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Campaigning at a new level

UCOMM's digital ads target swing voters in Nevada, Ohio and Pennsylvania

Kris LaGrange's picture
Nov 07, 2016

Over the last week, millions of dollars have been spent on ads in swing states targeting every interest group, trying to get them to the polls to support Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and many down ballot candidates. Some of these ads are running in major TV markets like Philadelphia, Las Vegas and Charlotte.  Some are running on the radio, in traditional print media or are on billboards.  This year though, digital advertising on social networks has increased allowing even small campaigns or organizations to have their voice be heard.  Over the last week, UCOMM began running ads as well to make sure that the voice of working people was also heard.

Over the last week, UCOMM Blog published two excellent pieces written by Gary Bonker, the Business Manager of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 10, and Eric Hauser the Business Manager of IBEW Local 2154.  Both Bonker and Hauser were elected to lead unions in upstate and western New York that are predominantly white, male and in  communities that have faced tough times.  The demographics would say that these are prime people to relate to Donald Trump’s message.  Being good Business Managers, both Gary and Eric took this knowledge and crafted eloquent messages that we believed would resonate with these swing voters.  With all the noise and vitoriol coming out of the Presidential election, sometimes we forget that this isn’t about who deleted emails or who harassed a beauty pageant reporter, but it is about what their records are on issues that matter most to the working Joe and Jane. We couldn’t let these messages only be read by those in a state that was already supporting Hillary Clinton, so we reached out to our social media marketer, Brian Young, gave him a budget and told him to get these out to swing state voters. 

Brian took the posts and turned them into ads that would be delivered to union members in swing states like Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire. “I targeted them mostly at building and utility unions figuring that the message would resonate with the IBEW worker in Ohio or the Laborer in New Hampshire,” said Brian Young.  “Like in organizing, sometimes the thing that resonates best is a heartfelt message from someone that looks like you, talks like you and has a shared experience with you.”

With just a tiny budget, we reached over 8,000 union members in the weekend before the election.  A simple ad went a long way towards talking to the voters that might have felt drawn away from supporting Trump over Clinton.  This type of strategic communications allows a local union to communicate to the right people while not breaking the bank.  Often times, locals may feel like they are too small to run ads during a contract negotiation, organizing drive or to highlight the great work that their members did; but with Facebook advertising, even a small budget can go a long way towards getting your message out. If you are interested in finding out how you can communicate better, check out and watch out for more ads in the future from, working news you can use.

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