Ballot Question 2 in the Massachusetts General Election on November 2, 2010 sought to repeal the state’s affordable housing law. While the law had been enormously beneficial in creating homes for seniors and working families, it had also been controversial and there were long-standing inaccuracies and misperceptions about the types of people who benefit from the law.
SM& was charged with the development and execution of the Vote “NO” on 2 Campaign’s communications strategy. Our goal was to reset the table for how the law was perceived by the media, elected officials and the voting public.
Through survey research and focus groups, we created compelling messages used in all campaign, media materials and social media channels. We trained ambassadors on the messaging and how to effectively represent the campaign at local meetings. We took our positive campaign on the road, meeting with 20 editorial boards across the state. We secured 66 “NO on 2” editorials in 52 papers (some editorialized multiple times) including The Boston Globe, Worcester Telegram & Gazette, Springfield Republican, Cape Cod Times, Berkshire Eagle, MetroWest Daily News, Boston Business Journal and WCVB Channel 5. We also placed op-eds in 47 newspapers and had letters to the editor in dozens more. Our social media presence was robust on Twitter and Facebook and we updated the campaign website daily with news coverage and videos produced by our team.
The results speak for themselves. The Vote “NO” on 2 Campaign won by 16 percent with 1.25 million NO votes, the largest margin of the three ballot questions that year.