Much has been written about this year’s election, which will decide party control of Congress, state legislatures, and governorships, and serve as a referendum on the administration. But what are companies and associations doing to educate and mobilize their stakeholders?
To benchmark top strategies being employed by Fortune 500s and trade associations in Election 2018, SevenTwenty Strategies and the Public Affairs Council have launched the 2018 GOTV and Voter Engagement Survey. The goal is to assess how major companies and associations plan to engage employees, members, shareholders and the general public in the 2018 elections - and ultimately, what they view as their most successful strategies for encouraging civic participation.
The survey will provide unique insight into engagement strategy, straight from the source. It will also yield benchmark data you can use to see how your organization fares. We invite you to take the survey here (it is anonymous and only 13 questions). We’ll release the findings of the research in the coming weeks.
Creating Benchmark Data
Spending in U.S. races is well documented. For example, trade associations, nonprofits and unions spent more than $200 million in the 2016 election, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. PACs associated with financial services, insurance and real estate by themselves gave almost $57 million to candidates. Add in major industries like health care, defense and energy and the dollars quickly increase.
Beyond campaign contributions via a PAC, many companies and associations will undertake important work to grow their stakeholders’ awareness of the issues at play in this election and encourage them to vote on Election Day. Organizations will hold voter registration events, invite candidates and election-related speakers to address their employees, conduct outreach by email and phone, offer websites that enable stakeholders to register to vote and study the candidates, conduct candidate surveys and even provide rides to polling places. All are advanced ways of getting stakeholders educated and engaged. But which among them are most used and most effective in terms of education and voter mobilization?
The 2018 GOTV and Voter Engagement Survey aims to answer these questions while there is still time for organizations to engage in the current cycle. This early analysis can help professionals charged with designing their organizations’ political and advocacy strategy to refine and strengthen their GOTV and voter education programs now - when time is of the essence. Companies and associations that fail to educate their constituencies—members, employees, shareholders and others—about their issues are missing a potentially significant opportunity to advocate for themselves and advance their positions in 2018.
With platforms like Twitter playing a major role in voter education and engagement, it’s time for PAC and grassroots professionals to evaluate and reevaluate their plans for 2018 and beyond.
The 2018 GOTV and Voter Engagement Survey can help. It aims to answer these very questions, providing advocacy professionals unique insights into what their peers are doing, what is effective and what new strategies and tactics might be in use, both this year and in the 2020 presidential election. So join us in defining the future of election engagement. Take the survey and study the results. It may just give you insights you can take to the polls.