Content and content management for the 2004 and 2006 election cycles

  • NAACP National Voter Fund
  • Washington, DC
  • 2006 -2004
 
 

My role
Creative Director, Designer, Developer

Team
Designer/Illustrator, Backend developer

Background / A mission to enfranchise citizens

The NAACP National Voter Fund (NVF) works to increase voter turnout in African American communities, engages in issue advocacy and educates voters on candidates’ positions on civil rights. In the 2004 and 2006 election cycles, the organization focused on countering the voter suppression and disenfranchisement efforts of recent years. 

Challenge / Being responsive to constant change

Things change quickly during election cycles. My agency was initially hired to rebrand the NAACP NVF, build a website, and produce content on request. The rebrand and website frontend launched successfully, but we discovered soon after that "content on request" was inefficient and not sustainable. Unfortunately, affordable CMSs like Wordpress did not exist yet.

Solution / Rapidly evolve a CMS while in use

Our solution was to build our own CMS and evolve it over weekly and monthly iterations. This let the subject matter experts and on-the-ground team members produce small bursts of responsive content while our team maintained the overall system. We decided to go with a file-based CMS for version 1.0 so that we could easily change the information architecture and underlying data structure as we discovered patterns of usage and needs. Once these patterns were established, we rebuilt the system with a database.

Outcome / Thousands of voters mobilized, recognition from an icon

We supported the NAACP NVF's voter mobilization campaigns across 10 states and mobilized thousands of voters. At the NAACP NVF Gala in 2005, our team was recognized for our contributions by the honorable Julian Bond. It was a highlight of my career and life to shake hands with this icon of the civil rights movement.