I always enjoyed the scene in the 1980’s classic movie, The Blues Brothers, where Elwood and Jake strap a stolen speaker to the top of their 1974 Dodge Monaco cruiser and comb Chicago announcing their big event “...One night only, at the fabulous Palace Hotel Ballroom...” If only getting your political message out was as easy, and fun, as driving around town, repeating the same message.
Elwood and Jake got the message repetition part right. The old adage, tell what you’re gonna’ tell ‘em; tell ‘em; and then tell ‘em what you told ‘em, still holds true. But outside of a Hollywood story, you also need a multi-channel approach in order to tell your message to the greatest number of influential voters and supporters.
In today’s higher tech society, a phone call might seem as old fashioned as a handshake outside the factory gate at shift change. But we know personal appeals do work and making that one-with-one connection can bring a laser focus to your message, unlike mass messages on radio and TV.
Even though there is a swarm of new technology out there, most people still answer their phones. In addition, new technologies allow you to use the phone in unique ways to support both voice and non-voice channels.
So here are 9 suggestions for amping up your campaign and getting your message heard.
1. Personal Appeal
Use live agents to personally contact your voter base to survey, explain and present your message. The big benefit of live agents is their ability to provide a response appropriate to the constituents level of engagement. Whether volunteers or hired professionals, a real live person has the ability to:
Listen for and correct misconceptions
Provide supporting statements to offset dissension
Direct callers to websites or invite to local functions
Take additional actions, such as fund raising, volunteer enlistment and patch through of the call to the appropriate elected official.
2. Mobile is HOT, so Text
This simple and effective method reaches younger audiences and is (to them) less intrusive. This is a cost-saving, effective way to tell others about your candidates. Provide website addresses and a toll free number for them to engage in your campaign further.
You don’t have to just tell them to vote for your candidate, either. Ideas include:
Encourage them vote early while they are out running errands
Contests such as essay submissions and testimonials for the website – give prizes!
Send SMS alerts and campaign updates
Ask a daily poll question or campaign slogan challenge
Text them games or other offers with a political or candidate inspired theme
3. QR Codes
You see them everywhere these days. Those little grocery-store-bar-code-looking boxes can help unlock tons of information with the quick scan of a smartphone. And since more and more people are using smartphones these days, why not tap into that market by offering a QR code so voters can get to know your campaign?
Use QR codes on your direct mail pieces, yard signs and flyers (but avoid these uses). People who see them can scan them instantly to learn more about your campaign. Once they visit, offer a toll-free number or ask them if they wish to sign up for text alerts to stay abreast of all campaign news and highlights.
4. Provide a Toll-Free Number
In your campaign materials, provide a toll-free number for voters to call and learn more about the campaign. This not only gives you the option to talk to them but it lets you know where they are getting information, so you can track it. Make sure the number is staffed appropriately.