at over $395 billion in the advertising industry. While first-party cookies are owned by individual websites and usually ask users’ permission to collect data, third-party cookies are owned by third parties that can sneakily follow users from site to site and gather information on browsing activity. Firefox and Safari have already phased out cookies, making it much more difficult to collect data on people’s interests, activities, and demographics. Google has announced that it will officially phase out third-party cookies on Google Chrome, the most popular internet browser, by 2023. 

New Ways to Opt Out of Tracking

To keep up with the consumer demand for privacy (and to increase their own market share of the advertising industry) Apple has made significant changes to privacy settings on iPhones that make it very difficult or impossible for third parties to gather data on users. These updates allowed iPhone users to opt out of sharing their information with advertisers (62% of them did!).

They also allowed iPhone users to hide their email from third parties when signing up for services. Email is one of the primary ways to target users. 

Removal of Facebook Targeting Capabilities

As of March 2022, Meta officially phased out thousands of ad targeting options it deemed “sensitive.” This is part of an ongoing effort by Meta to address criticism of its advertising and data capabilities as well as its political impact. Unfortunately, many of these audiences are users that would typically be interested in political and advocacy advertising. Here are a few of the audience segment groups that you can no longer find in Meta Ad Manager: liberal causes, conservative causes, interest in social issues, advocacy organizations, and political figures. 

What’s the Impact on Advertising?

One-to-One List Matching with Target Internet Users Is Becoming Extremely Difficult 

When advertisers want to reach, say, a list of people who are likely to vote in an upcoming election, they rely on identifiers such as name, email, address, and device ID. With the loss of cookies and other online identifiers, we are quickly losing the ability to find individuals on a list online and must find other ways to target our ideal audience. 

Voting History and Other Voter File Data Can’t Stand on Their Own

As of summer 2022, it is still possible to target internet users based on this data, but match rates, or the rate at which we successfully reach users on a list, are rapidly declining. Industry-wide, match rates have plummeted to as low as 20 or 30% in some instances. To scale campaigns to their full reach potential, political and advocacy advertisers must look beyond one-to-one matching.

Our Solution

In the competitive political advertising landscape, here’s how JVA Campaigns is reaching the right users at the right time with precision.

We never rely on just one list or voter file data provider. 

In a privacy-first world, advertisers must diversify their data sources to reach their intended audiences. We partner with a wide and diverse network of political data and voter file data providers. You will never catch us using just one because we don’t want any members of your target audience to slip through the cracks. 

We build cookie-less audiences using artificial intelligence.

At JVA, we partner with an industry-leading custom audience builder to create custom segments that can reach online users without cookies and without mobile IDs. We start with a matched list or voter file. Then, using artificial intelligence and over 10 million behavioral attributes, we create a look-a-like audience that scales on every ad platform and reaches nearly every target user. 

We use first-party data creatively.

Just because Facebook removed our ability to specifically target liberals, conservatives, and other social issue categories, it doesn’t mean we haven’t found ways to do it anyway. We have the tools to find out who your audience is, what they care about, and what they like to do and watch online. From there, it’s as easy as using Facebook’s existing nonpolitical segments to reach 100% of those users. 

8 Tips to a Successful Direct Mail Campaign

8 Tips to a Successful Direct Mail Campaign

Sending direct mail is one of the most effective ways to reach voters. In a world of constant misinformation, 66% of Americans say they trust direct mail versus other forms of political advertising. If done right, it’s a powerful and impactful tool that should be incorporated into any political or public affairs campaign.

1. Use High-Quality Photos 

Photos, or the lack thereof, can make or break a direct mail piece. High-quality photos can captivate your audience and show professionalism in a campaign. Be sure to team up with a photographer at the beginning of your campaign. 

2. Be Personal 

Tell a compelling personal story that ties back to the campaign messaging. A direct mail program should tell a story of who you are and what you stand for, beginning with a bio, leading into where you stand on issues, and lastly, concluding with a GOTV message. 

3. Make It Local 

Customizing your mail to feature photos of local landmarks, helpful town government phone numbers, or even the high school football schedule tells voters that you’re invested in the community that they take pride in. 

4. Do Less 

Direct mail should be designed with the assumption that the voter is only going to skim it. That means you need to use concise and clear copy to communicate. Using subheadings, bullet points, and graphics helps convey your points in an easily digestible way. 

5. Own Your Brand 

Be consistent in your use of logos, brand colors, and fonts. Over time, people will recognize your campaign, especially if you communicate across multiple TV or digital platforms.

6. Repeat Yourself 

It’s important to start your direct mail campaign early and hit mailboxes multiple times during the campaign. Doing just one piece of mail is a waste. For direct mail to work, it must be repetitive with multiple impressions to the intended targets. 

