Overview of this campaign
The initiative: In the run up to the General Elections of 2014, The Times of India launched a major national initiative that sought to inspire millions of young, hitherto unregistered citizens across India to come forward, get registered as a voter in their respective areas and join the democratic process of the country. This initiative was called – ‘Rise Up’.
The primary aim was to remove all barriers that keep a citizen from getting enrolled be it ignorance or a non-responsive system. Once a citizen has been well informed and guided through the process of voter registration, he was motivated to step out of his home and exercise his franchise.
Activities: The initiative was launched in partnership with Janaagraha, a Bangalore based NGO that aims to strengthen democracy in India by working for citizen participation in urban local government.
With activities across 16 cities, Rise Up aimed at spreading awareness on voter registration process, resolving queries that the citizens had towards the process and worked towards closure of applications with election officers once all formalities are completed at the citizen’s end.
The most successful leg of this initiative was the Corporate Outreach program that targeted those citizens who have shifted their places of residence on account of employment especially in cosmopolitan cities like Bangalore, Hyderabad and Gurgaon, and remain unregistered as voters. They are clueless about getting their details updated basis the new address.
For creating the relevant buzz across other platforms and spreading its reach, Rise Up was widely covered in print through advertisements and editorial stories. Additionally, visibility was improved through outdoor sites in Hyderabad, Mumbai, etc and postering exercises in housing societies in Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad.
On the digital front, a referral program called ‘Power Voter’ was launched asking users to refer their friends to get registered as a voter. A selfie based interface was developed for the website where users were asked to post their selfies with their inked finger.
Results for this campaign
Initially, the Rise Up initiative focused on urging the citizens to register themselves and enroll as voters, and at a later stage, focused on motivating them to step out of their homes and cast their vote.
For the sole purpose of building user interest, three short films were created for spreading awareness about the importance of exercising their franchise. These films received tremendous response with different promo and main videos receiving more than 10.5 lac views in total. The films can be viewed at the below mentioned links-
Asurakshit Mahila Party: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvwuDmqeMR8
Chai Pani Party: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8Td5oxVVA8
People’s Pothole Party: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJW2TEmG8UQ
On the social media front, with a connected user base of more than 16000 likes, the
Facebook page was buzzing with queries about the voting process, and at a later stage with posts by excited citizens who had received their voter cards. Enthusiastic first time voters engaged into discussions and conversations posting their queries online.
Readers were also asked to post their selfies on the website once they had casted their vote. We received more than 500 selfies on the website as well as on social media from enthusiastic voters.
More than 3000 voters connected with us in our on ground activities organized at multiple corporates in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and other cities. Several others took help from the information provided in a simple precise way on the website and connected directly with their EROs. Guidance sessions and Voter Registration drives across the country helped resolve the queries at a personal level.
• Along with the Corporate Outreach Programmes, signature drives were organized in cities like, Lucknow, Ludhiana, Chandigarh, etc. Hundreds of readers wrote messages during these drives pledging to exercise their franchise in the General Elections.