Surviving the Presidential Election with Your Marketing Campaign

Surviving the Presidential Election with Your Marketing Campaign


I’ve heard often in the last few months “people just aren’t spending because of the election”. I’ve heard it almost every four years. How true is the statement? According to a joint study by Princeton and the University of Chicago Business School, even if people oppose the political party or candidate expected to win, it really doesn’t affect spending habits.

Now that we have that out of the way, you still have to survive the next month with a Facebook feed filled with political banter (some of it increasingly hostile) and television news with twenty-four hour coverage of the candidates. With all that noise, how do you make sure your marketing messages get heard or at the very least aren’t caught up in the election craziness?

Hold Major Campaign Launches

Earlier this week, I met with a client who’s preparing to launch a large campaign. The first pieces will be ready somewhere around the first part of November. As eager as we may be to launch this campaign, it’s more beneficial to hold off a week or two past the election to launch. Of course that’s tricky too because just two weeks past the election and we’re caught up in Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. If you absolutely must launch a major campaign, consider moving the date two weeks prior to the election or at least a week afterward.

Reschedule Your Emails

Major launches aren’t the only thing happening right now. You along with many other nonprofits and B2B companies are sending out weekly, bi-weekly and monthly marketing emails. If your regular schedule has you sending out emails the week of the election, re-think your schedule. Can you tweak the timing so that your email marketing campaigns hit the week before or after the election instead of the week of the election? With so much noise on social media, traditional media and in your customers in-boxes, it’s better not to get lost in all the chaos.

Say Something Different

While it’s possible to avoid sending marketing emails the week of the election, it’s not advisable to skip your social media marketing that week. So what do you say? Make it fun. Be the bright spot, the hope and joy in the midst of doom and gloom. What good has your organization done this year? Blast out a compilation of your best social media posts from the last twelve months. Skip the shop talk and promotions this week and just add a little sunshine.

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Rethink Traditional Media Schedules

When I first started scheduling television commercials for my clients, my ad rep suggested not advertising the two weeks right before an election. Your local and state elections take place in non-presidential election years, so this advice applies there too. In fact, it may apply doubly to those cycles. In the two weeks prior to elections the politicians own the airwaves at the lowest price point available. Which means your ad costs more and you have more of a possibility of being bumped. So skip the stress and schedule those television and radio commercials for the end of October or mid-November. Your budget will thank you.

Skip the Political Banter

Some nonprofits and commercial businesses can’t help but to be caught up in politics. Public policy greatly dictates how your organization runs or what your business is allowed to do. At times you must discuss political agendas, congressional bills or Supreme Court rulings and their effect on your industry. It’s who you are. Others of us are better aligned to skirt around politics. Our clients range the gamut of political ideologies. While I stand true to my beliefs, it’s to no one’s advantage to alienate people. In addition to avoiding political talk on our business page, I also avoid political talk on my personal accounts. If you are leading an organization or business, your personal pages may be considered by many to be an extension of your company or nonprofit’s beliefs. While it might not get you in trouble legally, it could lead to some customers or donors rethinking their association with you. Fair or not, it’s something to consider before posting that rant you’ve been stewing over. I’ve had to remind myself of this fact more than once in the last couple of months.

I, for one, will be glad for my newsfeed to revert back to recipes and even that pesky Elf on the Shelf that will show up soon. What are annoying Facebook newsfeed item will you be thankful to see when the election is over?