7. Know Your Audience 

Good data and targeting are essential parts of any direct mail campaign. Direct mail allows you to know exactly who is receiving your campaign materials, unlike TV, digital, and radio advertising. Therefore, it’s important to cut and carve your audience to include those voters you need to communicate with and then tailor your message accordingly. 

8. Tell Them What to Do 

Finally, you need to convey what you want voters to do clearly. Do you want them to vote for you? When? How? Laying out a clear call to action and giving the voter as much information as possible makes it easier for them to do what you want them to.

Persuading with Video: 3 Essential Rules for Scriptwriting

Persuading with Video: 3 Essential Rules for Scriptwriting

Whether you are hoping to influence decision-makers, voters, or stakeholders, video is, by far, more effective than any other format —  but only when you use it right. Despite the widespread use of video, many organizations don’t know the best way to use it. Video persuasion must be emotional, believable, relatable, and of an appropriate length to change minds. Here’s how to use videos the right way.

1. Make the first few seconds count.

This is when internet users decide whether or not to scroll. You have less than 3 seconds to draw them in. Make it count. See rule number three for the best ways to keep their attention.

2. Keep it short.

Users are more likely to watch short videos to completion, thus more likely to hear your whole message. 30 seconds is the absolute maximum. If you’re hoping to persuade an audience on an issue, that audience probably isn’t likely to want to watch a video on that topic voluntarily. That is, unless you can keep it short enough for them to find it worthwhile to see what happens.

3. Use at least one of the following: storytelling, emotion, or hard facts.

When you are the expert on a subject and the one doing the persuading, you may think that others will find your issue position persuasive for the same reasons you do. For example, if you are a proponent of creating jobs with infrastructure investment, you may be tempted to write a script with the top-line numbers, such as the $2.6 trillion investment gap. The truth is, in a fast-moving digital world, users are only willing to watch videos for a few reasons:

  • to be entertained (storytelling)
  • to be inspired (emotion)
  • to learn something new (hard facts)

A concept like the $2.6 trillion investment gap simply doesn’t inspire a user to any of those actions and thus won’t persuade most users. It’s a good statistic to include in a video, but it shouldn’t be the main focus. Here are three alternative examples:

Best Practices: Email Marketing

Best Practices: Email Marketing

Test everything, segment your audience, tell a story, and follow best practices.

The average person sees 90-100 emails per day—that’s why it’s imperative to cultivate an engaging, strategic email marketing plan. A good email’s key elements include an interesting subject line, a creative opener, the most important information “above the fold,” graphics or links, and a clear call to action. Remember, once an email is sent, there is no way to edit or recall it, so emails are extremely important to get right the first time.


Makes sure you follow these essential rules:

  1. Have a clear call to action, making only one specific ask.
  2. Don’t confuse your audience with multiple messages—only have one. Aim to write two to four medium-sized paragraphs, focusing on one message.
  3. Keep it relevant. You know what your audience will be interested in based on how you captured their email addresses in the first place—stick to relevant messaging.
  4. Talk about them, not about you.
  5. Mobile opens account for more than 50% of all email opens, so all emails should be optimized for mobile.

Be sure to stick with one message at a time to get the most engagement out of your email marketing. Most emails will fall into one of the following categories:

  1. Welcome emails help establish a connection between your brand and your new subscriber—don’t miss this opportunity to introduce yourself!
  2. Survey emails
  3. Newsletters
  4. Petitions
  5. Fundraising emails are successful when used in rapid-response topical situations. Adding buttons for predefined donation amounts helps users pick an amount. Be careful not to overuse fundraising emails—they should be used as part of a greater strategy.
  6. Announcements

Cultivate and Engage

Growing your list is possible through targeted Facebook ads to a relevant audience with a clear call to action. Once you’ve collected names through a Facebook campaign, you’ll want to develop and engage your list with relevant content.


Test Everything

Your unique audience will react differently to content than any other audience. That’s why we stress the importance of testing all aspects of an email campaign.

What Should I Test?

Structure your email campaign and design your creative to test the following email components:

  • Subject lines
  • Content
  • Layout
  • Call to action
  • Day of the week
  • Sender

Emails sent during specific hours on certain days typically perform better. In general, we recommend sending emails at 8a.m., 12p.m., 2p.m. or 7p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Monday, or Friday, in that order. But this will vary with each audience you’re emailing.

At JVA Campaigns

With our extensive background in communications and media relations, we guide organizations on developing and delivering strategic messaging at the right time and to the right audience. Here’s how we can help. 

A Four-Step Framework for a Successful Digital Advocacy Campaign

A Four-Step Framework for a Successful Digital Advocacy Campaign

“Digital advocacy” is a broad phrase that can cover a whole range of tactics and campaign types. It’s an essential part of any organization’s larger advocacy plan—but only when used the right way.

