Digital Politics With Karen Jagoda



The non-partisan Digital Politics Podcast with Karen Jagoda explores political and advocacy campaign best practices, new technologies and innovative approaches to voter engagement, fundraising, ground game strategies, cross-media advertising, using social media to promote and persuade, and getting out the vote. Since 2007, this show has spotted trends and interviewed strategists on the campaign trail as well as candidates, elected officials, and solutions providers who are bringing new tools to campaign staffers and volunteers.


  • Effectiveness of Audio Ads in 2021 Primary Campaigns and COVID Outreach with Sean Duggan SXM Media

    26/08/2021 Duration: 19min

    Sean Duggan is VP of Advertising SXM Media with a focus on government, political, and advocacy clients.  We talk about Surprises and trends from the 2021 primary race for Governor of Virginia and the California Governor Recall effort How campaigns are increasingly using audio ads, pivoting now to early persuasion, and planning for the final GOTV Efforts underway to re-educate about the latest wave of the pandemic and mobilizing people to get a vaccination Increasing interest in reaching multi-cultural voters with a deeper understanding of specific blocks of voters Overcoming challenges to finding voters in an ad-free streaming world Early indicators of activities underway for 2022 Senate and House races @SXMMediaGroup #politicalads #audioads #Voters #GOTV #COVID

  • The Expanding Political Advertising Options with Matthew Dybwad Xandr

    20/08/2021 Duration: 18min

    Matthew Dybwad is the Senior Account Executive focused on political clients at Xandr, AT&T's data-enabled technology platform at the intersection of digital and TV. Their mission is to overcome fragmentation within the advertising landscape for sellers and buyers by creating an exchange that gets them in front of targeted viewers. We talk about: Common misperceptions about the media habits of voters including assuming that voters are like the people who are buying the media. Political marketers need to think more like direct-to-consumer advertisers using all available screens and audio devices to reach voters. Questioning the true value of voter files and growing the universe of potential voters by looking beyond the base to the expanding middle group of voters that are persuadable as well as recruiting new voters. The need to surround voters with persuasive information using a more holistic, integrated media approach and being smart about measuring investment by tracking real-world objectives like list

  • Eliminating Traffic Injuries and Fatalities with David Braunstein Together for Safer Roads

    05/08/2021 Duration: 17min

    David Braunstein is President of Together for Safer Roads, a global NGO actively raising awareness and pursuing solutions to increase road safety and eliminate traffic injuries, fatalities, and near-misses.  To promote public-private partnerships and social responsibility, TSR is working with corporations, government agencies, and other interested parties to improve the health of all drivers, passengers, cyclists, and pedestrians.  They are also executing evidence-based fleet safety solutions. David makes the point that a good percentage of accidents happen in a small number of locations. The key is using data and private sector technology to build smarter infrastructure to reduce the likelihood of traffic-related accidents and deaths and build safer cities. @TSRCoalition #TogetherForSaferRoads #RoadSafety #VisionZero

  • Reimagining Unemployment Insurance with Rachel Korberg and Naomi Walker

    22/07/2021 Duration: 18min

    Rachel Korberg is the Executive Director at the Families and Workers Fund, and Naomi Walker is the Director of the Economic Analysis and Research Network (EARN) at the Economic Policy Institute. They join me on this podcast to discuss the economic recovery from the pandemic and the need for dramatic unemployment insurance reform.  We focus on the previously overlooked value of unemployment insurance with a mission to bring it into the 21st Century. Making Build Back Better a reality will help us recover from the impact of COVID-19 as well as historic inequities in pay, job opportunities, and access to social services. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make a public investment in new jobs and strengthen the unemployment insurance systems in all states. Innovative and updated unemployment insurance policies tested during COVID-19 for previously non-covered workers need to be continued and expanded. Essential investments in updated technology should allow for a worker-friendly interface. #Familiesa

