18 Jul Thank you for 20 great years!
For the past two decades the trajectory of 720 Strategies has been driven by our commitment to our clients and our trusted partnerships with each of you. Today, we’re celebrating twenty years, and we can’t thank all of you enough for the opportunity to succeed by working together to engage your most important stakeholders online and off.
Together, we have accomplished many great things across more than 600 strategic communications campaigns, helping establish the field of digital advocacy and educating and mobilizing tens of millions of citizens to learn about and leverage their voices on issues of importance nationwide. Today, 720 proudly ranks among the nation’s top 11 independently owned public relations agencies specializing in public affairs and the top 31 agencies specializing in health care communications.
So much has changed since we started e-advocates in 1999 – too much to put into a single email. But our singular mission has not changed: We exist to help our clients make positive change in their world by engaging their most important stakeholders.
The difference between 1999 & 2019
My team came up with a great list of things that aren’t quite the same as they were in 1999 – and one thing that’s the exact same. In fact, they came up with 20 things over 20 years. Take a look below.
- The top of the Fortune 500 list was General Motors, Ford and Wal-Mart (with a hyphen). Today it’s Walmart (no hyphen), Exxon Mobil and Apple.
- The average price of a gallon of gas was $1.17 in 1999 ($1.80 adjusted for inflation) and today we’re paying $2.86.
- In 1999 to make your voice heard, you had to sit at a computer, find a fax machine, make a call or attend a meeting. Today, anyone can make their voice heard. anywhere, anytime from a mobile device and on a variety of platforms, making democracy more accessible to all. Isn’t that what it’s all about?
- The House of Representatives website looked like this, the Senate website looked like this and the White House website looked like this.
- In 1999 22 members of the U.S. House had yet to establish email addresses fearing that emailing constituents “would place too great a strain on resources.”
- 65 women served in Congress back in 1999. Now there are 127.
- In 1999, $565 million was spent lobbying Congress. In 2019, nearly $3.5 billion will be spent.
- 20 years ago, China’s economy was the 7th largest in the world, after Italy. Since then, it’s grown 1,500% and is 2nd to the U.S.
- In 1999, Michael Phelps had no Olympic medals. Today, he’s the most decorated Olympic athlete of all time with 28 medals.
- Back then, these tools of digital advocacy and engagement didn’t exist: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn; and Google was a tiny start-up with about 20 employees and Marissa Mayer was the first female engineer hired.
- In 1999, people loved N’Sync. In 2019 we all love Justin Timberlake.
- Back then, the world had 86 democracies. Now there are 99.
- In 1999, you knew the phone numbers of your friends and family. Today, you probably don’t know your own.
- 20 years ago there were 253 billionaires in the world. Today that number has grown to 2,153.
- The Melissa virus became one of the fastest spreading viruses in history causing roughly $80 million in damage.
- The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show became the first major webcast attracting over 1.5 million viewers.
- Today’s ubiquitous USB drives were first developed and patented in 1999.
- BlackBerry was released by RIM, dominating the mobile world until the iPhone was released in 2007.
- The Earth’s population was 6 billion. Now we’re at 7.6 billion people.
- In 1999, movie night with the family meant driving to Blockbuster and hoping it was on the shelf. Today it’s Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime or any number of streaming services.
- And our favorite … in 1999, the U.S. Women’s National Team won the World Cup, with Brandi Chastain sharing the sports bra seen around the world. In 2019, the U.S. Women’s National Team won the World Cup.
Let’s see what the next 20 years bring. See you in 2039!
Pam Fielding is the founder and CEO of 720 Strategies. She is recognized as one of the industry pioneers in the field of digital advocacy and strategic communications. A policy writer, Internet strategist and author, she has successfully leveraged the Internet as a tool for political action and activism in numerous online campaigns since 1999.