2020 INSPIRE Student Research & Engagement Showcase

Presentation Type

Open Access Oral Presentation

Keywords

Political campaigns--United States; Social media--Influence; Young adults--Political activity--United States;

Abstract

In an ever-changing media environment and growing influence of young voters, creating and disseminating messages that will reach this intended audience is a complicated and difficult task for political campaigns. Social and new media changes with each election cycle, so following standards of the most previous campaign is following an outdated strategy which may not break through in the newest media environment. With an increasing interest in strategies to reach young voters in the electorate, political campaigns and their candidates are disseminating messages online and on social media, where an increasingly large number of the voting bloc is getting their information. In the sea of available information online, the effectiveness of breaking through and being seen by voters is increasingly difficult. Unpredictable viral moments and negative perceptions of paid content online adds incredibly complicated elements into the mission of successfully reaching and resonating with the intended audience of voters. As such, this study reflects on the success and failures of campaigns within the 2020 Democratic Primary to disseminate messages to an audience, particularly college-aged voters, and how these successes and failures establish a basis for developing strategy and messaging for future political campaigns.

Start Date

17-4-2020 12:00 PM

End Date

17-4-2020 4:00 PM

Department

Department of Communication Studies

Student Type

Undergraduate Student

File Format

application/pdf

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Apr 17th, 12:00 PM Apr 17th, 4:00 PM

Meet Your Audience Where They Are: The Dissemination and Reception of Political Messaging Among Young Voters

In an ever-changing media environment and growing influence of young voters, creating and disseminating messages that will reach this intended audience is a complicated and difficult task for political campaigns. Social and new media changes with each election cycle, so following standards of the most previous campaign is following an outdated strategy which may not break through in the newest media environment. With an increasing interest in strategies to reach young voters in the electorate, political campaigns and their candidates are disseminating messages online and on social media, where an increasingly large number of the voting bloc is getting their information. In the sea of available information online, the effectiveness of breaking through and being seen by voters is increasingly difficult. Unpredictable viral moments and negative perceptions of paid content online adds incredibly complicated elements into the mission of successfully reaching and resonating with the intended audience of voters. As such, this study reflects on the success and failures of campaigns within the 2020 Democratic Primary to disseminate messages to an audience, particularly college-aged voters, and how these successes and failures establish a basis for developing strategy and messaging for future political campaigns.