Why local politicians are turning to text messages to campaign

Local News

We’re less than two weeks away from the November election, and campaign runners are finding new ways to get their message across.

Along with robocalls, people are now getting text messages. 

A couple of local communication professionals say campaigns utilizing technology this election year is a long time coming.

“If you think about it, we’ve seen campaigns develop robust websites, very active on social media,” said Adam Earnheardt, YSU professor and communication department chair.

With candidates for office now upping their game with text messages, the question becomes, “How did they get your cell phone number?”

“Whether you’ve donated to a political campaign or even if you’ve signed up to support a cause on a website and, along the way, you’ve given your cell phone number, chances are they have that number and they have other information about you too,” Earnheardt said.

Candidates are even sending “personalized” text messages with your name.

“They might have your name or they might say, ‘Hey Brittany, go out and vote.’ Well, they might say that but they are able to get that information because you’ve actually signed up for something along the way,” Earnheardt said.

Not everyone likes robocalls from political campaigns, so that may be part of the reason candidates have turned to text messages — it’s less invasive.

“They probably look at this as, it’s just as easy to delete a text. It’s easier to do that than it is to pick up a phone and hang it up if you don’t want to talk to somebody,” Earnheardt said.

But what if you don’t want to see any messages?

“If you want to opt out of it, if you want it to stop the messages from coming to you via text, you can just type in ‘stop’ and send it. And a lot of times, it will automatically off their list,” Earnheardt said.

And, there’s a right way of doing it.

“So, if you see a ‘stop to end’ on the end of your text message, you know it was done properly,” said Don Schuler, mobile communications consultant.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending on WKBN.com