  • Fighting Political Online Fundraising Scams with Mike Nellis Authentic

    15/07/2021 Duration: 17min

    Mike Nellis is the CEO and Founder of Authentic, a digital consulting and fundraising company working with top-level Democratic and Progressive campaigns.  Mike is deeply concerned about the fundraising malpractices and scams used by Republican and Democratic campaigns to confuse seniors, low-information low-tech voters, and those eager to join a community of supporters of a campaign or cause. Mike points out that many digital strategists and consultants take advantage of deceptive wording, misrepresentation, and even fraud to draw in donors. He is emphatic about not thinking of voters as an ATM machine.  Mike also shines a light on campaigns that have treated voters with respect, and he emphasizes that candidates need to take proactive steps to run ethical fundraising campaigns. @authentic_HQ #fundraising #politicalfundraising #fundraisingscams

  • Countering Disinformation with Tara McGowan Courier Newsroom

    08/07/2021 Duration: 18min

    Tara McGowan is the Founder and CEO of Courier Newsroom and shares lessons learned as CEO of ACRONYM and PACRONYM during the 2020 election cycle about low information and elusive swing voters. We talk about: need to give people more opportunities for a balanced information diet providing content where they are online need to understand the new media consumption habits of all voters changing rules and effectiveness of online political advertising when voters are most likely to be persuaded need to increase civic engagement and build a more informed, engaged, and representative America by providing factual news and information to passive consumers  Advice to campaigns: Never too early to tell your story proactively by reaching Americans with facts instead of allowing disinformation to define the narrative. @taraemcg #CourierNewsroom #TaraMcGowan #swingvoters #lowinformationvoters #voterpersuasion  

  • Third Wave of Fundraising with Ben Katz ISPolitical

    18/06/2021 Duration: 19min

    Ben Katz is a political internet pioneer and Chief Architect ISPolitical and concerned about getting beyond the hyper-partisanship when dealing with questions about how to make sure elections are safe and secure. We also talk about: Need to return to expertise in political campaigns. Ben says the traditional gatekeepers are gone replaced by eager amateurs and brute anger. The impact of nationalization of campaigns on partisanship and for raising money from voters and a national audience.  The third wave of fundraising where the deluge of emails asking for money from candidates all around the country are being tuned out. Ben points out the trend to a return to individual asks with customized follow-up enhanced by technology. #fundraising #VoterFraud #VoterSuppression #politicalcampaigns

  • Influencing Decision Makers Wherever They Are with Joe Corbe 1631 Digital

    11/06/2021 Duration: 18min

    Joe Corbe is the Founder of 1631 Digital and the winner of 2 Reed Awards from Campaigns & Elections--one for Best Online Bootstrapped Campaign and the other for Best Online Bare-Knuckled Street Fight Victory for their work with the National Association of Broadcasters to defeat the Ad Tax. As a result of COVID-19 we saw a tremendous increase in time spent on digital sources from desktop to mobile and OTT and Connected TV. Joe talks about the need to micro-target and geo-target decision makers as well as influencers using all digital media options to get the message out particularly when so many people are still working from home. He also emphasizes the need to look at the data to fine tune a campaign and determine which issues are most compelling to the target audience and that will draw interest and contributions from grassroots supporters. @1631_DigitalAdv #ReedAwards @C_and_E @nabtweets

  • Bernie Sanders' Mittens and the World of Viral Memes with Don Caldwell Know Your Meme

    02/06/2021 Duration: 17min

    Don Caldwell is Editor-in-Chief of Know Your Meme and an expert on the growth of memes, GIFs, viral videos, and other digital content that is widely shared and hits a responsive chord.  Don talks about tracking Internet culture, the history of the word meme, the life cycle of memes, and how social media fuels the speed of how fast and far memes spread. While predicting which memes will go viral is difficult, Don had a feeling that the image of Bernie Sanders wearing his mittens at the Biden Inauguration was going to be a winner. He points out that memes need to use strong symbolism in order to grab attention to elicit an emotional response and encourage sharing.  He also reminds us that memes have a life of their own and can not be tamed once unleashed on the internet. He emphasizes that candidates and advocates need to really understand internet culture in order to create a successful meme. @KnowYourMeme @DonCald #memes #BerniesMittens  

  • Taking Action Against Asian American Pacific Islanders Hate Crimes with Ken Fujimoto APAPA

