W. Va. Launches New Digital Advocacy Platform

As the political climate shifts and as civic engagement increases, digital advocacy tool OSAY helps grassroots advocates turn social media chatter into action.

by Wendy Holdren, The Register-Herald, Beckley, W.Va. / February 21, 2017

(TNS) -- A new, easy-to-use digital advocacy tool has been launched to help close the gap between everyday folks advocating for a cause and elected officials hearing their message.

The tool, OSAY, was designed to eliminate the typical hassles of traditional advocacy: searching through spreadsheets for elected officials’ contact information, copy-and-pasting messages to lawmakers, or paying for expensive supporter management platforms.

As the political climate shifts and as digital advocacy and civic engagement increase, OSAY gives grassroots advocates the tools they need to turn social media chatter into action.

Designed and developed by three West Virginians — Jennifer Susman, Carling McManus and Ankur Kumar — OSAY, pronounced “oh say,” is a nod to the first line of the National Anthem.

“It’s patriotic to engage in civic action. Lawmakers are elected to represent the collective voices of their districts. OSAY ensures your voice is heard,” said Jennifer Susman, co-founder of OSAY.

OSAY is designed specifically for the rapid mobilization of grassroots organizers and advocates. Starting at $39, organizers create and launch campaigns within minutes. Advocates join causes for free and take action in less than four clicks. Advocates are also encouraged to take the next step, a step that studies have shown to be the most effective form of advocacy — calling their elected officials.

“OSAY is instant advocacy. We’re turning clicktivists into activists. It’s time we stop tweeting at each other and direct unified messages at our lawmakers,” said Carling McManus, co-founder of OSAY.

“This is the definition of virality,” said Ankur Kumar, co-founder of OSAY. “Because people are advocating in their social networks, campaigns will grow exponentially. Early data is showing incredibly high follow-through rates regardless of age or experience with technology.”

For now, OSAY is only available in West Virginia. The team is currently working to expand their service to municipal, state and federal levels.

©2017 The Register-Herald (Beckley, W.Va.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.