You won’t believe what we’re building right now

you won't believe what we're building

You won’t believe what we’re building now.

We’re taking a 25-year-old website and turning it into the most effective tool for advocacy, ever. And we’re doing it for you.

Your favorite consumer advocacy site, this weekly newsletter, and the advocacy I practice with my team every day, is about to get a complete upgrade. It will have a broader reach, will help more people, and will hold more businesses accountable than ever. Your support has made all of this possible.

You won’t believe what we’re building today

After the IRS gave us a green light to become a 501(c)(3) earlier this year, my advocacy team and I decided to take a long, hard look at the organization. Everyone expected a few cosmetic changes, including a new design to reflect our new nonprofit status. But we knew we had to go further.

We started by reviewing our stories and asking the question: Why are people visiting our site? What do they need?

The answer: advice and advocacy.

Some of the other information — the analysis you read, republished from USA Today and Washington Post stories, for example — is not a core function of the organization. Those articles are a form of evangelism. And by that, I mean they’re written to bring people to the advocacy site. So they don’t really belong on the site, because you’re already there.

The new site, when it’s done, will focus exclusively on advice and advocacy. We already have the largest database of executive contacts online. Now we’re developing a team of advocate-writers who will personally mediate cases and then write about them with firsthand knowledge.

When we cover an issue, it will be for the people who are already here and who require no-nonsense, actionable advice for a particular problem. Or to put it in theological terms, we will no longer preach to the choir.

You’re going to love the new site. I know, because you already do. We’ve made a slow turn on the content since May, and you can see some of the results on the site today. We’re publishing fewer, more thoughtful stories. Our traffic and caseloads have surged as a result, so I know this is the right decision.

Doubling down on what we do best

I keep saying that you’re not going to believe what we’re building, and that’s true for the next step. My personal site, Chriselliotts.com, has hosted a weekly post and a newsletter about my own stories for several years.

People have asked: Why do you need two sites?

It’s simple. My personal site publishes my stories. It’s a vital part of the evangelism efforts. For example, it currently refers traffic to my media outlets, which, in turn, send people to our consumer advocacy site. It’s also a place where I can honestly express my opinions, which I do from time to time.

The next step will be moving my external columns (USA Today’s On Travel, the Washington Post’s Navigator, as well as the syndicated Travel Troubleshooter and Problem Solved) to my personal site. People expect my columns to reside on my site, and since Elliott Advocacy is now an independent nonprofit organization, it’s technically your site.

That frees my advocacy team to double down on what it does best. We can pour all of our resources into research, helping resolve problems in the help forums, advocating cases, and then writing about those problems.

I’m also doubling down on my evangelism. Last week, I started writing about customer service for Forbes. That’s going to lead more people to the advocacy work we do every day. Here’s my debut column.

Why we can’t do this without your help

We would have never gotten this far without you. Honestly. You helped us meet our fundraising goal this spring, allowing us to cover the costs of redesigning and moving the sites. Individuals now make up our single-largest donor. So when I say, “We can’t do this without you,” that’s literally true. You’re the reason the site is here, period. But you won’t believe what we’re building next.

Now we’re shifting to the next exciting stage, which will be challenging: Finding the right team to pull this vision together. We need your expertise in a variety of ways:

Fundraising. If you have any experience with grant writing, fundraising, or donor management, we need you now. We need to bring in some large angel donors to help build the most effective consumer advocacy site in the world.

Advocacy and writing. We’re putting together an A-team or people with customer management experience who can mediate cases and write thoughtful, balanced stories about them.

Production. If you know WordPress or have great HTML skills, we have a place for you on our production team or newsletter.

If you’re interested in any of these opportunities to volunteer, please fill out this form. I’d love to hear from you.

Bottom line: You won’t believe what we’re building. But when you see the results, you will. With your help, we’ll get there.

This week’s stories

Remember what I said about evangelism? Here are this week’s stories. Your clicks, likes, and shares are so important to keep the advocacy going. Thank you!

Thank you! I know you won’t believe what we’re building. But we’re doing it.

Underwritten by

Underwritten by AirHelp

AirHelp is the world’s leading flight delays compensation company, helping passengers apply for compensation following a delayed or canceled flight or when boarding has been denied. It is AirHelp’s mission to fight for passenger rights by holding airlines accountable for flights disruptions that are out of passengers’ control. AirHelp has already helped 5 million people, taking the stress out of applying for compensation and making it as hassle-free as possible for travelers around the world.

Underwritten by Allianz Travel Insurance

The Allianz Travel Insurance company has built its reputation on partnering with agents all around the world to provide comprehensive travel insurance for their clients. Contact Allianz Travel Insurance for a comprehensive list of coverage.

Underwritten by Chubb

Chubb is the world’s largest publicly traded property and casualty insurance company, and recognized as the premier provider of insurance for successful individuals and families in the U.S. and selected international markets, offering coverage for high-value automobile, homeowners, recreational marine/aviation, valuables and umbrella liability coverage. As an underwriting company, Chubb assesses, assumes and manages risk with insight and discipline, and combines the precision of craftsmanship with decades of experience to conceive, craft and deliver the best insurance coverage and services to individuals, families and business of all size.

