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Short Communications Can Have A Powerful Impact. Just Like Your Vote.

By Kirsten Liston

· communications

What does Rethink Compliance have in common with Best Buy, Lyft, Nike, Twitter, and Blue Apron? We’re proud to offer Election Day as a full, paid holiday for all of our employees — both full and part time.

Giving people a paid day off helps reduce barriers and encourages everyone in the Rethink family — regardless of their political leanings — to vote. Our leadership team agrees: When we support voters, we support our democracy, which is in all of our interests.

But don’t take it from me — take it from Yello Pain, whose “My Vote Don’t Count” has riveted me since I first spotted it on YouTube last January.

The three and half minute video has all of the elements we aim for in great compliance communications:

  • Relatable: The artist is deeply familiar with “my vote won’t count” cynicism and skepticism — in fact, that’s where he starts the video. He shows his audience he understands the way they feel … and then proceeds to turn that argument on its head. He also talks in specifics that matter to his intended audience: “They’re the ones who decide if your kids at school get to eat steak or corn dogs.”
     
  • Clarifies the complex without over-simplifying: Yello Pain doesn’t spout high-level platitudes about voting or government action. But he also doesn’t get lost in the details. Instead, he dives straight in to clearly explain what the executive, legislative, and judicial branches are and how they work together — and how to vote in a way that makes a real difference.
     
  • Makes key points memorable: He sums things up in succinct, memorable statements that rhyme. To make the point that the executive branch doesn’t formulate new laws, the legislative branch does, he explains: “None [of the executive branch office holders] make no laws, they just be checkin’ em. The laws come to their desk and all they do is say no or yes to them.” Perfect! And now I will remember this point forever.
     
  • Has emotional impact: Yello Pain doesn’t rely on information alone to make his point — there’s a larger emotional wallop, which is probably why the video has nearly 2 million views. His underlying message is basically: There’s a game being played here and there are people who don’t want you to know it. You need to act in your own best interests or no one else will.

As one commenter said: “He just taught me more than school does.” To me, it’s more proof that a great short communication can have a powerful impact. Just like your vote.

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