Doubling voter awareness of Florida’s Constitution Revision Commission through public education
Once every 20 years, Florida convenes a constitutionally mandated Constitution Revision Commission (CRC) to review and revise the state’s charter document. The Florida Bar partnered with Sachs Media Group to focus on the work of this special commission — with a focus on its potential impact on the judicial branch of Florida government. A public opinion survey we conducted at the beginning of our engagement revealed that only 10 percent of voters were aware of the role of this potentially impactful process, and many were unconcerned about the balance of powers among our three branches of government. The Bar asked Sachs Media Group to take on this challenge with a public awareness initiative combining the dual goals of informing voters about the CRC process generally while also focusing particularly on the need to safeguard the role of the judiciary.
We uncovered valuable insights that led to the development of an initiative called Protect Florida Democracy: Our Constitution. Our Rights. Our Courts. Over the course of seven months, this highly successful public education program delivered more than 68 million advertising impressions, garnered thousands of social followers (surpassing even the official CRC’s number of followers), and contributed to doubling awareness among voters regarding the role of the CRC. Among the 12.9 million registered voters in Florida, almost 1.3 million became newly aware of the role of the CRC over the course of this initiative. Most importantly, in the end, none of the eight amendments proposed by the Constitution Revision Commission threatened the judicial branch.
This team was instrumental in defeating all proposals that were potentially detrimental to our judicial branch of government.
— Immediate Past President of The Florida Bar Michael J. Higer
Areas of Service
Our three-pronged approach to research included a statewide voter survey, Bar member survey, and stakeholder interviews. This coordinate approach produced key insights that led to the development of the Protect Florida Democracy brand and messaging.
To humanize the campaign, Sachs Media Group commissioned original line drawings of a diverse group of prominent and influential American leaders, who we labeled “Protectors of Democracy” — including Alexander Hamilton, Thurgood Marshall, Susan B. Anthony, Sonia Sotomayor, and Neil Gorsuch. These eye-catching drawings were used across all aspects of the campaign and on popular posters and T-shirts distributed statewide.
ProtectFLDemocracy.org served as The Bar’s go-to hub for information about the Constitution Revision Commission, garnering hundreds of thousands of visits over the course of the seven-month initiative. The site housed informational videos, infographics, civic benchmark lessons, short video messages from influential Floridians, Constitution Revision Commission news updates, and more.
Sachs Media Group developed a comprehensive digital advertising campaign that included social media ads, display ads, and search ads. These ads garnered an impressive 68 million impressions — far exceeding our goal of 38 million ad impressions.
A prominent social media presence was central to the success of this campaign. We developed creative content that inspired conversation, sharing, and community.
Utilizing the popular “Last Week Tonight” style, we created the “Wake Up, Florida!” video to capture the attention of Florida voters and engage them with important civic lessons about constitution revision and the balance of power.
Through the joint efforts of The Florida Bar and Sachs Media Group teams, a robust and active Speakers Bureau delivered more than 80 educational presentations across the state. Dozens of speakers were hand-picked by The Bar, trained, and provided a digital Speakers Bureau Kit, resulting in thousands of Florida voters experiencing the Protect Florida Democracy message.
To generate press interest, we brought in historical impersonators to portray Alexander Hamilton and Frederick Douglass at our kick-off news conference and conduct in-character media interviews. We employed a diverse group of Bar member voices to author op-eds and letters to the editor with Protect Florida Democracy messaging, earning placements in newspapers ranging from national publication USA Today to media all over Florida — not only in mainstream outlets like the Miami Herald and Tallahassee Democrat, but also in several African-American community interest newspapers and Spanish-language news outlets across the state. Additionally, our pitching and coordination of several radio talk-show interviews generated about 2 million radio impressions.
We launched the Protect Florida Democracy initiative at a well-attended media event at the Florida Historic Capitol Museum in Tallahassee, with special guests (impersonators) Alexander Hamilton and Frederick Douglass — protectors of democracy in person to talk about the implications and importance of constitution revision.
Guide for Florida Voters
A key part of the educational campaign was the creation and distribution of almost 100,000 copies of the educational guidebook “A Floridian’s Guide to the Constitution Revision Commission” — available in both English and Spanish.
President’s Award of Merit from The Florida Bar
increase in voter awareness of the CRC’s role statewide
digital advertising impressions
earned news stories
million voters became newly aware of the role of the CRC