Election ’16: The Power of Emerging Media

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election

With the 2016 election upon us, the political phone calls, flyers in the mail, and online advertisements from candidates hoping to win your votes are in full swing. No matter what political party you identify with, it is important to exercise your right to vote! With that in mind, it has been four years since the last election and the use of emerging media to encourage Americans to vote has grown exponentially.

Not only have emerging media platforms such as social media provided the public with easier access to the stances of the political candidates, but it has played a large role in encouraging those who do not believe that their vote counts to head to the polls. For over 20 years, Rock The Vote, a nonprofit organization, has focused their efforts on using popular culture to encourage Americans to vote- specifically millennials. For many young Americans, registering to vote can seem like a confusing and intimidating process. Rock The Vote takes the mystery out of registering and provides voters with all of the information they need come election day from what to bring to where their voting location is.

This year, Rock The Vote teamed up with American Eagle Outfitters as part of their #WeAllCan campaign. The campaign encourages Millennials to be independent, embrace their unique style, and use their voice to encourage change. American Eagle Outfitters released a small line of clothing in conjunction with Rock The Vote to help spread awareness of the organization. Additionally, Rock The Vote not only has television advertisements, but are very active on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook promoting the importance of activism and voting. Rock The Vote understands that one of the most prominent ways to reach consumers in today’s society is through the emerging media outlets such as the internet and social media. In doing this, the stigma around voting as being difficult and pointless has begun to disappear, making the appeal of voicing your opinion much greater.

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American Eagle Outfitters merchandise with in conjunction with Rock The Vote. (Image from rockthevote.com)

The power of emerging media to encourage activism and change is truly significant and we often underestimate the power of a simple Tweet or Instagram photo. Through emerging media outlets, Americans have been given access to a wealth of information on the 2016 election and have been encouraged to use their constitutional rights to voice their opinions. Emerging media outlets such as social media are no longer just for updating friends and family on your vacation or snapping a photo of your breakfast. These outlets have become platforms for empowering Americans young and old alike to stand up for their beliefs and get involved.


Kristen Cosner is currently a graduate student at West Virginia University in the Integrated Marketing Communications master’s program. This blog post originally appeared on her blog Artistry & Elegance

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