How Do You Reach People?


One of my contracts is doing news roundups about health care issues, so I tend to do a lot of research on the subject. Recently in the course of doing so I ran across an article in Market Watch that made me think.

Now I am not going to espouse any political stance here. My views have no bearing on the subject. What I am going to do is take a look at a politically charged subject and how one side of the argument is making their case known.

Health care reform, as I am sure you cannot help noticing, is one of the top issues facing our Presidential contenders in their disputatious run for the Oval Office. Both sides of the aisle have presented proposed fixes which are hotly debated across the media and over water coolers nation wide.

An important facet of the discussion is veterans’ health care, and it is one that Sen. McCain is taking some heat over. The interesting thing is how that heat is being applied.

Via Market Watch:

This week, the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) launched a nationwide radio ad campaign raising serious concerns about Senator McCain’s commitment to veterans’ health care. In addition to the radio ads, AFGE, which represents employees in the Department of Veterans Affairs, launched a Web site,, and a series of YouTube ads featuring union veterans voicing their concerns about McCain’s controversial veterans health care platform.

It is hardly surprising that the AFGE is using YouTube. The Obama Campaign and recent debates have shown its use in reaching a broad audience in a viral fashion. What might surprise you is that the primary outreach is via (drumroll, please) radio.

While the internet is an incredible tool for reaching and mobilizing people, savvy campaigners are well aware that radio is one of their best options for reaching both sides of the digital divide. The broadcast campaign will cross socioeconomic and literacy barriers impossible for YouTube. Using the two in tandem to create a synergistic effect is a glimpse of the future.

Just as the wise radio stations out there have been embracing streaming and other web-based evolutionary advancements, those who wish to really get their message out have not forgotten radio. Far from it. The range of ads on the airwaves (in both English and Spanish) from both parties in phenomenal.

Keep your ears open during the coming election season, you will hear what I mean…

Photo Courtesy of AFLCIO2008, used under its Creative Commons license


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