I found Linda Hirshman’s article in Sunday’s New York Times Magazine on how gender influences political choices intriguing, both as a citizen and as a nonprofit marketer. Hirshman’s frame, based on lots of poll data, is: Women, who vote in greater numbers than men do, are either voting for or against Hillary Clinton because she is a woman, and being able to appeal to female voters could be the key to her victory or loss.
Here are some outtakes on why that’s so, and how those insights can strengthen your nonprofit marketing to women:
- Premise: Women vote to protect their interests (men vote because they enjoy politics)
- How to work it: Noted psychologist Carol Gilligan says that women are powerfully motivated by their interests (“family, education, household, health care, war and peace, economic opportunity”) and if you can engage them, you’re gold. Relate your issue to women’s interests, but make sure you know what you’re talking about. Test, test, test.
- Premise: When a women holds office or runs for office, other women are more likely to be engaged in politics. Also, fewer women turn to media outlets with mainly male sources.
- How to work it: Focus campaigns to women on women — org leaders, program participants, etc. You’ll be more likely to engage women audiences.
- Premise: Women are more likely to have an open mind.
- How to work it: Considering breaking multi-part marketing campaigns into more drops (via mail or email) to women. Keep trying to approach the same offering, issue or ask from different points of view.
- Premise: Women network, organically, so already have a network (or two, or three) in place. That goes for candidates, but also for their constituencies/supporters.
- How to work it: Pitch your “forward-to-a-friend” and other viral campaigns more specifically. Just saw a new novel marketed to women with a “buy one, get one for your best friend free” offer. These relationships count, so make use of them.
I’ll keep you posted on more presidential tips for engaging women, and other groups. Do you have any to share? Please email them to me today.
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