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Democracy Defense Coalition

How do you get millions of people to say the same thing at a moment’s notice?

The Challenge

Channeling the collective strength of 230+ grassroots organizations and preparing for a range of outcomes ahead of the 2020 presidential election.

The Insight

To build a successful and flourishing coalition, align your message, be nimble, and always put people and their shared values over process.

The Solution

A vibrant and cohesive campaign that encompasses a new digital presence, centralized messaging, and an effective mobilization and earned media strategy for November 3rd and beyond.

Ahead of the 2020 U.S. presidential election, a broad coalition of 230+ progressive grassroots organizations came together to address an immense challenge: How can we defend voters’ rights, ensure the legitimacy of our elections, and uphold our democracy, now and in the future?

This group, known as the Democracy Defense Coalition (DDC), was looking to unify their message and build collective action around their cause. 

In the months leading up to the 2020 election, it became very clear that Trump and his base would do everything possible to build distrust in our electoral system and discredit valid and legitimate votes. Despite the polls and the predictions circulating, exactly how November 3rd and the days to follow would play out was unknown. 

Our challenge? Strategically anticipate the most likely election scenarios and craft a credible and galvanizing message for progressive coalitions rooted in the values that underpin American democracy: Counting every vote, the peaceful transition of power, and putting power in the hands of the people where it belongs.

From the ground up 

We knew that our work with the Democracy Defense Coalition wouldn’t stop on Election Day — election results wouldn’t be certified for days, maybe weeks, due to the unprecedented number of mail-in ballots. It was crucial to build the infrastructure to distribute messaging and direct mobilization in the weeks that followed.

Our team conducted a landscape assessment to identify everyone involved in the space and how DDC could be a part of it. It addressed the need for a defined digital presence, social toolkits, as well as developing and distributing a centralized message that the coalition would adopt and disseminate. 

The DDC needed a unified voice and an ecosystem where it could thrive — and we were prepared to help shape it.

One voice, united

To build a collective message, we hosted a series of messaging presentations to ensure that key stakeholders and state and national groups were aligned. We also worked closely with coalition partners and community organizers to secure buy-in for the messaging and approach ahead of, during, and after the election. 

“Voters Decide” (shifting to past tense, once Biden’s clear electoral lead emerged) became the rallying cry of the campaign. We developed an online resource hub providing messaging, toolkits translated into both English and Spanish, and media material that grassroots organizers and local and state partners could use for their mobilization efforts. Within the first week of launch, the new resource hub had garnered over 9,700 views.

As part of the articulation of the campaign, we also created an informative, hopeful, short-form video to support protest safety ahead of the 2020 U.S. presidential election unrest — ideal for peer sharing and influencers on social media.

In addition, our teams worked to lead scenario planning and crafted the messaging strategy for each stage of the election (before, day of, and following) for partner organizations, key stakeholders, media, and political pundits — making the space for every potential outcome.

After the message had been disseminated, communities organized in towns and cities across the country on November 7th for our  “#VotersDecided Day of Celebration.” Over 61 gatherings took place in 40 U.S. states, including key battlegrounds like Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

Over the span of six weeks, our teams worked together to build a narrative, get buy-in, and organize passionate voters to make their voices heard. 


Breaking through the noise 

Since the Biden campaign’s successful election and following the #VotersDecided Day of Celebration, we have been transitioning focus to DDC’s leadership in earned media.

Together, our teams developed and implemented an earned media strategy to break through the noise, build the DDC’s digital presence, and elevate their grassroots messaging apparatus. Our strategy included key story placements covering the DDC’s Day of Celebration in NBC News and the women who were leading the fight in Glamour and Teen Vogue

Put people over process

The Democracy Defense Coalition came to us with a deep, unrelenting passion for their cause. Now, they have a strong narrative of who they are, who they want to be, and how they can uniquely enter the space and make a difference. Prioritize people over process, especially when it comes to messaging. Lead with values and what you’re for, not against.


  • 140,000 attended digital rally
  • 750 million #votersdecided and #counteveryvote impressions
  • 920,000 mentions across our hashtags by 457,000 unique users

Press & Accolades

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