Messaging: Our messaging strategy was built along three goals.
First was to establish a clear view of the problem – that special interest groups were taking advantage of our easy rules for constitutional change, and that the measures these interest groups touted threatened core rights. Far from being at war with the rights of citizens, our measure would “raise the bar” and protect the rights of citizens from the games and gimmicks of special interests. After using exhaustive survey research to ascertain the most popular spokespersons for this message, we deployed a slew of respected local messengers to make the case for the problem – on Denver broadcast TV were current and former mayors of Denver, in Colorado Springs it was the former Attorney General and current mayor, and on the Western Slope it was the head of the largest regional economic development council making the case. The use of respected local voices helped insulate us from the unfair, but expected, criticism that our measure was the handiwork of Denver plutocrats and wealthy corporate types.
Second, our goal was to galvanize voters outside of the Denver and Boulder areas around the idea that the relatively low bar on constitutional change gave too much say to the state’s urban centers. Survey research showed this message resonated all across the state, with even many voters in Denver and Boulder acknowledging the imbalance.
Our electoral goal was to run-up the score outside of Denver and Boulder. Here again, we deployed respected local voices on out-state broadcast, cable, radio and digital with a very simple message – Denver and Boulder have too much power.
Lastly, in the final weeks of the election, Raise the Bar and allied organizations flooded the airwaves with TV ads driving core themes that were carried by the most popular names in Colorado. Thirty-second ads featuring Governor John Hickenlooper and Broncos legend John Elway, led with an aspirational sixty-second spot that featured the most respected female leaders from across the state, carried our campaign to the finish line with a compelling, memorable final push.