Lifetime Wants To Get Vote Out

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As Lifetime Networks embarks on its fifth non-partisan, multiplatform "Every Woman Counts" campaign, the women’s-targeted programmer has enlisted a coalition of media and advocacy groups.

Hearst Magazines’ Redbook, ComsoGirl! and Marie Claire and such non-profit group Business and Professional Women/USA and The White House project will team with Lifetime in an attempt to reach millions of women nationwide and drive them to register and vote in 2008. Lifetime is a 50/50 joint venture with Hearst Corp. and The Walt Disney Co.

First launched in 1992 and now entering its fifth presidential election cycle, the 2008 Every Woman Counts campaign will encompass the network’s most extensive on-air programming, digital content and grassroots initiatives to date. These include a town hall and a televised forum with presidential candidates focused on issues critical to women, notably child care and early learning, domestic abuse, pay equity and women’s health, according to network officials.

Throughout the 2008 election season, Lifetime will conduct national polls, hold training sessions for women to learn how to run for elected office at all levels, host special events at both the Democratic and Republican National Conventions and tip off voter registration and turnout drives, driven by an on-air, bilingual (Hispanic)  public service announcement campaign.

Under one key element of the campaign, Lifetime will go cross-country asking women, celebrities and candidates what issue tops their agenda by completing the statement: “If I were president, I would…”  The responses -- collected on-camera, online and on postcards at grassroots events -- will be highlighted in monthly on-air, broadband and video on demand vignettes and will be shared with candidates throughout the campaign to get their responses to these issues. Ultimately, these responses will be delivered to the new leaders in the White House and Congress in January 2009, said Lifetime officials.

“We know that 35 million eligible women did not vote in 2004, and, despite the fact that women are the majority of the population, they are significantly lacking in political representation at home, where women hold only 16% of the seats in Congress, and internationally, where the U.S. ranks 67th in the world,” said Meredith Wagner, executive vice president, public affairs, Lifetime Networks in a statement. “By mounting our largest Every Woman Counts campaign to date, forming the first-ever nonpartisan women’s media and nonprofit coalition, and working with our distribution partners and sponsors, Lifetime hopes to change these statistics and ensure that women are heard on the campaign trail, in the media and in the halls of power.”

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