The greatest challenge in any election lies in securing the largest possible turnout. This can be difficult to achieve, but delivering tailored and comprehensive election services is what UK-Engage does best. We recently faced such a challenge at the University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust Council of Governors Elections. UHSM is a major acute teaching hospital trust providing services for adults and children at Wythenshawe Hospital and Withington Community Hospital, and community services which were formerly operated by Manchester Primary Care Trust.
UHSM asked UK-Engage to manage the complex 2012 Council of Governors Elections, to provide a comprehensive electoral support service and to boost turnout at the elections. The Council of Governors consists of 35 elected and nominated Governors: 18 of the Governors are elected by the public, 7 by Foundation Trust staff and 10 nominated by partner organisations. The Council of governors plays an active role in building relationships with members and represents their views to the Board of Directors, which has the responsibility of running the organisation and preparing the Trust’s strategy.
UK Engages’ Solution.
UK Engage was asked to deliver a fully managed integrated election and boost voter turnout at the Council of Governor Elections. UK-Engage had already provided updated nomination forms and redesigned ballot packs, in line with the Trust’s corporate identity design, to make the election more appealing to members. The Trust already held the mobile phone numbers of approximately 500 of its members so it made sense for UK-Engage to use this information to boost turnout. UK-Engage, therefore, sent short, polite reminders by SMS text messages to the 500 members.
UK Engage and UHSM were delighted by the increased turnout generated by the use of SMS text messaging. Turnout among members who received the text message reminder was 25 percent higher than the overall turnout, confirming UK-Engage’s belief that low-cost high-impact text message reminders can boost election turnout.
How to Implement Text Reminders for Election Turnout
Securing a high turnout in elections is a common challenge, but with the right strategies, it can be addressed effectively. Text message reminders have emerged as an effective tool to address this challenge. Here’s are a few things to remember when implementing text reminders for election turnout:
- Collect Contact Information: To send text message reminders, you need to have accurate and up-to-date contact information for your eligible voters. This can include mobile phone numbers and consent to receive text messages.
- Craft Engaging Messages: The success of text reminders hinges on the content of the messages. Craft clear and concise messages that convey the importance of voting, the date and location of the election, and any other essential details. Keep the tone polite and non-intrusive.
- Timing is Key: Send text reminders at strategic times. Too early, and voters may forget; too late, and they may not have enough time to plan to vote. Aim to send reminders a few days before the election day and on the day itself.
- Monitor and Evaluate: Keep track of the responses to the text reminders and evaluate their impact on voter turnout. This data can help you fine-tune your approach in future elections.
- Respect Privacy:Ensure that your text reminders comply with privacy regulations and that recipients have the option to opt out of receiving further messages if they wish.
- Coordinate with Election Management Services: If you’re working with a professional election services provider like UK Engage, collaborate with them to integrate text reminders into your overall election strategy. They can help you make the most of this tool to enhance voter engagement.
Election Management Services By UK Engage
As shown in the case of the University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust (UHSM), text message reminders can be a highly effective tool for increasing election turnout. When implemented correctly, as in the partnership between UK-Engage and UHSM, text reminders can make a substantial difference.
No matter the size of your organisation, holding an election or vote is a major task. At UK Engage, our election services to deliver impartial and transparent elections, ballots, polls, referendums and AGMs. We are an experienced election services provider, with a dedicated team of election professionals delivering elections and AGMs daily. Both postal and online services can be provided as part of our ISO9001 and ISO27001 certifications. Contact us on 0161 209 4808 to discuss your needs.