My youngest brother, an interactive designer who works for a branch of a ginormous advertising/marketing company, offered some guidance to our sister upon receiving a request from her to vote in an online contest. Her employer, a nonprofit organization, was vying with several others for funding.
I thought it was good advice that could be applied in the school setting by students wanting to market their school publications. Little Brother graciously granted me permission to share his words of wisdom, so here they are, slightly edited.
Leverage your other networks (Facebook, Twitter, alumni, church, etc.) to get the word out.
Establish a platform of voter engagement. Create a special Facebook group to support your initiative and have people subscribe to it. Link right to your voting page. Give updates once a day as to how things are going.
Build emotion. Tell the stories of some of the people helped by your organization. Find the really juicy, emotional stories that will make people sympathetic to your cause. The stories will make people care. If people care, they are more likely to act.
Drive follow-through. You need to keep your voters activated throughout the period leading up to the final voting day. You need to send out daily updates to motivate them, but in a manner that isn’t spamming. One way to do this is to give your voters something of value. For example, each and every day, post a new story on the Facebook group page. Do this until the voting ends. Each story should be concise, no more than one to two short paragraphs. The story should be emotional.
Boiled down: Help your voters to understand your clients and their stories. Make your voters empathize with your clients. Voters are more influenced by emotion than by logic or a need to do what is right.