    21/05/2021 Duration: 16min

    Ken Fujimoto is the National Spokesperson for the Unity Against Hate Rally and Executive Director at APAPA a non-partisan non-profit grassroots organization focused on empowering Asian and Pacific Islanders in civic and public affairs.  We talk about the goals for the rallies that were held around the country on May 15, the sponsors and participants, and the current anti-hate legislation. While some Hispanic voters may be motivated by Spanish language political and advocacy ads, Ken emphasizes that the AAPI community generally sees English as the preferred language for calls to action or persuasion. Ken also shares his own experience with anti-Asian hate as a third generation Japanese American and motivation for his efforts to raise awareness about anti-Asian hate crimes and drive change. @APAPAHQ #UnityAgainstHate #AAPI #API #AsianAmericanPacificIslanders

  • Power of Memes and GIFs to Break Through the Noise with Deepak Puri The Democracy Labs

    14/05/2021 Duration: 18min

    Deepak Puri, Co-Founder and CEO, The Democracy Labs shares insights about the use of memes, GIFs and stickers in a time when people have increasingly short attention spans and are bombarded by messages. There is no magic formula for what will go viral but experimentation is key as are optimizing the images to appear on search engines and having memes ready to go when there is a planned activity. Deepak also reminds us that there are many languages that voters are comfortable with. Translation technology makes it easy to create captions for videos and GIFs in Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog and Portuguese as he demonstrated in his highlight reel of Liz Cheney's speech.  Deepak also shares insights about the impact of voter suppression in places like the Navajo Nation and the impediment of the lack of internet access in getting voting information. @TheDemLabs #COVID19 #LizCheney #votersuppression Liz Cheney's speech on protecting democracy in five languages

  • Determining Mechanics of Voting Has Always Been Decentralized with Joe Sandler Election Law Expert

    06/05/2021 Duration: 17min

    Joe Sandler, Sandler Reiff Lamb Rosenstein & Birkenstock PC confirms that Federal and State laws regarding voting and voters are just the beginning of the story about how easy or difficult it is to vote. With no national standards for voting and for counting and auditing those votes, mechanisms vary from state to state with election laws often designed to benefit one group over another. Reflections on the current audit of the 2020 votes in Arizona, lessons learned about voter turnout in 2020, need to develop ways to make it easier to vote despite new requirements and restrictions, and how the flow of contributions to candidates and causes increasingly moving online is driving the nationalization of campaigns and diminishing effectiveness of PACs. #COVID19 #2020Election #VoterSuppression #ElectionIntegrity

  • Micro-Targeting Persuasive Messages with Bryan Miller Neptune Ops

    30/04/2021 Duration: 17min

    Bryan Miller, President, Neptune Ops is not very interested in polling but rather actual behavior that is being measured in real time by digital tools available for online ad campaigns which allow for refinements in the message, targeting, and creative.  Geo-fencing and targeting at the household level is reducing wasted ad dollars and surgically delivering engaging content on the right screen and at the right time.  While some issues beg for personalized video, some complicated issues might be better explained using animation. Streaming devices, digital out-of-home, and programmatic audio ads are all offering new opportunities to target elected officials and key supporters and influencers. #advocacy #geofencing #programmaticaudio #digitalads #DigitalOutOfHome

  • Reaching the COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitant with Sean Duggan SiriusXM

    23/04/2021 Duration: 18min

    Sean Duggan VP Advertising, SiriusXM shines light on efforts by government agencies and other interested parties to educate and persuade people to get a COVID-19 vaccination. Audio ads are being deployed across the SiriusXM network to reach those who are qualified to get the shot with broader targeting now that more people are eligible. At the same time, starting to see a pivot to a local multi-language outreach tailored to under-served communities. There is also a growing interest in using influential podcasts to connect the right COVID-19 messages to the right audience. Growing interest in using targeted audio ads by 2021 political campaigns and Sean is expecting 2022 and 2024 campaigns will start this summer. @pandoramusic @stduggan #COVID19 #COVIDVaccine

  • Civic Engagement in the Age of Boycotts with Katie Harbath Anchor Change

    15/04/2021 Duration: 16min

    Katie Harbath, Founder, Anchor Change is looking to solve issues at the intersection of democracy and technology. Katie reflects on the role corporations play in driving change, the likely benefit of boycotts by consumers and voters, need for corporations to be authentic and transparent about political and cause related contributions, and how we think about protecting First Amendment rights. After 10 years at Facebook, most recently as a Public Policy Director, Katie talks about lessons learned about civic engagement, the changing understanding of the value of social media by candidates, and how we mitigate harms coming from social media while focusing on the positive ways social media can be used. @KatieHarbath #boycotts #civicengagement #Facebook

