Leveraging Mobile Apps in Politics
Written by João Marcelo Martins on
An app is also a great tool for a candidate to be vocal about his values, background, take supporters backstage with him, for transparency’s sake and for identification purposes. In this day and age, supporters want to experience this kind of connection. An About section can provide the candidate's history, his professional political career, experience, accomplishments, etc., while social media connectors can be a window into his day-to-day activities.
At the campaign stage, showing that the candidate is open to discussion is very important. To listen to future voters’ concerns and understand the community’s needs, an app can be as much a communication tool as means to collect precious data to get ahead in the polls, fair and square. The option to comment in various sections should be enabled to encourage conversation, even negative comments can be managed and turned around, politicians should know better than to be scared of them. Of course, it is possible to moderate comments, but a mobile app can very well become a space to discuss ideas openly and show an interest in everyone’s opinion.
Responsibility towards community
Making the app engaging is key and user experience should come first when defining your concept. In terms of usability, a Submit section can be an entertaining and useful feature at once. Voters can use it to ask questions before an event, post photos during and after a convention, voice specific demands and so on. User Generated Content is a powerful way to both enrich the app and better comprehend how citizens perceive your actions.
Another way to keep users returning to any app is by offering relevant news. Topics of public interest can be addressed in Articles, Videos or even Audio sections, depending on the format you want to display the content with. Delivering news about the campaign, the current office, but also about issues that are useful to the community in general, can help make a mobile app essential beyond its primary use, thus giving this new channel for politicians more visibility.
As mentioned earlier, giving voice to citizens is a vital aspect of any political interaction. A candidate needs to have possible channels available to achieve that goal. A mobile app is probably the most cutting edge one. For example, with a Chat section, voters have never been closer. And beyond a political campaign or political agenda, a mobile app can even shed light on non-partisan actions, initiatives to do what’s best for the community, regardless of their political orientations. In the end, a mobile app can bring people together (the Pokémon Go effect is living proof of the phenomenon), why not use it to bring change in the world?