A critical component of Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote’s (APIAVote) mission is to educate and empower immigrants to participate in the electoral process. By conveying culturally appropriate and translated messages and engaging trusted messengers and outlets, we can effectively engage this base of voters.
APIAVote’s Communications Program is a multi-pronged effort, focusing on not just mainstream media, but also paying attention to ethnic media. APIAVote is working to build an infrastructure with Asian ethnic media and press. With the building of these long term partnerships, APIAVote aims to build a mutually beneficial mechanism in which ethnic press is given more tools, access to research and data, and information on the elections that they may not previously have had the capacity to cover. Their increased reporting and coverage of elections, on the other hand, will directly impact communities that depend on the ethnic media.
Research done on the AAPI electorate has found that 48% of the AAPI population consumes ethnic media, a number that rises to 55% in AAPI communities that are above fifty years of age. Thus, building rapport and an infrastructure with ethnic media is crucial going into 2016 and beyond, to ensure that our communities are receiving accurate information on how to vote, as well as so they are able to follow the elections.
This infrastructure has already gotten off the ground throughout the last couple of election cycles, as APIAVote has continued to purchase ads in ethnic media with our election protection work and specifically to advertise our election hotline available in various languages. Building this permanent infrastructure not only increases the bandwidth of ethnic media coverage of elections, but also reaches more of our community who may be limited English proficient to learn how to register to vote, and the various ways one can vote.
APIAVote’s public service announcement (PSA) that aired in 2014 was broadcast nationally 225,355 times on various network channels during the summer at a value of $2,658,886, thanks to Comcast. Plans are being made to create another PSA for us in 2016.