Drum Major Institute Keeps Score

New York's Drum Major Institute (DMI) deserves high marks for ingenuity. They're proving that in a new way.

Organizations across the country release scorecards rating elected officials on their performance on a whole host of issues. DMI is now doing that ... with a twice. They've released a new scorecard rating legislators from 2001 to 2005 on a whole host of issues affecting the middle class: insurance fraud, fair wages, college tuition, day care, and health care. It gets better.

In fact, even their crisp web presentation isn't the best part of DMI's new scorecard.

What's unique is the way they are promoting the findings. Usually when a scorecard comes out, it goes to members of the organization, the press, and a handful of political insiders. All of these people would guess the scores to begin with.

DMI is doing something different. They've purchased Google Ads for every New York legislator, so when you look for your Assemblyman or woman, you also are inevitably looking up how well she or he voted on middle-class issues.

Taking advantage of new tools to push information is a great way to highlight an organization's goals and to hold legislators accountability. Even better, Internet advertising can be surprisingly cost-effective, paying as little as a few pennies every time someone clicks on the ad and nothing when people aren't interested.

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