Integrated search, social and PR Company, Punch Communications, applauds Washington State’s introduction of its Facebook application for voter registration, recommending UK political parties take heed and look towards the integration of social media within broader political and PR agendas.
Following the recent integration of Facebook as part of the voting registration process, the state government of Washington has become the first to apply this degree of social media into its PR planning for local elections. The co-director of the elections Shane Hamlin said “more people are going online for services, this is a natural way to introduce people to online registration and leverage the power of friends on Facebook to get more people registered.”
In contrast, a recent study by Cheetham Bell JWT in May found the UK’s three leading political parties’ social campaigns to be a ‘lazy and uninspiring use of social media’. The report found that in the penultimate month before the election, across all social channels of the Conservative, Liberal Democrats and Labour parties, a mere 68 Facebook statuses and 79 twitter posts were posted. In addition to the lack of social media outreach activity and low engagement effort, each party website ranked no higher than fourth on Google’s search results for local elections.
According to eMarketers, an estimated 20 million people in the UK are set to be online through mobile technology by 2015. Not only is it beneficial to incorporate social media applications within political campaigns but it is also of top importance to optimise them for mobile use. This has the potential to completely alter the general election results as a more diverse audience is introduced.
Georgina Dunkley, account director at Punch Communications said: “We at Punch applaud the recognised value of social media within any area of business. This is an excellent example of how political parties and governments are now utilising social networks, further highlighting their effectiveness in increasing engagement and enhancing natural growth. Using new and unique ways of presenting your online PR can be great for your reputation provided they have purpose and are well thought through.”
The introduction of a similar social voter registration application to UK politics could see a rise in involvement if initiated for the 2015 general elections and could certainly assist in shaping the way forward for political affairs.
For more information about Public Relations Consultants, Punch Communications and to see how an integrated PR, social and SEO Agency could benefit your business, please visit www.punchcomms.com, or call 01858 411 600.
Contact: Georgina Dunkley on 0044 1858 411 600, firstname.lastname@example.org