Improve the success of your Board election by adding colour to your election materials.

Can colour, design and accessibility make a significant contribution to resident board member elections? Will the use of colour and the effect of design on readability and resident motivation improve candidate and voter engagement? In UK Engage’s experience the answer to both questions is yes it can. Having managed the election process for numerous ALMOs, TMOs and social housing providers, UK Engage has found that the effective use of colour and design can help raise awareness of elections, improve candidate nomination numbers and increase voter turnout. How is this done?  Through well-designed, colour electoral materials such as nomination forms, candidate statements, election notices, ballot papers and marketing materials.

Can you afford not to print in colour?

Although those responsible for running a Board election may be tempted to choose black and white candidate nomination forms, ballot papers and marketing materials due to tight budget restrictions, the statistical evidence available would suggest that this approach may be self-defeating. The experience of customers like Homes for Haringey and Kensington & Chelsea TMO clearly shows that any additional cost is often justified by the added value: statistics for KCTMO showed that in 2012 voter turnout increased by 23% after trailing colour voter packs. UK Engage has found that such experiences are typical not only in the housing sector but also within the healthcare sector, where UK Engage runs the election process for a number of NHS Foundation Trusts.  In terms of engagement it’s no longer a question of whether you can afford to print in colour: it’s more a question of can you afford not to?

The psychology of colour and engagement?

Numerous studies have clearly demonstrated that colour communicates better than black and white. Indeed, research shows that colour visuals increase a subject’s willingness to read by as much as 80 per cent [1]. More importantly for those organisations wishing to improve engagement and increase voter turnout, further research discovered that the use of colour can increase motivation and participation by up to 80 per cent, and can enhance learning and improve retention by as much as 75 per cent[2] .

Colour appeals to our senses and we therefore tend to respond to it more positively. After all, we process the information around us in colour, so we naturally respond more favourably to it. Text is physically analysed by the left hand side of the brain, whereas colour is processed by the right. Materials that combine both text and colour accelerate the mind’s ability to assimilate and understand printed materials. Colour gives viewers an extra  visual ‘tag’ and can help us to process, store and retain images and information more efficiently. In fact, the Pantone Institute has found that the understanding of any document can be increased by as much as 80 per cent if colour materials are used[3].

There is clear evidence that the use of colour materials, in conjunction with the election support of an experienced electoral services provider like UK Engage, can make a significant contribution to the success of any resident Board member election.

For more information about electoral engagement and our elections services for the housing sector:
Call UK Engage on 0161 209 4808 or email enquiries@uk-engage.org

References: [1] & [2] Loyola University School of Business, Chicago, IL., as reported in Hewlett-Packard’s Advisor, June 1999; (http://www.hpadvisor.com). [3] & [4] Pantone Institute, The Power of Colour http://www.mondigroup.com/products/PortalData/1/Resources/microsite_dsf/presentations/03_DSF_Transpromo_Kodak.pdf

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