Create Jobs For USA Not Recruiting with Mobile

Jobs are important. In fact they’ll likely be the leading topic during this year’s political debates and we’ll be sick of all the talk. Fortunately, Create Jobs For USA (www.createjobsforusa.org), part of the Opportunity Finance Network, is actually doing something more than just talk.

They are advertising on billboards. And asking those of us with jobs to donate a mere $5 to the cause.image: Create Jobs Billboard

As I drove by this billboard I was reminded of the Red Cross efforts to raise money in $5 and $10 increments following the disasters in Haiti and Japan. I wondered if this was a similar thing. Prepared to pull out my mobile phone at the next traffic light I looked for the instructions. But there weren’t any! Only a small, though memorable, URL. There was no call-to-action.

I stopped to take the picture but I didn’t even bother to pull up the web site on my phone. I’ve tried that before and smaller organizations, particularly non-profits, just aren’t there yet with mobile and I’d end up at a full blown site designed for a desktop computer.

From where I was there was nothing I could do for them except try to remember the URL for later.

FAIL.

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What could have saved this campaign?

Create Jobs For USA just plain forgot mobile. It never occurred to them.

Without going into the appropriateness of a mobile call-to-action on a billboard (not usually a good idea because people are driving) they could have at least tried. Here’s what they might have done:

1) Allow readers to donate via their mobile phone. If they don’t qualify for the Haiti-style approach where the $5 gets added to the mobile phone bill – there are restrictions for this – they could use text messaging to start the process then link donors off to Paypal via their mobile phone to make payment. (Atomic Mobile offers a service like this) The billboard would include something like, “Text JOBS to 12345.” ¬†They could even leverage their partnership with Starbucks so that Starbucks would match all mobile donations.

2) Create a mobile site and link it to their desktop site. This mobile site would be laser-focused on telling the story and generating donations. Anyone driving by (as a passenger, of course) could then just use their phone to go to the site and donate. They should still do this, it isn’t too late.

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