Report: Lawmakers Prefer Postal Mail to E-Mail

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The threat of anthrax-laced letters hasn't changed lawmakers' preference for physical letters from constituents rather than e-mail messages, according to a study released last week.


Fifty-three percent of the 90 congressional offices polled by online political advertising firm Mindshare Internet Campaigns prefer constituent communications via regular mail while 10 percent preferred e-mail.


"E-mail and the Web are cost-effective tools for mobilizing a constituency," Mindshare co-founder Jonah Seiger said, "but letters, phone calls, personal visits and other offline formats are much more effective tools to employ when trying to influence Congress."


The survey was conducted April 22-26 using banner ads and e-mail alerts on NationalJournal.com, the online home of the National Journal; The Hotline; CongressDaily and Technology Daily. The ads drove visitors to a 10-question survey.


The survey also found that congressional staff turn to public affairs Web sites run by coalitions, corporations and issue groups for information on how issues affect their state or district.


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