January 2022 - JVA Campaigns
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Understanding Your Audience: The Difference Between Conservatives and Liberals
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Understanding Your Audience: The Difference Between Conservatives and Liberals

Understanding how people think and receive messages is the first step to winning your election, legislative battle, or public affairs campaign. To win people over, you need to meet them at their value system. When you understand what matters most to them and what they like and dislike, you can then tailor your campaign and messaging accordingly.

The mindsets described below help explain the complexity of people’s value systems and emphasize why any campaign message must be crafted in a way that speaks to them. 

Conservative Mindset—Strict Father Figure Model

Those who identify as conservative tend to follow the Strict Father Figure Model and value loyalty, authority, personal responsibility, and moral hierarchy. They are activated by fear and are natural protectors. 

Progressive Mindset—Nurturing Parent Model

Those who identify as more progressive follow the Nurturing Parent Model and see government and its actors as protectors who hold the safety net for the less fortunate. They embrace fairness, equality, and empathy. 

Moderate Working-Class Voters

Moderate working-class voters take great pride in their culture, work, background, and community. They respect tradition, hard work, and personal responsibility. While they have admiration for law and law enforcement, they dislike forced interference—be it the government or the media. This results in the resentfulness of elites and political correctness. 

Since 2012, JVA Campaigns has been working with the United Steelworkers (USW), House Majority PAC, and other progressive allies to identify messages that effectively move working-class voters. The result has been an overwhelming amount of victories all across the country. Although it’s important to understand the issues, what’s most important is getting to the core of what these voters see as a better life for themselves and for their families.

In Conclusion

Regardless of the type of campaign you are waging, when speaking to your target audience you must meet them where they are. Focus on their values and community rather than polarizing national issues, and develop a layered communications plan that effectively speaks to all members of your target audience. Frame your message with metaphors, images, and emotion. Lastly, be present at local events, communicate through local media and leaders, and put personal, human touches on your materials wherever possible. 

Brand Consistency Across Social Media
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Brand Consistency Across Social Media

Social media has opened the door to connecting with more audiences in new and different ways. Today, clients have to act quickly to stay relevant. But once your message is out there, it’s out there for good, and there are no take-backs. So your client’s social media creative content must be consistent with your brand’s mission as well as the customers’ or viewers’ expectations.

Branding is more than just having the same logo or mark appear on all your communications. It’s about the consistency of tone both verbally and visually. Brand inconsistency can be confusing and lead to customers missing the messaging or even missing general brand awareness.

So how do you solve this problem, given that the typical viewer on most social media has a very limited attention span? Most people glance at or scroll through content rather than really absorbing and reading it. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind.

Keep your brand’s voice consistent across platforms.

Each social media venue is unique, so it’s OK to switch up the tone a bit if one is a little more conversational than another, but the core message should be consistent and not stray from the overall brand message. With social media, many employees have become advocates for their companies and their brands. This is a great way to expand your messaging capabilities with minimal cost, but you might need to rein in employees, all with different personalities and voices, posting about your brand without any sort of consistency.

Give the designs some brand consistency.

It takes a while to build up recognition with a brand. Do not throw customers or viewers off by switching up the look and feel of the design every couple of weeks. Most people are just scrolling through channels and not really reading. If the viewer can spot your communication at a glance and recognize it immediately, then you are two steps ahead of the competition. Establish specific brand standards for social like every other pieces of your branded campaign. If your branding uses a lot of custom icons or duotone images, pick that style up in your social media.

Think about the user experience and if these communications are driving a specific action.

If the content has a specific action and the viewer or user is sent somewhere (landing page, registration page, or an app), consider if there will be a disconnect when the user/viewer lands there. Is there brand consistency where they are going, or will it throw them for a loop because it looks and sounds so different? Users will think that they clicked wrong or that the link is wrong if the visual and written experience does not match up at first glance.

To summarize, maintaining brand consistency, especially in an era characterized by intense connectivity, is a good way to stand out in an already oversaturated market.

Design at JVA Campaigns

JVA Campaigns is a full-service public affairs and political consulting firm offering a wide array of services to help our clients win. We help organizations influence stakeholders and decision-makers across the country using proven principles, custom strategies, and of course, great design.