Boost your Campaign with Political Text Messages

The most significant advantage of mobile marketing or text messaging is its immediacy. Today most people carry their cell phones with them at all times. So when a text message is sent, it is guaranteed that it has reached its target audience, no matter where they are. Mobile marketing is a great way to connect to your target audience when you have a time bound message that needs to get going right away.

A campaign message sent via email can probably get lost among the many messages in your inbox and thus miss out on the intended purpose. On the other hand, text messages sent to cell phones have a high probability of hitting the target.

Elections are all about getting the attention of the voters. Conventional campaign tactics are the key when it comes to engaging older voters. However, with young voters, the traditional campaign tactic may not work. Young people are mostly seen walking down the street with their cell phones and statistics suggest that people in the age group of 18-29 use text messaging more often than voice to communicate. So mobile marketing can be used to gain the maximum response from these potential young voters.

In political campaigns, anything that encourages voter engagement is a great advantage and there is no better way to engage young adults than through text messaging or mobile advertising.

Innovation is the name of the game

Mobile marketing is the simplest and the most efficient way to promote your candidate or political party. However, novelty is the key to any political campaign. Your political campaign will be unique if you offer your potential voters something valuable.

Send bulk SMS giving general information about the candidate who is contesting the election.
Conduct some contests and ask people to send their replies using a short code. Give mobile coupons to winners of the contest.
Come up with a unique way of providing information about your candidate.

Features of text messaging for political campaigns

Mobile marketing has several benefits over other ways of getting the attention of the voters. The cost of sending a text message is significantly less than the cost of phoning a voter or doing a door-to-door campaign. Also, the response rates to text messages are much higher than the response rate to e-mail messages. Some of the striking features of text message marketing or mobile advertising are:

Conduct surveys about your voters
Remind people about the cut-off dates for voter registration
Ask voters to send their ballots to vote absentee
Notify supporters when the candidate is speaking in their areas
Send invites to voters to join your text messaging service to receive voting reminders
Remind constituents to come out and vote on Election Day
Encourage down-ballet candidates.

President Obama’s great success with mobile marketing

The first instance of bulk SMS being used in the US for political campaigns was during the 2004 US Democratic and Republican National Conventions. In the 2008 US Presidential Elections, Barack Obama relied heavily upon SMS marketing to successfully campaign his presidential election. Obama sent bulk SMS to people announcing his VP Candidate before going to the mainstream press. He also sent bulk SMS to his supporters asking them to remind their friends to vote. Mobile marketing technology gave Obama a huge advantage over his competitors and helped him win the Election. By the 2012 election, text messages will help political campaigns collect donations from the cell-phone users and the donations will be charged to the users’ phone bill.

Mobile advertising creates such an impact on the political campaign that omitting it from a political media strategy can be the difference between losing and winning the election.

Anthony Wayne is a consultant for 84444.com . He is also an expert on Mobile Marketing for political campaigns.

Juggling Feelings, Emails and Text Messages

So when you are listening to somebody, completely, attentively, then you are listening not only to the words but also to the feeling of what is being conveyed, to the whole of it, not part of it.

~ Jiddu Krishnamurti

Tone of voice suggests excitement or depression. Blushing suggests anger or embarrassment. Tears suggest sadness. All of these hints help us make sense of other people’s words. Without them we are quite likely to misinterpret feelings or miss them altogether. Even with this extra information, we might not be sure how someone else feels. But it’s a start.

At one time, the only way we could communicate was by talking directly with each other. Back then people weren’t in a hurry and could take time to hear each other out. They asked questions until they understood what each other meant.

Over the centuries, we have developed many shorthand methods of communicating. At the same time the pace of our lives has quickened considerably. These days we want everything immediately and take affront at having to wait more than a few seconds for anything. In the process, we have been cut off from rich sources of information.

The telephone deprived us of seeing another person as he or she talked. Emails deprived us of hearing tone of voice, accent, and how fast someone talked. Text messages have cut even our typewritten words to the bare minimum, often using shortcuts for words and expressions, at least IMHO (in my humble opinion.)

What are the advantages of emails or text messages over more complete communication? We don’t have to wait to share our messages. We can also converse in shorthand. As long as we are sharing brief information, there’s no problem. The disadvantage is the loss of emotional information. If we want someone to know how we feel we are limited to trying to describe our feelings or resorting to emoticons (smiley faces.) It has often been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. Emoticons might well be worth less than a single word. They relay about as much information about our feelings as a stick figure does about a person. 🙁

I recall once having a misunderstanding with someone very close to me. Due to distance and different time zones, we tried to resolve the issue by email. The more we tried, the worse it got until we finally talked about it face to face.

Sometimes we don’t have the luxury of face to face communication. If we must resort to electronic shorthand, we would do well to remember the limitations of technology. Being aware that our feelings or intentions might be distorted, we can take care to clarify what we mean and how we feel. If we are not sure, it always helps to ask what the other person thinks we mean.

Life Lab Lessons

Be aware of your feelings about what you say or write.
Realize that you might not always clearly communicate how you feel.
Be especially careful with email and text messages.
Be sure to clarify feelings you think are attached to incoming messages.
If you are not sure what feelings are being suggested, check it out. 🙂

Dr. Langen worked for many years as a psychologist. More recently he turned to writing full time. He has published five books, maintains a writing related blog and distributes a free biweekly newsletter on commonsense wisdom topics. See more about his writing at www.slidingotter.com. Read his blog at www.slidingotter.wordpress.com. Contact him at jlangen@slidingotter.com.

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