Running electoral registration - Scotland

Using local authority owned media channels

Using local authority owned media channels

You should continue to consider the best places to display your advertising. Buying media (advertising space) such as outdoor poster sites and press advertisements can be prohibitively expensive. More inexpensive options such as community newsletters or local listings magazines may also be out of reach.

You may, however, have a range of local-authority-owned channels available to you, for example:

  • local authority residents’ magazine
  • internal staff newsletters
  • local authority-owned vehicles
  • local authority-owned poster sites
  • local authority buildings
  • bus shelters and billboards
  • notice boards
  • social media channels

You should undertake an audit of potential owned media and consider the reach and frequency for each option. This will help you to establish how much of your target audience would be exposed to the activity and the number of times they would be exposed to the activity.

You should keep any information up to date and relevant and check for any changes since activities were last undertaken.

Your local authority website can also be used as an additional low-cost media channel. You should ensure that your web content is up-to-date and includes links on key pages to external websites, such as and

How could I make use of social media channels?

Social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and others provide an inexpensive opportunity to raise awareness and can be used for responding to public queries.

Ongoing promotional work is required to build the numbers using your social media channels.

Interesting, amusing, urgent or engaging messages are more likely to be shared by users and reach a wider audience. Posts should be made at key times, for example, at the start of the canvass, to ensure maximum impact.

Think about how external events could provide a hook for social media activity. For example, we have previously made a series of electoral registration Valentine’s Day-themed tweets on 14 February.

Social media also offers opportunities to immediately see the impact of your work. For example, how many times a Facebook post is liked or shared, or how often a tweet is retweeted.

However, social media has limitations – for example, social media channels may in many cases be limited to those who are already engaged with the local authority.

Last updated: 10 August 2021