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Manual Texting as a Storytelling Tool to Change Hearts and Minds

When an anti-LGBTQ group in Anchorage, Alaska put Proposition 1 on the ballot to repeal transgender protections from the city's non-discrimination ordinance, we knew we had an uphill battle to fight. We had to counter bigoted scare tactics and promote the truth about the transgender community.

 

The Fair Anchorage campaign utilized several different types of community surrogates, from law enforcement officials to faith leaders. But the most circulated campaign video featured the story of Col, a transgender Anchorage teen, and his family.

 

We worked with the Fair Anchorage campaign to manually text voters information about Prop 1, and linked to the video that spotlighted this real transgender Alaskan (see below).

 

Col and his father narrated the video, connecting with the audience as just another typical Anchorage family. After establishing this common ground with the viewer, Col and his dad opened up about their fear that, if Prop 1 passed, it would cause harm to Col at school and in other public spaces. This allowed viewers who may not have transgender people in their lives to better understand who they are, building empathy with their campaign.

 

Stones' Phones works to elevate voices like Col and his dad in order to focus on the community members who are directly impacted by these issues, their loved ones, and friends and neighbors, as opposed to dispassionate outsiders. While we understand the value of utilizing voices that may appeal to a broader coalition of voters, we also believe it is important to amplify the most targeted voices in order to build socially responsible campaign messaging.

 

Our tactic achieved a remarkably broad reach: we sent over 3,500 text messages, sharing Col’s story with Anchorage voters who the campaign may not have otherwise reached. 


The No on Prop 1 campaign won the election with 53% of the vote, saving the city's nondiscrimination law and effectively combating bigoted messages of fear and intimidation with the help of tactics like our manual texting programs.

 

To learn more about our manual texting strategies and how we can help your campaign, contact us here.