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Southern collective

American Civil Liberties Union

ACLU Southern collective

Our democracy works best when everyone can use their voice to create the better world we know is possible. In the lead up to the 2022 midterm election cycle, the ACLU sought to educate its supporters about what to expect when they head to the ballot box and what’s at stake in November, and activate them to get to the polls. To do that efficiently and effectively for affiliates in all 50 states, it partnered with Spitfire Strategies. Spitfire’s work with the ACLU included research, trainings, messaging and toolkit development and implementation.  

The ACLU first brought Spitfire on board to support its Southern Collective, a group of 12 state affiliates in the South focused on rights restoration and combating voter suppression. Our work began with deep listening and extensive research. We met with affiliates and the National team to help refine each affiliate’s individual goals and objectives, audited their relevant communication materials and social media platforms and analyzed external research to determine what messaging would resonate most with priority audiences of infrequent Black and Brown voters in the South and what messaging we should avoid. The Spitfire team used this research to develop messaging and a corresponding toolkit to equip the Southern Collective affiliates with what they needed to move their priority audiences. We followed the message development with two communication plans — one for rights restoration and one for voter suppression — to provide affiliates with a roadmap to bring the messaging to life. We also provided direct support to six affiliates to help them promote their priorities. 

From our work with the Southern Collective emerged a weekly social media campaign called #ToThePollsTuesdays, where we create a steady drumbeat of information to ensure its audiences get to the polls. Our work with individual affiliates bolstered each affiliate’s existing efforts and led to wins like local radio spots in North Carolina and radio ads in Georgia. Southern Collective affiliates felt confident in their efforts to get infrequent voters to the polls so that their voices are heard.

Building on our work with the Southern Collective project, the ACLU expanded its engagement with Spitfire to include Get Out the Vote (GOTV) support for all state affiliates nationwide. We kicked off this project with a survey to dig into each state’s unique communication wants and needs. We used the survey findings to develop a flexible and easy-to-use toolkit that included materials like GOTV messaging, template posts, template graphics and a template email that responded to expressed and anticipated needs for Election Day efforts. In addition to an affiliate toolkit, Spitfire also held weekly office hours where we provided tailored strategic counsel to affiliates from across the country. The Spitfire team was also on hand to provide rapid response triaging and strategic counsel to affiliates on Election Day and the days after. 

Our partnership with the ACLU provided affiliates with a treasure trove of plug-and-play materials to lighten the load of their state-based GOTV, with affiliates from North Carolina to Nevada repurposing our materials for their local efforts. Our individual engagement with affiliates also led to them turning to us for insights to help sharpen everything from videos encouraging returning citizens to vote to blog posts that dispel disinformation.

Spitfire services employed

Media relations / media strategy


Partner with Us

Issues Covered


GOTV (Get out the vote)