Reaching the Absentee Voter
As American voters opt to not show up to the polls on election day, the need to harness absentee votes becomes even greater. We can show you how.
I never understand why absentee ballots rarely get the intense attention they deserve. I suspect a lack of financial resources is the reason. But with continually low voter turnout, absentee ballots are becoming more important.
A campaign's media budget is often composed backwards, starting on election day and accruing back as many days as it can afford. Understandably, early absentee voters rarely get allotted significant funds. At best, some candidates are in the position to air some commercials when the absentee voting begins. There is a golden opportunity, missed by most.
I often remind candidates that they are no different than car dealers. Political ads are sandwiched between soda and automotive commercials. It is the time to sell, to motivate. If a car dealer could air commercials for one month and be the only dealer advertising during that time, he would jump at the opportunity. Competition requires larger advertising budgets.
Absentee balloting is the perfect time to get a jump. In most cases, you will be the only candidate advertising. You will lay an early foundation for your campaign. Your candidate will be introduced as an educator and friendly person. Negative messages will not be part of the equation yet. Be sure not to mention any competition, since they likely won't be on the air yet. Don't give them free play.
Finally, make absentee voting appealing. Educate the voters on the ease and benefits of voting this way. Spend the first thirty seconds of the commercial introducing the candidate, the remaining thirty seconds explaining the process.
Many radio markets may not offer the candidate political rates as it is too early for such discounts. However, the advantage gained from being the only candidate airing commercials is worth it. You will not need to purchase as much time since your message will be heard without the clutter of multiple political advertisements. For the campaign that can afford it, cultivating the absentee ballot is a golden opportunity.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Scott Perreault is CEO of ScottPolitical.com (www.scottpolitical.com) a Political Advertising Agency and Voice Works specializing in Television, Online Video and Radio. We represent National, State and local candidates or issue campaigns. Over twenty years experience. 2006-2008 Agency of record for U.S. Senate Campaign in Texas. We assist Independents, Republicans and Democrats. ScottPolitical.com services include: Voice Work, Affordable media production in English ($199) and Spanish ($298) Advertising Agency, Polling, DVD Videos for events and Political Consulting. Learn more at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Political