Master in Political Communication Challenge
From: New Media Consultant
To: Communications Director
Date: June 15, 2012
RE: Get-out-and-vote Social Media Strategy*
*For the purpose of this exercise and without knowing the actual candidates for the next election cycle, the recommendation is to use the campaign for Emil Hurezeanu, if he were to run for president. He is a prominent Romanian journalist and political analyst who is also an expert in Romanian internal and external politics and would have a positive effect on the Romanian diaspora having lived in Germany himself for a long period of time.
To encourage Romanian citizens to vote in Election Day 2012, a two-tiered “YES I Vote” social media campaign will be launched to encourage new or infrequent voters become active and engaged, both within Romania and abroad. Potential voters are most likely to vote when contacted by a peer or when they seek or receive help with the voting process. “YES I Vote” is specifically designed to target the younger demographic, citizens with ages between 20-55.
Within Romania, a week-long bus tour visiting the largest 7 cities will be launched. This endeavor gives the candidate the opportunity to interact with people from around the country and encourage them personally to cast their votes. The “YES I vote” bus will make stops at the major attraction points in each city, as well as major universities in order to encourage the younger generation to go out and vote. Citizens will be encouraged to greet the bus in their hometown through an aggressive social media campaign – by following the dedicated Facebook page, Twitter hashtag #YESiVote and the candidate’s website/blog. A simultaneous advertising campaign will target print and TV media.
To reach citizens that live outside Romania, we recommend launching an online campaign. With anywhere between 4-10 million Romanians living outside the country and only about 9% actually voting for presidential elections, we believe tapping into this market represents strong potential for gaining votes. With the majority of the diaspora concentrated in Italy, Spain and the US, the campaign will target these three markets aggressively.
- Increase number of voters
- Position the candidate as a strong personality comfortable with facing the crowds
- Educate diaspora about the importance of voting despite living in another country
- Offer diaspora compelling reasons to vote
- Create short video of the candidate announcing tour cities. Use target messaging to encourage people to meet the candidate in each city. Video will be shared via candidate’s website, blog, Facebook page, Twitter.
- Dedicated “YES I Vote” Facebook page: includes schedule of the tour, topics to be addressed (future legislation, voting options), countdown to Election Day, number of supporters gained.
- Promote bus tour via Twitter using #YESiVote hashtag and encouraging people to follow it to learn about the next stops for the bus and participants in each market.
- While on tour, create viral videos answering questions such as “what do you expect from your next president?” and “what makes you vote this year?” – to be shared on Facebook, Youtube.
- Recruit “Yes I Vote” ambassadors to act as spokespeople and kick off international campaign through testimonials on candidate’s website or Facebook discussion about upcoming president, answer people’s questions and ease the voting process. Ambassadors can be outstanding students, celebrities, sportspeople.
- Targeted email campaigns to database of potential voters: two days before election, an email blast should be sent highlighting the success of the bus tour campaign and social media outreach for diaspora – an effective way to showcase this would be to use Storify, which aggregates information from various social media channels and creates a virtual story that can be easily shared, as per this example: http://bit.ly/KA5NIe .