Developing your online communications strategy to effectively appeal to women voters can be critical to the success of a campaign. We talked with a panel of experts including Kelly Gibson (Hamburger Gibson Creative), Shannon Chatlos (Strategic Partners & Media), Heather Barmore (Planned Parenthood), and Carter Kidd (Campaign Solutions), as they shared examples and discussed how to effectively target and turnout women audiences across digital platforms on AAPC’s January 9th webinar: The Power of Women at the Ballot Box: Targeting & Turnout Strategies.
- New statistics have shown a stark increase in women candidates with 354 women running for Congressional seats and 38 women running for Senate seats.
- There is a misconception that women only want to hear about women’s issues. This is not necessarily the case as women are multifaceted and want to hear about the issues that they care about. In different areas, this might be different issues.
- The amount of video content is going to be extremely high in 2018, as digital is still the top platform when promoting a candidate and their brand.
About Kelly: As partner at Hamburger Gibson Creative, Kelly is a political media powerhouse, producing media and directing strategic messaging for environmental organizations, unions, candidates and campaigns from City Council to Senate races. With more than a decade of experience making ads, Kelly is in her element on set, in the editing suite and in the situation room, helping campaigns win at every level.
- There has been a difference that we are seeing in female candidates and that is that women are feeling more empowered and open to be themselves in front of the public.
- White women did not come out to vote in 2016. Voters were disenchanted and decided they did not want to get involved. Since then, both men and women are becoming more invigorated about running for office.
- As political consultants, we are always trying to figure out what’s next. Facebook and Twitter changed the game, as did email fundraising. Right now, we are working with pollsters to measure engagement to see if our content is actually becoming a catalyst for voter action. This is difficult to measure, but that is how we determine what is working and what is not, and how to find the next big thing in the industry.
- We have started to do a lot of personality targeting. Certain issues matter to women in different areas. So we want to make sure our message is mirroring the issues that different women want to hear about.
- There is so much opportunity in 2018. Having really authentic candidates and messaging is going to be really important this year. People want real candidates who are innately “good” and have done notable things.
- Using video and audio on Facebook is going to continue to be extremely important for candidates to get their message out.
About Carter: For over a decade, Carter has been managing major online campaigns for Republican candidates, parties, and public affairs initiatives. She specializes in online communication strategies, web development and online fundraising. Carter manages day-to-day operations for Campaign Solutions and oversees the firm’s numerous business channels.
- The amount of women paying attention to politics is the exciting change we are seeing in the new year. 58% of women are more engaged in politics than before Trump became president.
- The Republican party needs to do a better job engaging women to run for office.
- It is important to take a look at your specific electorate when deciding on messaging strategies. For example, we focused on specific messaging to women in Virginia because that is the group we wanted to reach the most.
- We are using a more team integrated approach. Now, the field team, the digital team and the poll team, etc. are all working together to reach voters in a more effective way.
- The key to bridging the gap between candidates and various voter groups is authenticity. Focus on the top issues that the voter cares most about.
- Be careful talking to your more unlikely voters. Do your research beforehand, so you don’t offend anyone that might not share your candidate’s views.
About Shannon: Shannon Chatlos is a Vice President at Strategic Partners & Media where she leads the digital team and develops messaging strategies, advertising solutions and integrated digital strategies for candidates, associations and advocacy clients.
- Women care about seeing a candidate that they can relate to; someone that might have had some shared experiences with them. As we see an increase in female candidates, we see more women coming out to vote for them.
- There is a double standard currently where a man is allowed to say whatever they want and speak their mind, whereas women have to worry about coming across as mean or cold when speaking their truth.
- Women of color tend to be very passionate about local politics. Something that works well for this specific group is word of mouth about a candidate rather than digital ads or social media.
- Currently, an effective strategy has been about using an influencer on social media to reach out to their followers in a seamless way about candidates or issues.
- Going door to door is still very effective. This strategy should be used in conjunction with other digital strategies. People appreciate a human connection in some cases.
About Heather: Heather Barmore is a digital political communications professional who currently serves as the Director of Digital Strategy and Content for Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California (PPAC). Prior to joining PPAC she served as Digital Director to Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser and the Deputy Director of Digital Communications for the 2016 Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC).
A huge thank you to our speakers for sharing their expertise with the AAPC membership!