We have found that professionals in the advocacy space often treat digital as an impromptu solution for problems as they arise. The word “digital” itself implies that something is fast and accessible—a post here, an email there, an ad when you need it. But random tactics pooled together don’t make a campaign.

It also may be tempting to try to use every digital tactic available in the hope that one of them sticks. Throwing all of your efforts into every available digital medium is unlikely to provide real value for your organization. It’s like trying to hit a bullseye on a dartboard by throwing ten darts at once.

When it comes to digital advocacy, if you try to do everything, you’ll do nothing. That’s why a successful digital campaign is purposeful, measurable, and targeted to your organization’s larger goals. A successful digital campaign is unique to your organization’s needs, which are defined clearly from the start. 

We’ve won enough battles to know what works. Here’s our four-step framework for success:

  1. Set Your Objective
  2. Define Tactics that Work
  3. Pick Two to Three Metrics for Success
  4. Optimize Your Campaign
1. Define Your Objective

Are you looking for broad awareness? To develop a coalition? To jump-start grassroots advocacy? To increase your online following? You can’t do them all at once, but you can do one of them with precision.

If you want to accomplish more than one objective, that means you’re running more than one digital advocacy campaign. Don’t refer to “digital” as a whole. Rather, refer to your campaigns by their objectives.  Follow the framework with each individual campaign separately. Remember, each objective deserves dedicated time, resources, and attention. We encourage you to start with the most important one first and build from there.

2. Define Tactics That Work

It’ll come as no surprise that not all digital tactics serve the same purpose. Once you have your objective, it’s time to pick the tactics that will help you accomplish that objective and forget about the ones that won’t. We’ve put together this chart for a quick reference on some of the digital tactics available. This isn’t everything, but it’s definitely a great start.

  • Increase the popularity of your brand
  • Get people talking about an issue on social media
  • Increase name recognition for a candidate

Tactics that work:

  • Static ads or short-form video (less than 15 seconds)
  • Partnerships with existing digital entities
  • A regularly scheduled social media calendar
  • Search engine ads
  • Email newsletters
  • Develop a coalition of people that are willing to take action for a cause
  • Collect a list of users that want to receive regular updates on an issue

Tactics that work:

  • “Out-the-box” storytelling and messaging concepts
  • Explainer videos or animations (long-form organic content and short-form ads)
  • Well-designed and easily-navigable website
  • Develop a coalition of people that are willing to take action for a cause
  • Collect a list of users that want to receive regular updates on an issue

Tactics that work:

  • Audience testing to find your ideal user
  • Well-targeted paid media
  • Giveaways and competitions
  • Consistent content marketing and engagement
  • Customer Relationship Management to segment and tag contacts
  • Mobilize advocates to contact their legislators
  • Mobilize advocates to post about an issue on social media

Tactics that work:

  • Concise calls to action in social posts and email
  • Targeted ad campaigns to your existing users
3. Pick Two to Three Metrics for Success

Metrics are the numerical values associated with the analysis of your tactics. Each tactic has its own handful of unique metrics. Video ads, for example, could give you the following metrics: video views, completed video views, clicks, impressions, reach, and frequency.

It’s easy to get caught up in the data that’s available. That’s why it’s crucial to pick two or three metrics for success, MAX for your whole campaign. Choose the metrics that are most likely to convey success toward your campaign objective. These metrics will become your bread and butter. Pour everything into them and nowhere else. Aim for the target.

For example, if your campaign objective is awareness, then you really don’t care about clicks. You probably care about reach, impressions, or the frequency with which users are seeing your ads. If your campaign objective is persuasion, you probably want to make sure that people are watching your video ads all the way through, so you’ll choose “completed video views” as a metric for success.

Avoid “glamour” metrics, such as shares and retweets. These metrics are great to keep an eye on, but they’re not always an indicator that you’re accomplishing your campaign objective with your intended audience.

4. Optimize Your Campaign

The last step is twofold. First, decide how often you plan to check in on your metrics and stick to the plan. Second, USE YOUR METRICS. Don’t put your metrics in a presentation, sit back, and expect great results. Every time you check in on your metrics, take time to figure out what they are telling you.

There are a number of key areas you can optimize regularly.


Are your ads targeted toward the users most likely to contribute to your objective? Is there one audience that’s working more than the others? Have you tried all available audiences? Is there a demographic you haven’t considered?


Is your copy and messaging convincing or attention-getting? Is one message more effective than another? Can we build additional creative that aligns with the most effective messaging?


Is each tactic contributing toward the campaign objective? Are some tactics working better than others? Are there any tactics we haven’t tried that might work?