The Virtual Activist 2.0

Is Your Action Alert Ready to Circulate in Cyberspace?

A NetAction Checklist

Will readers know who sent the action alert?
Clearly identify your organization as the source of the action alert.

Will readers know how to contact your organization?
Include complete contact information: email address, postal address, web site address, phone number and fax number. Whenever possible, include the name, title, and phone number of the person to contact with questions.

Will readers know if the action alert is timely?
Always include the date that your action alert is distributed and the date by which action is requested. (And don't forget to include the year!)

Will readers be compelled to read the action alert?
Communicate a sense of urgency with a provocative or compelling subject line, so readers will open the alert and take action. Never leave the subject line blank.

Will readers understand why action is important?
Include clear, concise background information, pointers to Web sites with more information and the key points to communicate. Avoid jargon and keep the format simple with short paragraphs, section headings, and horizontal lines. Don't assume the reader is familiar with the issue.

Will readers know what action to take?
Be specific about what you want the reader to do. Include the postal address, fax number or phone number if you are asking readers to write letters, send faxes or make phone calls. Include a pointer to online information to help readers locate their elected representatives.

Are you sure of the facts?
Electronic action alerts can literally go around the world in minutes. Since you won't know exactly who sees your alert, factual errors aren't easily corrected. Verify facts by checking with a trusted organization or individual before you hit the "send" key.

Are you building your base of support?
Always include information on how readers can join your organization, volunteer to help, subscribe to (or unsubscribe from) the action alert list.

Visit the Virtual Activist at for more tips.

This page located at: This guide is also available as a: Word 5.1 doc and as a pdf file.

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