Underwritten by Enterprise

A family-owned, world-class portfolio of brands. A global network that spans across more than 85 countries. Some 97,000 dedicated team members sharing common values. And more than 1.9 million vehicles taking our customers wherever they need to go.

Underwritten by Fareportal

Fareportal’s portfolio of brands, which include  CheapOair and  OneTravel, are dedicated to helping customers enjoy their trip. Whether you want to call, click, or use one of our travel apps, one thing is clear: We make it easy to take it easy.

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An independent provider of low cost CDW/LDW insurance for use with rental cars. Up to $100,000 cover with no deductible. Policies available on a per day, per trip or per year basis. Also works with overseas rentals. Try  Insuremyrentalcar.comnow.

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It’s simple. InsureMyTrip finds you the right travel insurance plan, every time. InsureMyTrip is the authority on travel insurance. Rated A+ for travel insurance by the Better Business Bureau. All travelers that purchase a policy through  InsureMyTrip have access to Anytime Advocates® for claims assistance.

Underwritten by Mediacom Communications

The nation’s fifth-largest cable operator, serving the smaller cities and towns in the Midwest and Southern regions of the United States. We are a high-performance broadband, entertainment, and communications company that brings the power of modern technology and quality customer experience to life inside the connected home by combining ultra-fast gigabit speeds with personalized local and over-the-top entertainment choices that fit your lifestyle. Details at  Mediacomcable.com.

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An innovative apparel brand for people who want easy access to everything they need. For those who live for every second, SCOTTeVEST lets you maximize your life. Ditch the carry-on bag and pick up a  SCOTTeVEST.

Underwritten by Virtuoso

The leading global network for luxury and experiential travel. This invitation-only organization comprises over 1,000 travel agency locations with 17,500 advisors in over 45 countries, and holds preferred relationships with 1,700 of the world’s finest travel companies. Virtuoso advisors collaborate with their clients to create personalized itineraries featuring exclusive perks, while also providing advice, access, advocacy, and accountability. For more information, visit  Virtuoso.com.

Underwritten by VisitorsCoverage

As a company that is constantly striving to simplify travel insurance, VisitorsCoverage, is on a mission to help travelers make the better decisions about purchasing travel insurance, quickly. VisitorsCoverage has helped millions of travelers globally to buy the suitable travel insurance and explore the world with confidence. Get insurance for your next trip at  VisitorsCoverage. Lowest Price Guaranteed.

Underwritten by MedjetAssist

Medjet is the premier global air-medical transport, travel security and crisis response membership program for travelers. With a MedjetAssist membership, if you become hospitalized more than 150 miles from home, we will get you from that unfamiliar hospital all the way home to the hospital you trust. All you ever pay is your membership fee. MedjetHorizon members add 24/7 personal security and crisis response benefits. Elliott.org readers enjoy discounted rates. Travel safer with  MedjetAssist.

Underwritten by Southwest Airlines

The mission of Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit. We are committed to provide our Employees a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth.

Underwritten by Sungard Availability Services

Leveraging more than 35 years of experience, Sungard AS designs, builds and runs critical IT services that help businesses manage complex IT, adapt quickly and build resiliency and availability. A leading provider of critical production and recovery services, Sungard AS partners with customers across the globe, delivering resilient IT systems, infrastructure and recovery services tailored to achieving desired business outcomes.

Underwritten by TravelInsurance.com

TravelInsurance.com makes it fast and easy to compare and buy travel insurance online from top rated providers. Our unbiased comparison engine allows travelers to read reviews, compare pricing and benefits and buy the right policy with a price guarantee, every time. Compare and buy travel insurance now at  TravelInsurance.com.

Underwritten by Squaremouth

Squaremouth helps travelers easily and instantly compare travel insurance policies from all major providers. Only companies that meet the strict requirements of Squaremouth’s Zero Complaint Guarantee are available on the website. Compare policies on  Squaremouth.com to save over 70 percent on your next purchase.

Underwritten by Travel Leaders Group

Travel Leaders Group is transforming travel through its progressive approach toward each unique travel experience. Travel Leaders Group assists millions of travelers through its leisure, business and network travel operations under a variety of diversified divisions and brands including All Aboard Travel, Andrew Harper Travel, Colletts Travel, Corporate Travel Services, CruCon Cruise Outlet, Cruise Specialists, Nexion, Protravel International, SinglesCruise.com, Travel Leaders Corporate, Travel Leaders Network and Tzell Travel Group, and its merger with ALTOUR. With more than 7,000 agency locations and 52,000 travel advisors, Travel Leaders Group ranks as one of the industry’s largest retail travel agency companies.

Underwritten by Travelers United

If you’ve been mistreated by the airlines, Travelers United is your voice in Washington. Join the #1 travel advocacy organization working with Congress to improve and protect travelers. Plus, get $400 of annual benefits you can use for travel for only $29/year. Add your voice to ours. Make travel better.  Join today.

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