Your Election from Start to Finish: Before, During and Post-Election
Your organization can’t have an election if none of your members vote, so top notch election promotion is key. Once your members are casting their ballots, a substantial number of comprehensive management practices must be in place to guarantee a reliable, transparent and secure election.
After the election, your organization needs to do much more than simply announcing election results. How do you prepare for the election frenzy?
In decades past, member organization election promotions consisted primarily of a flyer mailed and possibly a reminder post card. Today, in the era of always-on communications, it is crucial you utilize all available avenues to promote your election in order to maximize voter participation.
Each election promotion timeline is unique to the organization, but, in general, communication should begin about eight weeks before voting opens. Each week should feature a new communication channel and/or message.
Newsletter articles, features on the organization’s website, social media announcements, text reminders, letters, postcards and email reminders are all strong ways to reach members during the lead-up to the election.
Remember to include as much comprehensive election information as possible including dates, maps to any physical locations, information on when and how to vote, candidate bios and reasons members should vote.
If this all sounds overwhelming and time consuming, you’re correct – it certainly can be! That’s why many member organizations find value in working with a third-party election partner like SBS.
Expert partners can do everything from voter surveys and helping build email contact lists to creating videos and web pages and managing social media campaigns. This frees up an organization’s staff and volunteers to focus on their core jobs and positions and provides your election the time and attention it deserves.
A third-party election partner can also be invaluable during the election process. From finely tuned and tested procedures and dedicated election managers to industry-leading security and transparency practices, your organization can continue to be an expert at what you do best … and leave the election to the experts who can deliver on increased member engagement, proven management and processes and valuable insights and ideas for the future.
After the election
Beyond taking a deep breath, what does your organization do after your elections? Many member organizations simply communicate the results and call it a day. To limit your post-election activities to this means missing out on a critical information gathering period, during which you can learn about member demographics, who voted and who did not, participation levels, what worked and what challenges you faced and more.
The time after an election is the optimal time to begin planning for future elections – setting goals for the future by understanding current trends. It is also a good time to discuss potentially adding a new voting method (such as online voting or a hybrid model) and learn about the communications preferences of your members.
The best way to analyze how effective your election and related communications have been is to conduct a post-election member survey. Your organization can quickly obtain actionable results that help shape the success of your elections for years to come.
Still have questions about election promotion, management and analysis? Contact us today, we’re happy to help.