The day after Barack Hussein Obama made history, Planned Parenthood sent me a short thank you note via e-mail. It included a link to the PDF of their “this is what it feels like” project– pretty cool but, from what I can tell from their website hasn’t been hugely successful. Also, they didn’t ask me to donate any more money, which was a nice change– the email was just a “thanks, we hope you’ll stay involved, and we couldn’t have done it without you.” I like to be thanked.
On Facebook, though, they’ve been incredibly quiet. On one hand, I feel that this is completely understandable. I know that the money is often budgeted to run out on election day– the day after it is embarrassing to still have cash on hand, especially if you lost. So, I’ve no doubt that their Facebook staff might have been the first to go. At the same time, though, I think that Planned Parenthood needed to send a thank you to their Facebook supporters too. While they might anticipate a fair amount of overlap between their e-mail list and their Facebook list, that didn’t stop them from cross posting things during the election. By ignoring their Facebook constituency they’re failing to thank/encourage a major demographic that uses Planned Parenthood’s services– young, under or uninsured women. As of this morning I still haven’t heard from Planned Parenthood on Facebook– nothing from them since election day’s reminder to vote.
They have a lot to celebrate. President-Elect Obama will, according to The New York Times, reverse the so-called Global Gag Rule. Plus, Barack Obama will probably appoint pro-choice, pro-women judges and Joe Biden was a major force in passing the Violence Against Women Act. In an article for the Huffington Post, Cecile Richards summed up the challenges ahead:
For too long, our health and rights have been used as a political battering ram. It’s time we get serious about women’s health – from breast cancer to cervical cancer to preventing unintended pregnancies. It’s time to address the health of our young people – and tackle head-on the unconscionably high rates of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. And it’s time we move on from the militant back and forth on the issue of reproductive choice.
Planned Parenthood is pretty active online and, in general, I think they have managed their online presence very, very well– Cecile Richards is a fairly regular contributor to the Huffington Post, they’re active on Facebook, YouTube, the IamEmilyX blog, Flickr, their own website, etc. So, given that they’re great with creating content specific to each of these outlets but that nevertheless makes a coherent whole across all the platforms… I’m kind of surprised they didn’t cross-post Ms. Richards HuffPo article or the email she sent out the morning after Obama’s win to Facebook. To me, this seems like a (small but important) oversight. Facebook, this election no doubt proved, is going to be a major component of any political campaign for the foreseeable future– it isn’t a constituency I’d want to forget.