Vox develops most successful crowdsourced campaign in site history

Using The Citizens Agenda model for political explainer videos through a national lens

The Challenge

Vox is known for their political explainers and excellent video storytelling. Ahead of the 2020 elections, they wanted to ensure they were meeting the needs of the public and not just reporting on what their reporters thought was important. So they joined the Election SOS Engaged Elections cohort to get support in experimentation.

The Strategy

Vox deployed The Citizens Agenda frame to their video explainers around the 2020 elections, enabling them to tell the broader story of what’s wrong with traditional elections coverage and how they were planning to do things differently.

The Outcomes

Vox collected tens of thousands of questions and created 15 videos answering questions, which included / shouted out the question askers in their work.

Staff were not only surprised by the great questions people had that they would not have thought to cover, but they were also reminded of the good in people, and felt the Citizens Agenda approach gave them “a shot in the arm” of much needed inspiration as it offered a positive interaction with the public that yielded helpful content.

The Lessons

Vox was excited to see many of the questions came from people living outside of the United States. This helped them not only understand the reach and interest in their political coverage, but also to understand where their US and international audiences’ had overlapping information needs and questions.

It can be demoralizing to only engage with the public via comments. The video team spends a lot of time on Youtube, where the dialogue can be less than productive and inspiring. By collecting questions and reaching out to get to know and involve the question askers, the team was able to see the abstract “audience” as comprised of thoughtful, striving individuals that their coverage was well-positioned to serve.

Learn More

Vox had support from Election SOS’s Engaged Elections training cohort, run by Hearken. To learn more and get support, contact Hearken.