It is an election year in Nigeria.
I collated a list of tools that election managers and volunteers will find useful to do their jobs like managing communication with the electorate, mobilizing party volunteers, taking important notes of political meetings and for keeping track of every information that can make their principal win the elections.
- A Good Phone:
You need a phone with good battery power and sometimes a power bank back up.
This might sound obvious because it is very important for you to be reachable by your employer, volunteer team and electorates that will need your attention.
Another important thing is your choice of phone. What works is an Android or iPhone with enough space to accommodate important apps like WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.
2. SMS and Data Topup:
Don’t underestimate the power of SMS. The truth is that people check their SMS within 5 minutes of receiving them and respond faster to it compared to social media. This means that you can use it to reach the electorate, mobilize people for action and spread your campaign message.
But, imagine how time-consuming it will be if you are to send out SMS messages to 50,000 recipients one after the other from your phone. It is practically impossible.
But with platforms like eStoreSMS.com, you can automatically send different types of SMS messages (like flash SMS, Voice call and text) to over 84 million people at once.
With eStoreSMS.com, you can also recharge airtime and data across over 760 telcos.
You can download eStoreSMS app on Google Play store
SIDENOTE: eStoreSMS also offers access to a genuine database of voters for all the 714 local governments areas in Nigeria. Request for phone number database here
3. Canva for quick image designs.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words.
If you are in charge of social media and graphics, you will soon realize how important it is to be able to quickly put images together. There are several other mobile apps to capture screen, collage pictures and even record and edit videos to post online.
Canva is a free picture editing tool that anyone can use to quickly put together a nice image. You don’t need to be a graphics expert to create a simple Facebook or Twitter image or infographics.
Here is the link to Canva: https://www.canva.com/
Like I mentioned earlier you will need to stay connected and monitor what is happening across the locations you have been assigned to work as a party agent.
With the social media apps, you can monitor discussions across the platforms, learn how your party is being perceived and provide timely feedback or counter false rumours spreading across social media platforms.
Also as an election campaign manager, you may also explore the option of creating a WhatsApp group for your campaign team. This will help you manage your team, assign responsibilities, share updates and get feedbacks on time.
Google has a lot of free tools that you can use without paying. Here are some that are going to be super useful for an election manager.
(5) Google alerts to keep tab. –
Google alerts keeps you informed real-time about any news that might affect your candidate or his opponents. You can use this information to respond on time in order to take advantage of the opportunity. Here is how to set up Google alert to track topics of interest.
This is the perfect email platform. Gmail also makes it easy to synchronize all your official emails into one account. You can also add extensions to “power up” your emails like Mixmax and several other extensions
(7). G Suite:
These tools comprise Gdoc, spreadsheet and presentation. All 3 make it easy to collaborate with your team in creating documents (which can be used for speeches), spreadsheet (which can be used to manage budget other data) and Presentation (which is like a powerpoint presentation tool). You can easily share the files with other people to add their input real time..
(8) Google Calendar:
This is a perfect tool to organise your schedule and that of your candidate during the election. It enables you to plan your schedule and avoid mixups.
Google calendar also allows you to set reminders for any upcoming activity, meeting or event, a feature you should take advantage of.
(9) Google Note:
Use this free tool to draft your to do list, take of details during meeting and note ideas and actionable plans for when you will need them. You can also use Evernote app for this.
(10) Google Map:
This is a really important tool, especially if you are in Lagos where traffic can occur anytime. With Google Map, you can plan better how to commute.
It can also use it to map all the polling units assigned to you and re-assign agents in your team effectively.