NRL News

What we learned in launching a “Choose Life” license campaign in South Carolina

by | Aug 14, 2020

By Mary Kate Griffin

South Carolina Citizens for LifeEditor’s note. The story appears on page five of the August digital edition of National Right to Life News. Please share the entirety of this 41-page issue with your pro-life family and friends.

As a summer intern, I was fortunate to be given the opportunity to launch the Choose Life S.C. Campaign beginning almost two months ago. Before undertaking this campaign I had never heard of the South Carolina Association of Pregnancy Care Centers (SCAPCC) nor was I aware of how proceeds from the sale of license plate would help pregnancy care centers. But this lack of background knowledge has been a tool for me while designing this campaign. Chances were that if I didn’t know about it, then neither did constituents. In a sense, this campaign provides the opportunity to learn alongside South Carolinians.

At the onset, my team and I sent out a survey to constituents that would help us tailor the campaign to enhance their existing knowledge of the Choose Life S.C. license plates and the South Carolina Association of Pregnancy Care Centers (SCAPCC).

We didn’t receive very many responses. However, we think it’s fair to say that the data we collected is representative of what most pro-life constituents in South Carolina know about Choose Life license plates.

This is what we learned:

· Over 50% said that they had seen a Choose Life S.C. license plate while driving in South Carolina.

  • Over 80% said that they didn’t own a Choose Life S.C. license plate.
  • About 50% said they didn’t know where the proceeds from the sale of the license plates are used and about 44.4% had never heard of SCAPCC.
  • About 80% knew with certainty the services a pregnancy care centers provides while 14% were somewhat confident in their knowledge.
  • The three most common reasons for not having a license plate was expense, plate design and fear of what others might think of the plate. A popular write-in answer was that the thought just never occurred to them to purchase one.
  • 63.4% were more likely to purchase a plate if they didn’t already own one and 61.1% were more likely to encourage loved ones to purchase one as well.

Keeping all of this in mind, we set out to educate constituents with social media graphics and pictures containing testimonies from SCAPCC leaders and pregnancy care center directors. Constituents are moved when they read the real-life stories of the women and children who benefitted from the proceeds coming from license plate purchases. It made sense that using strong visuals and compelling stories would give those constituents that were on the fence, or who had never considered buying a plate, that extra nudge.

Volunteering with pregnancy care centers and participating in sidewalk counseling gave me a taste of what it is like to be on the front lines at the centers. That up close involvement is a privilege not many South Carolinians have experienced.

We recently sent out a letter to 2,500 constituents containing a campaign letter, flier, and mid-point campaign survey to measure our success. We began to hear from constituents who don’t regularly interact with us.

From some of the responses we received, the mail-out was the first time some constituents had even heard of the campaign, despite our efforts to raise awareness over Facebook and through email. We learned that this pool of constituents doesn’t frequently use social media, if at all.

Both Crisis Pregnancy Centers and South Carolina Citizens for Life will benefit from what we learned.

1) Regardless of the kind of responses we received, we had a larger number of responses – double the number of responses from our pre-campaign survey, to be exact. Before launching this campaign, we hadn’t used surveys to gauge constituent sentiments. The survey component was new to everyone.

2) Those 2,500 constituents that received the mail-out are now more familiar with SCAPCC and the license plate than they were previously. Since that mail-out was sent, I have received at least three phone calls from constituents with questions about the campaign and purchasing a license plate.

3) Our social media posts are receiving more views, likes, shares and comments than in the beginning of the campaign. Three of our #ChooseLifeSC posts have received a combined total of over 900 reactions, 70 comments and 140 shares. That is A LOT of visibility.

4) The checks for SCAPCC are trickling in with the proceeds from the license plate sales from this summer…STAY TUNED!

This entire campaign– the launch and the execution–has been a learning experience for the team. Having the opportunity to engage with constituents over phone calls and social media has been an enriching component. We learned that troubleshooting what doesn’t work–and quickly adopting what does– takes a good bit of brain power, especially after time and energy was used to create a faulty prototype. But therein lies the lesson.

I am looking forward to the successes that come out of the remainder of this campaign over the next three weeks. And at the end, I think it will be high time for another survey.

Categories: Pro-Lifers