How to Create Effective Content After the Election


Big decisions ahead on Tuesday. Voters will choose more than 6,000 state lawmakers, 435 U.S. House seats, 35 U.S. Senators and 36 governors. They will issue a confidence vote on the Trump administration, set the tone for the next presidential race and tell leaders where they want the country to go.

That kind of election comes with a lot of noise. If you work for an advocacy organization, is there any hope that your voice will be heard?

In a word, yes—if your organization is smart with its content. There is room for associations, charities and other nonprofits to communicate around the election, if the content they provide is distinct. When we provide valuable information that addresses audience needs, they reward us with their time. When we traffic in the mundane, they blow us off.

How to Create Content That Works

As America votes, advocacy organizations can use their natural assets—expertise, narrow focus and trust—to give people exactly what they want and need during an emotional election. Here are some suggestions on how to create content that resonates.

  • Offer a unique prism. Don’t just report election results. Your audience can get that from CNN or The Washington Post. Instead, tell your people what the election results mean to the issues they care about. For example, if your organization fights to eradicate XYZ Syndrome and the House changes hands, explain what that might mean for research funding. Your prism makes your content unique.
  • Explain what comes next. Provide context for the election results, framed in terms that your audience understands. Tell them the prognosis for your issues now that the election has taken place. Are there large battles ahead? Will the state of play tilt in your favor? Describe the new, post-election landscape.
  • Give people an outlet. Win or lose, people will have strong feelings. You can give them a way to turn those feelings into action. That might be making a donation. It might be signing a pledge or petition. Perhaps it is thanking a candidate. Whatever it is, if you keep it simple and make it easy, people will respond.

One last thing: be judicious with your dispatches. The election is likely to fill inboxes and jam social feeds, and there will be heavy competition for audience attention. Trim your usual content lineup to make room for a few smart election pieces and make them count. This is one case where more is not necessarily better. Remember, #NoMoreNoise.

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