While at the Politics Online Conference yesterday, I attended a rather interesting panel about using cell phones in political and advocacy campaigns.  Some of the panelists represented the One campaign — think Bono — and Rock the Vote.  Since both of these campaigns cater to a younger crowd, they need to use cell phones in connecting with their audiences.

During the panel the representative from Rock the Vote shared an interesting campaign that they just did using text messages.  His organization used their member database to print out voter registration forms and mail them to those people.  All the recipients needed to do was fill in their SSN, sign it, and send it in.  However, Rock the Vote knows that the typical person in their target crowd virtually ignores snail mail.  So they decided to send out a text message to everyone who they sent forms to alerting to them to the fact that the registration form is in their mailbox.  I found that interesting that they would send out something and use another channel as the call to action.  The panelist said that they didn’t have data back yet since they just did this campaign, but I would like to know how effective the text messages were.

Another interesting tidbit from that session was about a health care advocacy group in California that asked people to send it text messages about how they feel about health care as the California State Legislature was debating some new legislation.  This organization then rented out a jumbo-tron and placed it across the street from the legislative chambers.  Thus, when legislators walked outside, they saw text messages about health care from normal citizens on the large screen.

What are some interesting campaigns that you’ve seen involving cell phones?