In the month leading up to the May Budget, Save Our SBS ran a campaign where supporters were given the opportunity to send a personal email to the finance and communications ministers and other politicians in the Make SBS Special Again campaign published on the SaveOurSBS.org website. The purpose was to press government for a steep increase in funding for SBS with the removal of in-program commercial breaks from SBS television.
On the campaign webpage visitors were presented with an example of an email text and asked to compose an email in their own words. Most did.
The website also suggested that participants not be anonymous. A high percentage of campaigners included their name, address and phone number.
For authenticity, each email was sent from the sender’s email account. This approach is different from many other websites where campaign emails are often sent via the server of the campaigning website on behalf of a person. That may result in a high number of ‘fake’ respondents from fictitious people with no real email address. Such was not possible in the SaveOurSBS.org pre-Budget campaign due to the technical requirement of each participant to send their email from their actual address. No real address, no email sent.
Some participants sent the same email twice, a minute apart. However there were many more people who sent a single email but signed from a couple. In this respect we concluded that the total number of emails sent very highly verified the actual number of participants. All emails appeared to be genuine. No automated, bot or spam type emails were detected.
A trigger on the campaign page preselected 10 email recipients at random per email, from a list of 26 politicians where greater weight was given to the finance and communications ministers. Other members of Cabinet were assigned a lower weighting as were politicians outside Cabinet. Some emails were also sent to the Shadow Communications Minister and the Greens communications spokesperson. Each campaigner was able to add, remove and alter the recipients to whom their email was sent. Some participants sent a separate email to their local MP. Others also sent messages to the PM.
Many emails were copied from the sender to SaveOurSBS.org and from those ones we are able to confirm that at least 9,171 messages were sent to the politicians. These messages were spread across the selected random recipients and according to the weighting mentioned and no one politician would have received a complete set of all emails.
The site statistics further confirm the above from the number of unique clicks required to activate an email.
There was a steady flow of emails each day except for peaks of more than five times the average at the beginning, middle and end of the campaign. Surges are common in many campaigns.
The duration of the pre-Budget Make SBS Special Again campaign was the shortest of any on-line campaign run by Save Our SBS.