A group with which I am involved is planning on distributing information to an area of just under 400,000 people for the upcoming elections. We've been brainstorming and came up with the regular ideas: newspaper pullout, yard signs, billboards, and internet ads.
Internet ads, while a popular choice among the group, have the drawback of having to be strategically placed on websites where large numbers of the 400,000 people visit.
Billboards give great exposure, but are expensive and will not necessarily reach your target audience.
Yard signs are quick and easy and can reach the target audience without much of a problem, but can become costly when produced large scale, may not have any effect, and can be very annoying to some.
Newspaper pullouts are actually quite cost efficient, can hold more information about specific candidates, and are not an eyesore. However, the distribution is limited, especially among the voters the group wants to target. Moreover, many people who receive the newspaper could end up merely throwing it away without looking at it, having absolutely minimal or no effect.
The only other option we can think of is the direct advertising approach of putting flyers on doors. While there is a No Solicitation Law in one of the areas, it is only legally considered solicitation if someone asks for money for a cause. The downside is that it combines a high printing cost with a small body of people who would distribute the information, making this extremely time consuming and therefore an idea of which the general group does not approve. The counter to their argument, which I have used, is that the high printing costs are offput by the lower distribution costs; the ability to reach disaffected and poor voters; direct contact with the voters, enabling us to answer questions; and a way to actually view and communicate with our communities, allowing us to see first hand what needs to be improved, how to address likely voter concerns, and being able to relay this information to the candidates.
Fortunately or unfortunately, I will not be in the area come October/November, so I would not be able to assist in the distribution. This makes it even more difficult since I am the only person in the group under 40 years of age and I was given responsibility for organizing this task and putting it on the right track.
The group in general is leaning toward either yard signs or newspaper advertising, which I view as being wasteful spending that does not accomplish our goal and will not reach our target audience.
I guess my main question is, "Am I missing any other major advertising opportunities that we could accomplish on a small budget to reach an area of nearly 400,000 people?" If not, does my argument for the door hanging flyers make sense or did I just convince myself it sounded good?
Any comments would be welcome! Thanks.