W Hotels and Declare Yourself connect voters, trendsetters

W Hotels recently partnered with Declare Yourself, a nonprofit, nonpartisan group that encourages people to register to vote.

In the news
W Hotels recently partnered with Declare Yourself, a nonprofit, nonpartisan group that encourages people to register to vote. As an extension of W Hotels' Whatever/Whenever concierge service, guests can access the online Declare Yourself voter registration tool from the hotel bedrooms, business centers, and living rooms, and from the W Hotels' Web site. The tool also allows people to request absentee ballots. W Hotels prints the registration documents and mails them to the appropriate registration office. Carlos Becil, director of brand marketing for W Hotels, says the partnership is another way to help guests stay connected with the world, and to take part in the election.

“So it is our hope to get our guests... involved in this discussion in a way that is unique to the W Hotels experience,” Becil adds.

Why does it matter?
Many of W Hotels' guests are older than Declare Yourself's 18- to 29-year-old target demographic, but Marc Morgenstern, executive director of Declare Yourself, says the partnership works because the W attracts a trendsetting segment of the public who can influence their peers and younger people to get involved in the voting process.

“We need to partner with some of the most powerful brands and companies to break through the clutter and get [young people's] attention,” he says.

According to Larry Farnsworth, VP at Crosby-Volmer International, the partnership makes sense because it helps Declare Yourself connect with busy travelers, and also promotes the W brand.

“Consumers are oftentimes basing their decisions... on corporate responsibility goals,” Farnsworth says.
Five facts:

1 As part of the partnership, W Hotels will also be holding events in New York and Los Angeles, where people can register to vote.

2 In the 2004 and 2006 elections, more than 1.2 million people registered to vote through Declare Yourself and its partners on declareyourself.com.

3 Declare Yourself has formed partnerships with more than 15 other brands, including Starbucks, Yahoo, Google, MySpace, American Eagle Outfitters, and AOL.

4 When Yahoo partnered with Declare Yourself, the companies held an online voter registration drive that resulted in more than 100,000 people registering in a day.

5 Nickelodeon and Lucky Brand formed a partnership this year and launched a line of children's T-shirts inspired by Nickelodeon's “Kids Pick the President” push.

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