Working with the Women Effect Fund and other partners, the team at Hattaway Communications recently explored the most effective ways to promote an economic agenda with language that would motivate women in northern Virginia to vote in the upcoming elections.

Our team conducted qualitative and quantitative research with women from key demographic groups, including those who vote in presidential elections but not other years and persuadable voters of all ages from a variety of racial/ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. The research explored ways to connect an economic agenda to their personal aspirations for their lives and their families. The Hattaway team systematically explored the challenges that stand in the way of achieving their goals, and whether economic policies to help them overcome those obstacles might increase their likelihood to vote.

Women voters view the high cost of living in northern Virginia as the primary obstacle to their financial stability, happiness and ability to “get ahead.” They also said they were most motivated to get involved in politics when they felt the outcome would directly affect their lives.

Drawing on these insights, the Hattaway team developed and tested messages for an agenda to build a “Family Friendly Economy.” This included issues and policy ideas that would appeal to women in different stages of life, such as parental leave to care for a newborn, affordable child care, paid leave to care for a sick family member, and reliable elder care.

Women responded overwhelmingly positively to the messages, with large majorities indicating they would strongly support the agenda and that it would increase their motivation to vote.

To learn more about how allies can use these messages to build support for a Family Friendly Economy, you can download the Message Manual here.