In 2012, North Carolina became the 31st state to consider a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.
Amendment One was the first time North Carolina voiced its opinion on LGBT rights—it would spark a ballot campaign and a cultural debate across the state.
Initial public polling placed support for the amendment well above 60%. More detailed internal polling put the number even higher. Against this bleak outlook, a number of groups—from churches to non-profits to LGBT rights advocates—formed a diverse coalition devoted to defeating the amendment.
New Kind worked with this coalition to build a stories, symbols, and airwaves architecture that would give the coalition the framework from which to act. This framework allowed the coalition to build story lines of average citizens who would be harmed by Amendment One. The coalition had a passionate base of supporters already, and we worked with them to activate those supporters and grow the base.
The coalition also had to convince individuals around the country that it was important to build a movement in North Carolina to encourage them to invest resources and time.
We used polling data to create a stories, symbols, and airwaves framework around the harms that Amendment One would inflict on all North Carolinians.
The stories of average North Carolinians and the symbols that resonated with them became the focus our airwaves strategy through digital media, email, and traditional press.
Inciting a movement
Working with the coalition, we were able to create an active community across North Carolina to join the effort. We set the record for online fundraising in the state with over $715,000 in online donations over four months. We developed a social media presence that allowed the campaign to dominate the airwaves, and we produced and distributed hundreds of stories that framed the debate among both influencers and through earned media.
Ultimately, the campaign was not able to defeat Amendment One, but the community that rose up around this important issue launched a state-wide conversation over protecting the rights of minorities and at-risk populations.
“ Our campaign presented a unique set of challenges based upon timelines and resources. We needed to talk to a large, diverse group of people in a compressed time frame, with a relatively small number of resources. New Kind, very keenly, knew that in order to be effective we would need to create a sense of community surrounding Amendment One. They focused in on the ‘movement, not a moment’ strategy, which became the centerpiece of everything that we did. Working with New Kind was one of the best things we did as a campaign. They brought the entirety of their hearts and heads to the tasks at hand. The creativity, execution, and dedication of the entire team resulted in a product that was world-class, innovative, and effective. ” Jeremy Kennedy - Campaign Manager - Protect All NC Families