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Using QR codes in Political Campaigns

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Over 50% of Americans now own a smartphone, and the number of Americans who have scanned a QR code continues to climb, reaching over 20 million as of October 2011.  As people have begun to familiarize themselves with this relatively new technology it has quickly become a marketing tool political Parties and campaigns can no longer ignore.

Below are five ways a political campaign might take advantage of QR codes as a new way to engage voters and campaign supporters.

Field organization

Campaigns are always looking for volunteers to help with their cause and QR codes can be a way to ensure your list of volunteers continues to grow.  A campaign might send out a flyer to known supporters or Party members giving information about the candidate or asking for volunteers.  In either instance the individual reading the flyer would have to be very motivated to eventually log online at some point in the future and sign up to volunteer.  In all likelihood, many people will forget and the campaign will never engage the potential volunteer.

On the other hand, if the flyer had contained a QR code directing the individual to a mobile-friendly volunteer page, then the chances of that person ending up on the campaign volunteer list just greatly increased.  In this instance, the individual either just read some information about the candidate or was asked to help support a cause with their time, either way this is likely to be their peak point of interest and it is at that very moment that you want a volunteer form in their hands.  A QR connected mobile landing page is the best way to ensure this happens.

Or a campaign might have a table set up at some event or local gathering taking voters contact information.  Usually this will mean using lots of paper and ink and eventually someone manually entering the information into a database.  Instead the campaign could save resources and time by having people scan a QR code that takes them to a mobile friendly landing page where they can enter their information and have it sent directly to the campaign.  The campaign just became ‘Green’!

Donations

QR codes can be used in a similar way for donations.  When a piece of campaign literature is being read by a voter it is at that moment that the voter will be at their peak interest level, and it is then that you want to capitalize on their interest  and get the voter to take action.

A QR code with a call to action asking them to donate by scanning the QR code will ensure that the individual is able to donate immediately, rather than waiting for them to lose interest or get distracted before they are able to get to their check book/post office, or a computer.

The same can be done at tabling events so that a person can donate on the spot even if they don’t have a check book on them simply by scanning the QR and entering in their donation information.

Education

A campaign will likely send out many flyers, pamphlets and other print material to voters, looking to convince them to support their candidate or Party.  These print materials can only hold so much information, but if they contained a QR code far more information would be at the finger tips of the potential voter.

A flyer may only have a few bullet points to support a candidate’s platform, or point out the faults of another candidate, but your QR code could take you to a mobile site with a campaign commercial, video of the candidate’s speech, or some other online material meant to educate the voter far beyond what could be accomplished in print.

Material distribution

Many voters are willing help a campaign by place campaign signage in their yard to show support for a given candidate, or distribute brochures around their neighborhood. But often times they  simply don’t know who to talk to or where to go to get information.  This might be remedied by placing a QR code on all campaign signs and other print materials. Upon scanning the code, the voter would be taken to a form where they can enter their contact info and request the desired materials.  This information would then be sent directly to a person in the campaign who could ensure the materials were distributed to the supporter.

Event Awareness

Lastly, you might send out flyers, or put up posters meant to advertise a campaign event, maybe a speech or fundraising dinner.  On these flyers and posters you would place a QR code which takes the voter to a screen where they could download the event information into their schedule for a reminder.  You can also use native mobile features, such as a click-to-call, allowing the person to call the campaign office to RSVP, or click-to-map, for turn-by-turn directions to the event on the user’s smartphone.

There are many ways a campaign or party might be able to utilize QR codes and mobile sites and as long as you follow the QR code best practices it should greatly improve the effectiveness of your offline media and increase the value of your online media.  For those who would like to learn more about QR codes and mobile features for political campaigns, mobile sites and how to get started, please visit Qfuse.com.

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About The Author:

Tim is an established sales & marketing professional, assisting Quick Fuse Media with discussions on mobile technologies and best practices.


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