Business information written specifically for newspaper advertising departments

Election-based Events

Create engaging, but not divisive, events that offer locals an opportunity to become more involved in the election process. This will demonstrate your newspaper’s commitment to political awareness without picking sides, as well as an investment in your community.

As the election approaches, it’s important to think of the ways you can get your newspaper involved as community members prepare to practice their civil duty by voting and electing their representatives. However, when planning events or advertising during election season, it’s important to do so without being polarizing or partisan. Create engaging, but not divisive, events that offer locals an opportunity to become more involved in the election process. This will demonstrate your newspaper’s commitment to political awareness without picking sides, as well as an investment in your community. Below are a few examples of possible events your newspaper could organize for election season.

Promote Voter Registration

Encouraging your community to register to vote is a great way to promote involvement in the election process while remaining politically neutral. Approach a local community center or college about hosting the event. Community centers are accessible to the town as a whole, while colleges will encourage registration among young citizens who haven’t voted before. Offer sponsorships to local businesses that want to boost the number of active voters in town. If advertisers seem hesitant to associate their name with anything related to politics, tell them it’s not about promoting one candidate or party. Instead, explain to them that voting is a person’s civil duty, and thus hosting an event to promote voting is patriotic rather than divisive. At the event, make sure you have all the information voters will need in preparation for Election Day. Offer unbiased information about candidates, bills, issues and what they need to do and where they need to go come Election Day.

Debate Screenings

Consider hosting community-wide debate screenings. While registered voters in your area may want to become involved and informed before voting, they may not have a place or the means to do so. Or, they may want to watch the debates with a group of their neighbors. Host the party somewhere with a big screen and lots of seating so everyone can learn more about where the candidates stand on the issues. Clarify that this is to see a debate between the candidates, not the attendees. Structure the event on the premise of bringing people together in preparation to vote, not to argue with one another over personal political views. You are simply offering locals a place to watch the debate free of charge. Ask for advertising and refreshments from local restaurants and perhaps a TV screen from an electronics shop. Remind your advertisers their brand isn’t going to be advocating one candidate over the other, instead they are just encouraging community members to get all of the information and knowledge they will need before handing in their ballot.

Election Day Refreshments

Set up snack and drink stands at local voting spots on Election Day. Ask for advertising and catering from local bakeries and eateries. Once locals come out of the voting booths donning their “I Voted!” stickers, offer them drinks and cookies to reward them for their dedication to their country and democracy. This is another neutral way for advertisers and your newspaper to show your involvement this election season.

Results Parties

Similar to debate screenings, throwing a results party is a great way to bring the community together while promoting involvement in election process. It will also give those who may not have the resources to watch the results a place to see the votes come in, in real-time. If you consider going this route, keep in mind that it is a delicate balance between encouraging political awareness and activity and remaining neutral. Bringing many people of different backgrounds, beliefs and values together could lead to disagreements and arguments. When promoting the event, make it very clear that this event is politically neutral, and merely an event for locals to see the election results. If you are concerned tht hosting a nonpartisan results party will still incite arguments between the viewers, then consider renting out two rooms for viewing parties. Divide up the rooms up based on who the viewers want to see win the election. Pick a centralized location in order to encourage participation. Ask advertisers to get involved, reminding them that your results party is not backing one candidate over another; instead they will have their name backing a positive event for the community.