In 2011, a CBS news poll found that only 13 percent of the American people felt the United States Congress was serving their interests. The dawn of the digital age has made access to politicians easier than ever, but how often do messages really get through? Such messages are often read by staff members as opposed to actual congresspeople. With that in mind, let’s take a look at three tools that help congress members communicate with their voters and subsequently expand their political broadcast horizons:
Social media has provided politicians with a whole new way to approach voters, and Reddit is no exception. The Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) is a great way for congresspeople to tap into what voters are truly concerned about, while using the social media tool in conjunction with the GroupSRC mailbag is another viable option. GroupSRC has designed a custom page on Reddit that works as an audience mailbag. Receiving hundreds emails per day creates challenges in terms of reading them all, which actually distances politicians from their audience. The GroupSRC mailbag makes it easy for an audience to submit questions to the Reddit page, who then vote for the best questions they want answered. This provides politicians with a great list of essential questions to answer in a timely fashion.
Politicians who wish to remind people of voting and other important dates can make great use of Auto Dialer. The electronic device dials telephone numbers automatically and plays a recorded message whether the person picks up or lets the call go to voicemail. Numerous versions of Auto Dialer exist, including those that dial again at a later time if a busy signal comes up. While most rely on automated messages when using a political autodialer, transfer to a live person is also possible.
GOTV, or “Get Out the Vote,” refers to resources and time dedicated to vote encouragement. This is done through campaign information materials, volunteer efforts, advertisements and more. Volunteer efforts include GOTV polling, which can entail calling voters who received mail-in ballots to influence their vote. Other GOTV activities include utilizing Auto Dialer, going door-to-door, and providing literature to voters early on election days.
Making use of these three tools is a great way to garner voter support and encourage those on the proverbial fence to vote for a certain politician. The Reddit-GroupSRC mailbag is a particularly personal way to communicate with voters, find out what issues are important to them, and incorporate results into political campaigns. It also gives voters control, in that they can decide which issues are the most essential and should be read by the congressperson first.