Updated: Dec 11, 2019
Earlier, this year, the Conservative government removed Elections Canada's ability to advertise. In the past Elections Canada would advertise voter information and encourage participation in the electoral process. Depending on your political perspective, you either believe it's because the move is beneficial to the Conservatives or because the empirical evidence shows it was not working anyway as voter turnout has been sliding for years. Every Canadian citizen over the age of 18 has the right vote and most radio stations have listeners somewhere between 18 and 118. Ergo, there are campaigns radio stations can undertake that can involve voter engagement, and connecting listeners to voter information.
The team at NL Radio in Kamloops recognized the void in the Elections Canada information (and revenue) and created a campaign to engage their audience and create a sales opportunity. The campaign also fills the gap for clients who are looking beyond the typical 30 second spot.
Creative Writer Chris Dougherty wrote ten 20-23 second pieces that speak candidly about the democratic process and voting. After he shared the copy, I was impressed with how it spoke directly to students, the disenfranchised and the apathetic, without speaking down to them.
The NL Radio sales department sold the campaign locally, replaced perceived lost revenue in the aggregate, and fulfilled a public service to the democratic process. The total strain on programming time was nil on all stations in their cluster.
If you think about, radio and TV have a moral obligation too. Radio is licensed to use the public airwaves and produce content in the listeners' interest. At your next staff meeting, ask your team if you have an election strategy in the days leading up to October 19.
The ten spots are available are available here:
If you would like to discuss election day ideas that won't get your station on the wrong side of the Election Act and generate connectivity with your audience, contact me.
Writer: Chris Dougherty.
Producer: Jeff Bolt