Audiences

chart_audiencesWhen a party has a message to deliver, it must have various strategies to ensure that the message reaches its intended audience clearly and concisely. The audience is whoever receives party messages, whether through direct messaging or via the news, social media, or other indirect methods.

Party Members

Party members are most likely to agree with the party’s message. As a result, a party should use its members as heralds, supplying most of their information and tailoring it in a way that is concise, easy to remember, and easy to pass along. In particular, the party should supply its members with a range of messages about party policy, so that they have a clear understanding of the party’s platforms and priorities. Providing this range of information can allow parties to target certain issues that may resonate with specific populations, such as women or youth. Among other things, tech tools can help members spread the party’s message to their personal networks, and can help members compile and share information. For example, if a party posts a message on Facebook that resonates with a member, it will be easy for that member to share the post with his or her Facebook community. Additionally, the party can email members and ask them to post something specific to their Facebook or other social media page about an issue the party is promoting. However, the party message should remain consistent on all mediums, so that supporters don’t have to search through multiple platforms to find what they are looking for.

Party Supporters

Supporters are likely voters who have not committed to spreading the party’s message or participating in member activities. It is important to make all information available on the party’s website so that supporters and interested voters can research its platforms there, but the party might also send them messages. However, instead of bombarding them with all of the party’s messages, it is important to closely target what supporters receive, making sure that the messages align with their interests. For example, if a supporter is passionate about the environment, the party should send him or her messages about its environmental platform. In contrast, sending that supporter messages about small business reform, unless he or she has shown interest in that topic, would be unhelpful and unnecessary. Too much information can overwhelm and discourage party members.

Messages to supporters can only be effectively targeted when information about them has been collected and maintained, including age, address, gender, policy preferences, and interests, in order to understand their priorities. Without this information, targeting is impossible and the messaging will suffer. This is another area where technology, such as sophisticated CRM software, can help a party where and when appropriate.

Voterschart_audience2

Finally, a party must consider the voting population in general, including undecided, wavering or floating voters. It is best for a party to address the general population consistently, ensuring that all levels and branches of the party say the same thing. Most voters receive information about the party from indirect channels like national news sources or social media platforms. The party must therefore have an outreach strategy to better control its message as it filters through these mediums. This strategy can help ensure that voters hear the same clear, concise, substantive message through an indirect channel as they do through a direct channel. Strategies include press conferences, press releases, leadership interviews, and official talking points, among others.

Key Takeaways

Audiences: A party should have specific strategies for communicating its message clearly and concisely to voters, supporters and members.

Members:

  • act as party heralds and are more likely to get party info directly;
  • the party should package the party message making it easy for them to share.

Supporters:

  • receive party information from both direct & indirect channels;
  • they should receive targeted messaging, so the party needs to know their interests.

Other Voters:

  • receive most information is through indirect channels, so the party message must be consistent;
  • the party must identify and use the information channels that the intended audiences use.