In Empathy, Solidarity.
- Deep Qualitative Research
- User Experienced (UX) Research Methods
Framing the Problem
The Gay & Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN) had been fighting a tough campaign for Marriage Equality - in a country that had prior form in delivering conservative backlashes to progressive referenda. The worry was that despite strong polling all the way through, a silent majority of voters might be wavering at the final hurdle. GLEN needed a strategy to get the referendum over the line.
We identified a key voter group we called the Soft Yes Voters. We knew we might vote yes on polling day but they demonstrated a visible unease about social change and liberal causes more generally. We undertook deep and empathic research with Soft Yes Voters and came to understand that the key issue for them was not Marriage Equality but a fear of endless social change and disruption. Our strategy was to frame the referendum as a sharing of traditional marriage values with couples who wanted an equal chance to participate in a key social institution; not change but continuity.
The ‘continuity’ strategy informed communications and the mobilising of a movement of people to reach out to hesitant voters. On the 22nd of May 2015 Ireland voted Yes by a landslide majority.