To translate complex information into an easily understood format so that as many voters as possible knew about the referendum on our voting system and felt confident enough to participate.
The referendum had no or low interest from voters and no or low personal relevance to them. It was a highly complex subject matter, about which voters were largely uninformed. There was also lots of environmental competition for the public’s attention, given the campaign was held close to the 2011 Rugby World Cup!
We adopted a voter-centric communication and engagement approach based on two insights:
- Confidence is in the mind of the voter. We needed to capture the attention and the interest of all voters. The end game was to grow their confidence and reduce their ‘performance anxiety’, so that they felt confident they could make an informed choice.
- It’s all about voter choice. Voters will engage if the information is made simple. Don’t bombard everyone with the same information up-front. Provide them with the basics and encourage them to find out more if and when they want it. Make it easy for our audience to self-select the level of information they want.
We used plain English to translate complex content into simple messaging ‘chunks’.
We developed a range of interactive tools to help make it easy for people to access the information they wanted, depending on their level of interest.
We carefully phased the campaign and left the promotion to closer to polling day to provide space after the Rugby World Cup.
We surrounded the campaign with an engagement strategy targeting key influencers and the media, to ensure people understood how and why the campaign was constructed and executed the way it was.
Benchmark, pre and post campaign research confirmed that all campaign measures had been exceeded.
- Voter awareness of the Referendum. Set 85%. Achieved 88%
- Voter confidence to take part. Set 55%. Achieved 77%