Video contest is effort to encourage Latino voters
May 13, 2012
By Walter C. Jones
A political group came up with an inexpensive way to excite Latino youths about registering and voting in this year’s elections: a video contest.
The Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials is offering an iPad handheld computer to the person who creates the most popular video about voting. It recently used a similar approach in coming up with a T-shirt design on the same topic. Not only does a contest cost less than hiring an advertising agency, but the contestants are encouraged to spread the word on the Internet at zero cost.
A statewide television campaign could easily cost hundreds of millions of dollars and might not have the same impact because the young people the organization wants to reach watch less TV than previous generations.
“It’s something we think clearly resonates with our community,” said GALEO program coordinator Maria Duarte. “It’s fun. It’s creative.”
Contestants load their video on the YouTube website and send an application to Duarte to enter.
Then, they’re encouraged to send links to the clip through Facebook, Twitter and other social media networks, asking friends to click on the “like button.”
The winner is the one with the most views and “likes.”
The winner of the T-shirt design received more than 1,000 “likes” on Facebook.
Duarte also hopes viewers’ comments will spark a lively discussion on YouTube about the benefits of voting.
Public-relations professionals say that despite having little control over the message in the videos, GALEO could see the contest is effective.
“Like most campaigns or tactics designed to influence thought or behavior, this contest can be successful if the content of the video(s) is relevant, thought-provoking,and engaging, and whether it is interesting enough that people who see it will retweet, repost and otherwise direct their online friends to it,” said Rob Baskin, president of Weber Shandwick in Atlanta.
The ease of creating videos and sharing them is changing behavior for politics as well as other fields, noted Stefany Sanders, director of social media engagement at Jackson Spalding Inc., an Atlanta-based PR firm.
“This program takes the typical, door-to-door, ‘get out the vote’ campaign to a new, digital level, where these students can and will take it viral,” she said. “If the message is strong, creates an emotional response and is ‘liked’ by influential social media connectors, it has a great chance of going viral.”
GALEO estimates there are 88,000 Latinos in Georgia who are eligible to vote but are not registered.
Executive director Jerry Gonzalez hopes they’ll become part of an expanding bloc.
“It has grown from only about 10,000 voters in 2003 to well over 150,000 by 2009,” he said.
Read more at Jacksonville.com: http://jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2012-05-13/story/video-contest-effort-encourage-latino-voters#ixzz1up9n5Lja
Source: The Florida Times-Union