John Rowley - 8 Principles for Running A Modern, Digital Library Campaign

Many library campaigns and political initiatives aren't run or managed by sophisticated and professional political operatives. Instead, they're typically people in the community who simply want to see their library improve.

Many library campaigns and political initiatives aren't run or managed by sophisticated and professional political operatives. Instead, they're typically people in the community who simply want to see their library improve.

You don't need world class campaigners to help your library win. In fact, some of the most effective political advocates, campaign managers and leaders of issue efforts are not experienced political hands or grizzled political insiders. So, if you're just starting out, what are the key skills to have, whether this is your first or 40th ballot campaign or effort to use grass roots communications to get political leaders to do the right thing?

1) Day One Budget Needed

2) Day One Message Needed

3) Day One Fundraising Plan Needed

4) The sequence of the work: What should THE FIRST 30, 60, 90 days of a campaign look like.

5) Advocacy > Influencing Political Leaders & Public Budgets

Case Studies of Local Campaigns with Broad Coalitions

- Teachers & School Vouchers = Using every tool in the tool kit over 7 years
- “No” on English Only
- End of Life Rights

6) Moving the Needle with Digital Campaigning:

There are dozens of social media networks, advertising places and ways to get content to voters.
Digital Organizing
An assessment of organic social media (free)
Paid social media (targeted ads)
Programmatic 6, 15 and 30 second ads
Listing building and fundraising
Website and retargeting
Search & Search Engine Optimization

7) The last 45 days

Many new campaigners get the early phase right only to fumble the ball the last phase and the most expensive phase
Key tenets for how to get your message out, what paid advertising and marketing mediums work best in a local campaign The top ways library campaigns set money on fire and mistakes to avoid.

8) Unique Challenges of Library Campaigns & Campaign Teams


Over 90% of library funding is dependent on the will of local voters and politicians.
Sessions like this help you learn how to build the support you need to fund your library.

John Rowley runs CounterPoint Messaging a company focused on political and advocacy campaigns at the local, state and national level.

CORPORATE, NONPROFIT, ADVOCACY: He has worked for over 100 nonprofit and companies. Strategic services for these clients included: messaging, advertising and digital marketing campaigns, messaging research and testing, video content and viral video creation, digital and media targeting and buying.

POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS: Rowley has worked on over 500 political, issue and advocacy campaigns in 47 states, helping win 91% of those campaigns. He has also done international work in Africa, Europe and Australia. He has worked with candidates from President and governor to city council. His team's content and commercials have been featured on NPR, PBS, CNN, FOX, MSNBC and on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Salon.com called one of his spots “Best Campaign Ad Ever”. Congressional Quarterly called his work from a “new breed of campaign consultants.” His clients' campaigns have been praised as "the perfect campaign," “A “Giant Killer”, and a “Blueprint for Democrats.” CNN called one commercial “the perfect ad at the perfect time.”

MEDIA, MESSAGE & COMMUNICATIONS TRAINING: Rowley has led message training for the U. S. Army, the Pat Tillman Leadership Institute, the Veterans' Campaign, National Women’s Political Caucus, Democracy for America (DFA), and New Leaders Council (NLC).

NATIONAL MEDIA APPEARANCES: He has provided news analysis on CNN, FOX News, FOX Business, and MSNBC. His firm appeared on AMC’s reality/documentary show “The Pitch” about ad agencies.

ACHIEVEMENTS, AWARDS, RECOGNITION: Campaigns and Elections magazine named Rowley a “Rising Star in Politics.” Aristotle named him to the "Dream Team" of consultants. His firm has won over 50 national advertising awards for creative and effective advertising campaigns. In 2020, one of their digital campaigns was named one of the top national Pollie Awards for "digital targeting and technology." He was also selected “New Member” of the Army War College.

PERSONAL INTERESTS: Rowley has served on the boards of the Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO) and of the American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC). Volunteer work has included Big Brother's Big Sisters and the Dismiss House in Nashville, Tennessee.

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