Nonprofit PR: The Case for Voter Registration

Since January, I haven’t written a single thing about politics and the candidates up for election this year.  There is a lot being said by pundits and talking heads, and that’s all good for my profession.  Whether you are in news, advocacy, public relations or any other related field.  There is always room for good commentary.  But while you are ingesting the latest food for thought dished by CNN or Fox, don’t forget voter registration.  While today is a mighty fine day in the United States of America for individuals to get registered to cast their vote in November, this season can be equally fulfilling for nonprofits.  While we are all clear about the importance of voting and registering.  As someone who has done both voters registration and poll work, please keep in mind the many thousands of people who volunteer their time, take time off from work and prepare to help you cast your vote.

Sure, you can’t give them a tip for the work they do, but a kind thank you is always appreciated.  In fact, you can get involved too!  Most people think that registering people to vote is official work done by special organizations and civic bodies.  But that couldn’t be further from the truth.

As a nonprofit you can do well while doing good this election year.  Many nonprofits struggle for publicity for a number of reason.  Part of it, is that there are just so danged many who are doing identical work… so the goal is to set yourself apart and to draw attention to the things that make you different.  Nonprofits can easily harness this election season as a way to promote their work AND provide a needed community service.

You can obtain voter registration forms from your local board of election office free of charge.  Partner with a local church or community center in your area and a local grocer for snacks and beverages.  Reach out to local press and radio stations for free public service announcements and get that party started!  Don’t forget to play the music and give balloons to the kids that pass by.