How we got Guernsey to sign-up, wise-up and turn-up to their first island-wide election
If you want to create real change, you need to be a voter.
The political participation of its citizens can gauge the health of any democracy. Elections not only give governments legitimacy, but it can also create the incentives for politicians to respond to issues and interests raised by its voters. Being a voter gives you the power to create change; and if you have any complaints about how your island is being run, voting is by far the best way to enact change.
Overcoming the barriers
Whereas the UK has experienced a steady reduction in their voter turnouts at general elections over the years, Guernsey has been lucky enough to have seen engagement levels increase over previous elections. However, for the first time, there was a genuine concern that registration and turnout numbers could be affected at these elections. This fear was mostly due to a new and unfamiliar island-wide voting system being introduced for the very first time but also some of the common perception barriers to voting that perennially exist.
How our campaign needed to challenge the perception Barrier
The perception: 'Better not vote than make an uninformed choice.'
Our campaign: made it easy to obtain information and to educate.
The perception: 'My voice doesn’t really matter. It makes no difference.'
Our campaign: linked voting and lives of voters and presented the election as personal to individuals.
The perception: 'I don't care.'
Our campaign: inspired and engaged but also emphasised the risks of not voting.
The perception: 'It's too complicated.'
Our campaign: educated, provided guidance, and made the process of voting in 2020 easy to understand.
The need for the big inclusive big idea.
We recognised that this election was set to be the most inclusive in decades with a mandate for each voter being island-wide and not by parish or district as it was in the old system—the most significant change in the election process for a very long time. We wanted an idea that could reach out and connect with the whole island, no matter your socio-economic background. This campaign needed to present us as one community, with a voice and the power to make history, to enact change and progress. You needed to feel that you should be part of this. So…
Sign-up, Wise-up, Turn-up.
Our campaign was split into three defined phases - sign-up (capturing registrations), wise-up (providing education, candidate consideration) and turn-up (voter turn out on polling day).
Over these phases, our communications strategy delivered the wide-scale awareness and salience needed for capturing the attention of a broad audience using marketing channels such as TV, Press and Out-of-Home. But also utilised highly targeted digital channels such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat that could tailor messaging and deliver more engaging creative to specific ‘hard to reach & persuade’ audiences as well as messaging that recognised the different stages of the voter journey.
Bringing the election onto people’s devices
An online presence was essential for the campaign’s success. The campaign website was evolved and delivered across each stage. A quick and easy online registration process during the sign-up phase was quickly replaced with a comprehensive candidate consideration site. There would be over 100 candidates, with their manifestos and video ‘elevator pitches’ to consider in this new island-wide election. Our election website provided an easy to navigate user experience across all devices, with the ability to highlight and save vote preferences for polling day.
.. and to their doorsteps
There was still a requirement to deliver all candidate manifestos to the homes of islanders (which had traditionally been the case in previous elections). In conjunction with the website experience we produced, printed and distributed to all island homes a 230 page candidate manifesto book.
2020 - the best election to date
The 2020 election has shaped up to be one of the most successful Guernsey election campaigns ever.
- Over 30k registrations
- Over 24k voters turned out