Afraid to go home for Thanksgiving in the aftermath of what was one of the nation’s most divisive presidential elections in recent history?
Just in time for the holiday, public relations agency Peter Mayer Advertising has launched an initiative called the ReUnited States campaign to help people restore relationships with family and friends that might have been lost or damaged on social media during the heated campaign season.
“We’ve learned people matter more to each other than politics,” said Michelle Edelman, chief strategy officer at Peter Mayer. “Yet it’s hard to mend fences after all of the flared emotions, so we created this cultural giveback campaign called ReUnited States to help make it happen.”
The website’s main page allows visitors to take a short quiz that gives them an extended olive branch card they can either send as an email or post on social media. They can also visit the website’s general gallery to select a digital card that they feel best pertains to them.
Examples of the cards Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton supporters can choose from include: “Consider yourself unblocked. You’re more important than politics,” and “I re-elect to be friends again.”
“The 2016 presidential election has divided our country more than ever. And sadly, we've been driven to unfollow, unfriend, or block anyone who disagrees with us. Sure, that person's out of your Facebook Feed, but did you really want them out of your life? reads the website’s main page.
“It's time to refollow, refriend and reunite.
The agency cited a survey by Monmouth University in September in which 70 percent of voters said that "this year's presidential race has brought out the worst in people."
Peter Mayer’s own survey of 716 Americans conducted the week of October 24 also found that "18.3 percent of peopel say that the elecion has had an impact on their relationships, and the overwhelming majority (75.5 percent) of those were negative impacts....
"Of people reporting impacts, 36 percent of them had unfriended, blocked, unfollowed or gotten into an online argument with someone due to that person's views on the election," the ad agency reported.
Most of the people who were unfriended or unfollowed were distant friends or acquaintances, but 14.6 percent of respondents admitted to taking such drastic action against a close friend or relative.
However, about a third (38.2 percent) said they would consider mending those fences post-election, while 75 percent agreed that the damage done wasn’t meant to be permanent.
“We believe that a little good-natured nudge in the right direction can help people extend an electronic olive branch and take the first step toward refriending and reconciliation,” Edelman said.