Roll on up folks, we’ve moved into election mode with news at the weekend the Federal election will be held on July 2.
The reality of this is a seven-week media juggernaut where the news cycle will be all about politicians, policy and the obligatory baby kissing, hard hat wearing photographs in print and online.
While campaigning may keep the media distracted there are some great ways for business to tie into this trending topic and use it to your advantage, so let’s take a quick tour of how it’s done.
Take a stand
Take a stand on an issue that affects your industry and write an open letter-style release to the minister responsible. Include the opposition number in your correspondence as this may garner you attention if they choose to comment.
Comment on policy
Keep an eye out for policy announcements from the current government and the opposition that affect your business/community/industry and then comment on them in a release or pitch.
Out of every election campaign there emerge hot topics. Already negative gearing and housing affordability are big issues for July 2. Look out for the hot topics like these that relate to your industry and address them with your expertise. The question you are answering for the public is: “What will this mean for you?”
Invite them in
Offer your local members, candidates and ministers the opportunity to tour/understand your business/industry and the effects that the policies of the election will have. When you do, make sure you invite the media too.
The big budget tip-off
We had a heads up last week with the budget on some key issues the government and opposition are focusing on for the 2016 election, so take a look at the budget documents and the opposition response and see if there is a story you can add to or create.
A global approach
With an election happening both in Australia and the US it can be a good time to comment on a world issue that is relevant to both elections.
Can you help the public and new voters understand election jargon? Terms like Double Disillusion etc. can be confusing to voters new and old. And it’s not just political speak but hot-ticket terms like “Medicare levy”, “HECS” etc.
Tips for making the most of the election media angle:
- When you do write an election based release make sure you use the right hashtags when you share your release including #auspol #ausvotes #election2016
- Don’t overlook the local media and local candidates. While the major players are fighting it out on the national stage, there are a number of initiatives pertinent to small communities and regions that are released and championed by local members and their opposition counterparts. Keep an eye out for these and, if relevant, go to your local paper or radio station.
- There’s something for everyone when it comes to elections. Whether you’re a small business owner, a working mum, a local real estate agent or travel consultant, the likelihood is there will be issues that affect your industry, livelihood and lifestyle. It’s a case of keeping a lookout and seizing opportunity to be part of the debate when it arises.
- Be quick – elections move quickly with coverage going from issue to issue within a 24-hour time span. If you do want to comment or create a release do so swiftly (within hours) and be mindful of deadlines. For example, newspapers are in their final stages by 3pm the day before they are released, while TV news is being edited for that evening at around the same time. Get in quickly and early and this gives you the best opportunity to get picked up via trending online or in daily print/radio/TV.
The election changes the focus of the media, but if you play your cards right, you can ride this media wave that comes around every few years too.