Life Hacks for Weathering the 2016 Election

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The 2016 election season is one we won’t soon forget. If you’re lucky enough to live in a battleground state like I do (eye roll), there’s a chance you’re on the brink of election overload. Every commercial, every billboard, every newspaper. And it seems like every time you leave the house, you’re being held up by some politician’s motorcade.

 

If you’re actually lucky enough to live in a non-battleground state, your experience is still probably enough to make anyone nuts. Facebook debates that go on and on and never resolve themselves. Relatives who’ve never cared about politics all of a sudden attending rallies and demeaning your opinions. Every single 6 o’clock news broadcast beginning with the latest quotable from one of the candidates. And always someone on the street reminding you to vote.

 

So how can your personal election overload help your organization? How can you keep moving on your end-of-year campaign? Here are some tips to personally avoid election overload coupled with some thoughts around your organization’s outreach strategy.

 

“Unfollow” a bunch of people and pages on social media. We all have that uncle who is just a little too aggressive with his status updates. But because blood runs thicker than a Facebook post, we can’t just “defriend” him. “Unfollowing” is the most brilliantly passive aggressive thing Facebook has ever done. It allows you to stop seeing posts from those people who might be a little too intense until after the election (and the post-election analysis) are over.

How does this impact your organization? Everyone is doing this, so you can’t really rely on shared content to give you a boost. Invest in some sponsored posts, post on each social media channel, and think about purchasing ad space to grow your own likes so you can reach your audience directly.

 

Mute the commercials. I don’t know about you, but I can’t stand political commercials. Whether the presidential election has chosen your station to blast its ads, or you’ve got a heated local election, people are much more likely to mute the TV, leave the room, or remember to fast forward on the DVR. There’s no way to get rid of these things (they’ve even infiltrated YouTube), so just escape them.

How does this impact your organization? If you’re even thinking about doing a television or YouTube ad during this time, just don’t. It’s not going to cut through and is likely going to be missed or ignored.

 

Throw out the junk mail. Anything that looks like it might have to do with the election can be tossed in the recycling. At this point, you’re probably pretty decided on who you’re voting for in every election. And if you’re not, you should probably read something other than a postcard in the mail. Just get rid of it.

How does this impact your business? If your organization relies on direct mail marketing, contact cards, annual giving letters, or anything else that has to pass through the USPS, do yourself a favor and either make it impossible to miss (i.e. spending a lot more on packaging to make sure it receives special treatment) or just WAIT. Yes – I know, the holiday give season is upon us. But think of all the money you’re going to save not printing two rounds of mailed pieces. While the receiver might take good care of your mail, the USPS might not, as they’re being inundated with election materials. Schedule your mail drops for the days following the election.

 

How are you weather election burnout? Tell us in the comments below!

About author

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Kadi McDonald

No matter where she's worked, Kadi has successfully evaluated deep-rooted communications challenges and developed a plan to improve and simplify for the audience. She has shifted her professional life to one that allows her the flexibility and time to be dedicated to her passion projects. She develops and manages social media strategies for nonprofits, writes articles and blogs for a wide variety of clients and audiences, and consults on small marketing and branding projects for all types of businesses. She is a storyteller by nature and thrives in environments that crave authenticity and transparency. She works with multiple nonprofit organizations whose missions surround the ideas of community, compassion, service, and equality for all.