Brand agency works with She Should Run to add punch and clarity to its messaging; organization inspires women and girls to get in the race for public leadership to make a bigger impact.
She Should Run, a nonprofit committed to advancing women and girls in public leadership, is armed with a new messaging strategy thanks to pro-bono help from brand agency CBX.
“The role of women and girls in politics is receiving more attention than ever thanks to the historic 2016 presidential campaign,” noted CBX Creative Director Lesley Stordahl. “While national attention is on the presidency and top 30 elected positions, there are over 500,000 seats in public leadership. Only 20% of those seats are held by women. She Should Run is there to encourage women to take a seat at the table and amplify their voice in the national debate.”
Experts from CBX helped Washington, D.C.-based She Should Run add punch and clarity to its messaging by leveraging the proven principles of brand communication. She Should Run frequently collaborates with corporate and other partners to find new ways to motivate girls to explore leadership opportunities. The latest example is the nonprofit’s partnership with Mattel, Inc. on the new President and Vice President Barbie®, launched this week.
While She Should Run’s “Ask a Woman to Run” nomination program has reached more than 100,000 women over the years, the nonprofit has simultaneously broadened and diversified its programs. “This strong growth added complexity to She Should Run’s messaging challenges,” Stordahl said. “Our solution was to employ a unifying framework similar to what you might find on the drawing board for a major CPG brand.”
Crafting a meaningful messaging strategy started with a deeper understanding of the barriers women face getting into the race for public office. Originally, She Should Run described itself as “A national network committed to advancing women and girls in public leadership.” But by understanding the barriers, CBX was able to help SSR reframe the conversation in a more relevant and compelling way. The new statement is: “A national network committed to inspiring more women and girls to get in the race for public leadership to make a bigger impact.”
Using these insights, messaging experts from CBX helped She Should Run sharpen the aim of communications to more precisely hit on the needs and motivations of potential female candidates. The three key messages are: “Wish You Were Here,” “Fit in the Picture” and “Proactive Change.”
“These three messages form the cornerstones of a clear She Should Run story,” Stordahl explained. “She Should Run shines a light on what’s missing in politics, and they help women envision themselves in the political picture (no matter their circumstances). They inspire proactive change by showing public leadership as a direct path to a better future.”
While She Should Run is certainly part of the political world, the new messaging framework moves away from political, inside-the-Beltway language in favor of the higher-order messages of the brand model, Stordahl noted. Now, She Should Run is integrating the new approach into its Ask A Woman To Run program, “Warm Up” newsletter, social media communications, media interviews, speeches and more, she said.
“We’re proud to have helped She Should Run establish a clear direction and voice for the future,” Stordahl said. “This messaging won’t just inspire language for existing programs—it will serve as a foundation as the rapidly growing organization collaborates with new partners, pitches potential sponsors and, most importantly, inspires new generations of women and girls to make an impact at all levels of the public leadership.”
As noted, the most recent example of that collaboration is the organization’s partnership with Mattel on the President and Vice President Barbie® launch. “While female leadership continues to reach new milestones, only 39 percent of girls say they want to be a leader, according to a survey by the Girl Scout Research Institute,” noted Erin Cutraro, co-founder and CEO of She Should Run. “The Barbie line’s first female presidential and vice presidential ticket is a way of harnessing the power of young girls’ imagination to help them discover their own leadership potential. Ideally, it will lead to more girls in leadership roles in the years to come.”