By Jason Sulham, Vice President
The running joke is that Maine has three seasons – winter, mud, and construction. In fact, Maine does have a fourth season – election season. Perhaps it is not included on purpose, since for most people it is the least desirable of the four. Nonetheless, election season offers brands numerous ways to raise their visibility.
I’m sure some of you are saying, “That sounds like the worst idea ever!”
Having a politically-engaged brand could be a scary prospect, but you don’t have to be political or even take a side to leverage an election for brand visibility. Opportunities exist for every comfort level.
No matter your level of comfort, you must first perform the following assessment:
- What are our values and does our team know them?
- What do our primary audiences expect?
- How do we best honor both?
With honest answers to these questions you can confidently determine your comfort level and subsequently identify appropriate tactics to leverage election season for brand visibility. Let’s look at what some of those tactics might be at different comfort levels.
Level 1 – Highly skeptical, but I’ve read this far, so I might as well see what you suggest.
- Using your digital platforms and without espousing viewpoints, simply encourage your team and audiences to vote as a civic duty.
- Share information on how to register to vote or request a mail in ballot.
- Be a reprieve from the noise for your audiences and deliberately establish your platforms as politics free zones.
Level 2 – We have a specific value or issue we feel passionate about and are recognized for, but we are otherwise apolitical.
- Inform your audiences about the importance of that value or issue in the upcoming election and be a source of factual information.
- Write an op-ed advocating for specific solutions and articulate the urgency of the issue.
- Enlist your team and audiences to sign on to a petition in support of a policy position.
- Ask candidates for their positions on this issue and be a source of policy ideas.
- Be a subject matter expert that media can call upon for insight.
Level 3 – I’ve already printed flyers.
- Do everything in Level 2, plus…
- Offer your employees PTO to volunteer for a specific campaign.
- Invite a candidate to tour your business and post pictures to social media.
- Be active in your trade association’s political advocacy.
- Look for thought leadership opportunities.
- Publicly endorse a candidate.
This is just a sampling of possibilities to demonstrate the potential that exists to raise your brand visibility during election season no matter your level of comfort. For more ideas or to learn how to execute on the ones featured above, contact Jason, our chief strategist who has over 20 years of experience in political advocacy.