Bree Richards, Author at JVA Campaigns


Bree Richards, Digital Director

As Digital Director, Bree Richards specializes in planning, building, and optimizing digital campaigns that drive engagement and results. Having worked on digital programs across the country, from state-level movements to nationwide campaigns, she uses her strong background in digital marketing and voter engagement to craft data-driven strategies that exceed client goals.

Before coming to JVA, Bree helped execute digital strategies for a wide variety of companies, nonprofits, and candidates.

Outside of work, Bree is a proud news junkie, foodie, TikTok trendsetter, and University of Dayton alumna.

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. 

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.