During a normal election year, it is a challenge to cut through the competing voices and reach decision makers, and we all know that 2016 is no normal election year. This year, the din of the twenty-four hour news cycle covering the candidates, campaigns and debates ahead of November 8 is unprecedented. This dynamic, along with the normal inactivity and partisanship of a lame-duck congress leads some to believe that their only course of action is to wait until 2017 to tell their story.
We disagree with that assessment. In fact, we think taking an integrated approach to your advocacy campaign presents an opportunity to cut through the noise of an election year by moving the conversation outside of DC and various state capitals.
Connecting constituents and decision makers
Just because elections dominate media coverage doesn’t mean your constituents stop being passionate about key issues. Organizations can cut through the noise of an election year by directly connecting constituents who are passionate about an issue with decision makers. Monitoring online conversation and identifying these constituents to participate in digital or traditional grassroots, allows them to tell their story to decision makers through conversations, correspondence and media.
Let’s face it, during a presidential cycle, running an advocacy campaigns can be challenging. First and foremost, everything — from local paper ad buys to Google search keywords — is more expensive. Moreover, there are so many other ideas in the marketplace — campaigns for elected office, ballot referendums and issue campaigns are all competing for attention. For a different approach, we recommend an election year field engagement which allows organizations to precisely pick who, and where, they want to engage rather than competing with everyone everywhere. Integrated advocacy field campaigns like this allows organizations to deliver their message online and offline.
Establishing a foundation
An election year field engagement also prepares organizations for future campaigns. While others will be scrambling to be heard after Election Day, take this opportunity to take stock of your community. Your organization can use the “slow down” to clean up your database of supporters, identify new influencers to engage online and offline, build relationships with decision makers, as well as test new messages and creative. The day after the election, your organization will be ready to engage with newly elected lawmakers while other organizations will be pressing the reset button.
Ultimately, Election Year 2016 can be an opportunity for organizations to use a field engagement to connect constituents with decision makers and cut through the noise.