Could a different kind of PR push help increase what is expected to be very low voter turnout for the 2014 mid-terms? The Robo-calls and endless TV ads and emails are still likely to result in a lower turnout than 2012, according to the The Pew Research Center. It posits that “[low] turnout in a midterm election also means the composition of the electorate looks different.” In a midterm like this one, the electorate tends to be older and whiter. So, although the election is tomorrow, if someone asked us today for some quick strategies to improve turnout among younger people and minorities, here’s what we might offer based on some informal polling of our own:
Do not call me, even maybe. The telephone call is a dying communication form, with 66 percent of people between 25 and 29 using cellphones exclusively and texting edging out calling by a ratio of 5:3
Do invest in a spokesperson I believe in. Like one of my friends! 95% of millennials say that friends are the most credible source of product information. But if you still feel you must find a credible, bold-face name spokesperson to “rock my vote,” I will prefer a Kardashian, (said completely without irony.)
Do not place said spokesperson on the network morning shows. Matt who? George who? The younger cohort does watch TV, but not very often “on TV,” and when they do, according to this poll, none of the four major broadcast networks show up in the top 10 list compiled by millennials.
Do have spokespeople create their own online content. This kind of credibility goes much further with younger consumers of news. Keep it short, keep it visual and try to lead with something like: “This gubernatorial candidate stopped for coffee and you won’t believe what happened next…”
Do place bylines or other editorial content on… Buzzfeed, Vice, Reddit or other online source, since people between the ages of 18 and 37 trust online-only news sites (63%) more than they trust network TV news (57%) and cable TV news (60%).
Do keep my parents informed. Baby boomers, and those appealing to them, don’t despair! Despite all of the above, 75% of all millenials report that their parents have the most significant influence on their political decisions.