How theSkimm's founders are making it easier to vote this year

October 5, 2016

In the genre of new media startups, theSkimm’s content is one of the most well-read of the moment. With over 4 million active subscribers — which is more than the number of New York Times digital subscribers — the company is a go-to daily news briefing for the millennial set, especially women.

With this demographic in mind, theSkimm published a report last month on how millennial women are voting in 2016. According to the report, there are over 75 million millennials in the U.S. That means that 20- to 30-somethings make up the largest living generation in America, and comprise a third of U.S. voters.

In tune with its mission to inform millennial women through aggregated information, theSkimm is now leveraging its massive digital audience to raise awareness around the 2016 presidential election. In September, the company rolled out a digital campaign designed to engage the millions of millennial readers with the upcoming election. The platform instantly helps users get registered to vote, provides digestible summaries of the candidates and political issues, answers questions around the election and offers a calendar of important dates for voters to remember.

We caught up with theSkimm’s founders, Carly Zakin and Danielle Weisberg, to discuss the campaign, voter registration and how the company is leveraging technology to raise political awareness among millennials.

Built In: Why did theSkimm decide to integrate voter registration into its content?

CZ and DW:  theSkimm makes it easier to be smarter. That mission means even more to us in an election year. We want to make sure not only that our audience registers and votes but that they feel informed about the choices they are making.  

We created Skimm the Vote so there would be a simple one-stop shop for everything Skimm'rs need: you can check your registration status, get an absentee ballot and complete your registration. Our election campaign is called #NoExcuses because there is NO excuse not to vote.

Built In: What sort of traction has theSkimm seen with the campaign so far (i.e. how many voters has it gotten registered)? 

CZ and DW: theSkimm has gotten more than 85,000 people (and counting) to register to vote through our site. This is unprecedented engagement and one of the things we are most proud of in creating theSkimm.

Built In: Specifically, how is theSkimm leveraging technology to raise awareness around the upcoming election?

CZ and DW: We've taken our mission of "making it easier to be smarter" and applied that to our election campaign across platforms. Our Skimm the Vote site has everything you need to know to get informed, registered, and vote — all in one place. We created a "Skimm the Vote" section in our newsletter with information and key dates related to the election. theSkimm's new app is also making sure that you don't miss things like the presidential debates and National Voter Registration Day by integrating them directly with your calendar, and sending you notifications along the way.

Built In: What is the ultimate objective of this campaign?

CZ and DW: theSkimm's nonpartisan mission for the 2016 election is to get our readers to feel informed about their choices, register and vote.

Images provided by theSkimm. 

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