Why Elections Are Bigger Than Politics

I know you’re tired of hearing opinions about what happened on election day. Everyone seems to have a take on it. My inbox has been flooded for days with “Election Recaps.”

This is not an election recap.

In our business, we don’t care so much about who wins or loses as much as we care about what this means for our clients and prospective clients—and who they are trying to reach. Each election is significant, whether it brings waves of any color, or not. Elections are an annual opportunity for Americans to get out from behind the mouthpieces and have a voice in what happens to our future.

In the wake of the election, I had an opportunity to attend a meeting in DC put on by my friend and colleague, Meggan Abboud with Advocates Inc., in Washington, D.C.  The goal of that meeting was to answer one question for professionals and executives—“What does the election mean for my business?”

Many states were represented, and all gave interesting color and caveats to elections at every level across the country.

However, I heard three key points relevant to all areas of life—whether you’re selling a product, advocating for an issue, mitigating a crisis, or talking to your neighbor about the election outcome.

1 Urbanization is a growing reality.

With more and more people, particularly young people, putting down roots in and near urban centers, urban areas continue to grow in importance. Historically quiet suburbs have become ground zero for the war of the minds. 70% of the districts that flipped control from Republican to Democrat on Tuesday have a Whole Foods within the district. While a somewhat obscure stat, it shows that communities that are becoming more urbanized are being changed by people moving into those areas. It also means it is imperative for industries that make up the fabric of rural communities (e.g., agriculture) to demonstrate relevance and awareness in urban centers.

2 Where and how we engage with others is changing the way we think.

Social media continues to change the game. As the masters of our own feeds, our social media sources look less like a diverse American community and more like an echo chamber. This has implications. The platforms rarely allow for multiple of points of view, and they ingrain our own beliefs based on an algorithm that is served through our news feed.  This is why companies and organizations must engage through this channel, but do it in a way that is authentic and more than just “posting something online.”  Instead, you must think strategically and ensure that you have a digital strategy that engages your audience online but also a strategy that also engages that same audience offline—something on which we at Eckel & Vaughan have become experts on behalf of our clients.

3 Decisions are driven locally.

Issues, even those unrelated to local jurisdictions, are polarizing communities. Out of state issue-driven groups—both liberal and conservative—are spending money at the local level every month of the year to activate voters and impose their agendas on communities across the United States. Therefore, if you are not working your issue locally (often and always), you will be run over by those who see the world differently than you.

At E&V, we are always thinking about how trends in current events impact our clients. Want us thinking about you? Let’s talk.