In Brief: Texting as a Campaign Tool; Nasdaq Proposes Diversity Mandate

January 2021
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In 2020, Texting Took Off as a Political Campaign Tool

For political campaigns, the 2020 presidential election was “the texting election.” As Smithsonian magazine reports, text messages have become “one of our most powerful, if not our most powerful, tools” for soliciting donations and mobilizing voters, says Daniel Souweine, CEO of GetThru, a peer-to-peer texting platform for Democratic candidates. Only 5 to 10 percent of people will read an email, but 80 to 90 percent will read a text, he says.

Souweine estimates that a billion text messages have been sent during the 2020 presidential election. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, texting has helped replace door-to-door canvassing and street-side voter registration. 

Making political donations via text, which are added to users’ cellphone bills, “is easier and more impulsive,” says Simon Vodrey, a political-marketing expert at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. (Under U.S. Federal Election Commission rules it’s illegal to mass-text groups of people without their consent, but campaign volunteers can individually text voters in their own areas. )

“We look back … at the 2016 election and call it the social media election. I think after 2020 people are going to look back and say this was the texting election,” Thomas Peters, founder and chief executive of RumbleUp, a texting platform for Republicans, told NPR.

Nasdaq Proposes to Mandate Diversity for Corporate Boards 

Joining other entities such as Goldman Sachs and the State of California that have already enacted similar rules, Nasdaq has announced a proposal that would force companies listed on the exchange to hire at least two board directors based on their race, gender or sexual orientation.

As CNBC reported, Nasdaq filed the proposal with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Dec. 1. If approved, then it would mandate that all companies listed on Nasdaq’s U.S. exchange publicly disclose statistics about the diversity of their boards of directors. Nasdaq-listed companies would be required to have, or explain why they do not have, at least two “diverse” directors, including one who “self-identifies” as female and one who self-identifies as either an “underrepresented minority” or LGBTQ+.

Companies that fail to meet the mandate risk being removed from Nasdaq’s list, a punishment usually reserved for failing to maintain minimum bid prices and market value.

More Recruiters Using Instagram to Find Job Candidates

Seventy-two percent of recruiters used LinkedIn to search for job candidates in 2020, but that number represented an 18 percent drop compared to 2019, a new report says. Meanwhile, 37 percent of recruiters are using Instagram to find job candidates, a surge of 20 percent, Fast Company reports.

Kelly Lavin, senior vice president of talent at Jobvite, an HR-software firm that produces the annual “Recruiter Nation” report, says a job candidate’s Instagram posts can give recruiters a better understanding of that person by seeing how they present themselves online and the content they share.

Job-seekers who use Instagram in their searches should consider whether their posts reflect well on them as professionals, says Vicki Salemi, a career expert at But rather than focus solely on your work, your Instagram feed should show you as a multidimensional person, she says.

“Treat Instagram as a visual résumé of your skills, experiences, strengths and interests,” Salemi says. To stay abreast of new developments and trends in your field, follow the Instagram accounts of companies, associations and professional organizations that interest you, she says. 

With More Employees Working from Home, Who Pays for the Equipment? 

As the coronavirus pandemic compels more employees to equip their home offices for remote work, many wonder who will pay for those expenses. 

As Reuters recently reported, about two-thirds of companies are covering the costs of their employees’ home-office gear such as laptop computers, mobile phones, printers and chairs, according to a survey by HR consultancy Mercer. Thirty-two percent of companies said they were not helping workers with those expenses.

According to a new survey by the nonprofit organization WorldatWork, 25 percent of companies are covering the cost of internet access for their remote employees.

Under current tax law, salaried employees are not allowed to deduct out-of-pocket expenses for home-office equipment, says Michael Hennessy, a financial planner with Harbor Crest Wealth Advisors in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Self-employed entrepreneurs may be able to take advantage of the home-office deduction. 

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