  • Early Polling on Governor Newsom Recall Effort in CA with Adam Probolsky President Probolsky Research

    25/03/2021 Duration: 18min

    Adam Probolsky, President, Probolsky Research conducted a poll of California voters on March 23, 2021 to get an early look at the interest voters have in recalling California Governor Gavin Newsom. Among likely voters, the support for No on the recall is strongest with women, while Latino voters seem the most receptive to the recall. The successful campaign to recall Governor Gray Davis in 2003 took place when there were more registered Republicans and the top Republican candidate was Arnold Schwarzenegger. With large strong Democratic majority counties and the uncertainty of COVID implications, recall backers are waiting for the signatures to be approved and the next steps to conducting the recall election announced. Here is the link to the poll results @ProbolskyRsrch  

  • Understanding What Drives Swing Voters with Rich Thau Engagious

    12/03/2021 Duration: 21min

    Rich Thau, Co-Founder and President, Engagious describes his ongoing Swing Voter Project which explores the motivation and behavior of those who voted for Obama then voted for Trump and those who voted for Trump and then voted for Biden.  With adjustments for COVID-19 restrictions, Rich moved online to talk with voters around the country about their sources of information, interest in voting, and what issues mattered the most to them. Swing voters are not having a problem making up their minds because of too much information rather it is about tipping points to push them over to the other side. #swingvoters #COVID19 #SwingVoterProject

  • Promoting Fact-Based Content to Fight Disinformation with Poppy MacDonald USAFacts

    04/03/2021 Duration: 17min

    Poppy MacDonald is President, USAFacts a non-partisan civic engagement initiative with a mission to get accurate facts in the hands of more people.  With experience working in Congress and most recently President and COO of Politico, Poppy joined with Steve Ballmer, founder of USAFacts to bring robust, accurate and understandable data from over 70 federal government sources to consumers, journalists, researchers, students, and anyone who is trying to make sense of key issues in our society. USAFacts has recently published the State of the Union Report which zeroes in on such topics as the impact of COVID-19, the economy, education, crime and justice, and the environment to give people historical metrics and provide perspective and context in these times of a new administration and the pandemic. @USAFacts #COVID19 #pandemic  USAFacts State of the Union Report

  • Shaping Legislative Priorities with Darryl Lucien Lucien Partners

    25/02/2021 Duration: 17min

    Darryl Lucien, Lucien Partners, a California based lobby firm, has insider experience as a legislative director and staffer which he brings to his clients as he advises them about how to pivot during these times of COVID-19 and changes in administrations. While weather and natural disasters will draw more attention to infrastructure issues, it all comes down to where the money comes from and priorities of elected and government officials., not necessarily ballot initiatives which will continue to be an expensive gamble for special interest groups. Lessons learned about use of social media, engaging volunteers and messaging during the pandemic with lack of personal contact and tactics that might continue to be used in future advocacy campaigns.  #COVID19 #CA #California #advocacy #CAlobbyist

  • Next Generation of Digital Campaign and Advocacy Tools with Betsy Hoover Higher Ground Labs

    19/02/2021 Duration: 18min

    Betsy Hoover, Partner, Higher Ground Labs is enthusiastic about the progress in 2020 of their portfolio companies.  While the impact of COVID-19 required some pivoting in strategy, product development and marketing, in 2020 these start-ups had the tested technology that campaigns needed and used up and down the ballot to reach, educate, and mobilize voters on the Progressive side. It is expected that the distributed digital model will be a permanent component of future campaigns and the challenge will be how to blend that with a strategy that again includes actual face to face conversations. As HGL recruits the next class of entrepreneurs into their incubator and accelerator, they are looking for those eager to drive innovation and address unmet needs in the political and advocacy space. @HigherGroundLab #HGL #election2020 #progressivevoters #mobilizeAmerica @JoinOutvote #BallotReady

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