Using Mobile Phones

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Before the campaign
With regard to both SMS communication and smartphones, you need to prepare the relevant technical infrastructure. For smartphones, ensure that your website (or a sub website) is accessible for all mainstream smartphones platforms like Apple, Blackberry, Android and Nokia. For SMSs, you need to think about using an easily accessible online platform that allows you to send cheap and targeted text messages to differentiated distribution lists. Ask your mobile phone operators and online services (and compare also with Skype) how much they charge for such mass SMSs – and think in advance to what extent you might want to use them. You may also want to consider what SMS (or even call) distribution lists you should establish and sort subscribers accordingly. For instance, it makes sense to have one list for candidates, one for party activists from your own party, and one list with a vote-reminder on election day (and, as always, one group does not necessarily rule out another).

The next step in an active approach to mobile phone campaigning is to constantly give interested people the opportunity to register their mobile number, or to access activities with their (smart)phone. Can people register their number on your campaign website? Can people get a reminder to vote on election day? Can people sign up for key information or the latest news concerning, for example, candidates or nearby events? But interaction is not a one-way street in which the people you are in contact with remain passive. What form of interaction can you offer people? Can they vote via SMS or smartphone on current issues and developments? Is there any other action they can take? Think about these things when you prepare your campaign!

Pay particular attention to the smartphone compatibility of your campaign website. Create a particular sub-site such as ‘’ or ‘’ that is accessible for all mainstream smartphones, and where targeted and less data-intensive information is presented.

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