Univision Communications Inc. (UCI) has a strong legacy of promoting civic participation in an effort to ensure that as Hispanics grow in numbers, their impact is felt at local and national levels. At the forefront of informing and empowering Hispanics on the issues that matter to this community and that are also critical to the U.S. as a whole, UCI set out to give Hispanics greater influence in the political process by growing citizenship and encouraging voters to express their opinions on complex, key issues at the polls.
For the 2016 general election, there were 27 million eligible Hispanic voters; with this in mind, UCI also recognized the relatively low Hispanic voter turnout. UCI made a commitment to make the run up to the 2016 general election and preceding national primaries a significant time for Hispanics to be counted at the polls. A fully-integrated, two-year companywide civic engagement effort launched, focused on citizenship and increasing the turnout of Hispanic, multicultural and millennial voters.
Under the Company's award-winning Univision Contigo
empowerment platform, the program educated eligible individuals about the benefits of becoming a U.S. citizen, and guided them to resources that could help them navigate the process. Furthermore, delivering on the Company's mission like never before, the comprehensive initiative provided unique, nonpartisan and culturally-relevant resources to Hispanic citizens with a goal of mobilizing eligible Hispanic voters.
Aligned with UCI's mission and coupled with its long record of civic engagement initiatives, the company leveraged its portfolio across TV, Radio, digital, social along with its flagship Univision Network, sports cable net Univision Deportes, local TV and digital properties, and social media footprint to provide culturally relevant resources to engage and further reach to eligible millennial voters.
UCI collaborated with national, leading organizations that share UCI's unwavering commitment to the Latino community. UCI partnered with NALEO Educational Fund, the NCLR, LULAC, Democracy Works/TurboVote, Voto Latino, Get Schooled, The Latino Coalition, Hispanic Federation, Mi Familia Vota and Rock the Vote along with business and industry groups. From NALEO Educational Fund's citizenship workshops, to NCLR Affiliates' micro-lending programs and English courses, and experts from LULAC answering questions on citizenship in a national radio tour, these efforts addressed areas of importance to the application process, including preparing for the citizenship exam.
The initiative included:
- Digital Tools:
- An interactive Bilingual Text Message tool that delivered timely election reminders and custom answers to specific questions and a comprehensive mobile-first Digital Election Guide that delivered a complete toolkit to help prospective voters.
- A digital section of UnivisionContigo.com and a toll-free hotline provided by NALEO Education Fund offered information on eligibility and step-by-step guidance on how legal permanent residents could apply for citizenship through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, including financial assistance programs available for the application fees, guidance on how to navigate the application process, and tips on how to identify and avoid becoming a victim to fraud.
- Social Media Initiatives:
- Influencer campaign: Dozens of popular Hispanic celebrities took to social media to amplify the campaign messaging with special content and hashtag campaigns.
- Facebook Live: On-air personalities that recently became citizens and registered to vote hosted live Q&As to share their story and answer questions for thousands of followers.
- Snapchat: to increase awareness on NVRD, Univision incorporated Snapchat filters and hosted takeovers.
- On-Air Messaging:
- Univision Network's local TV and Radio programs featured segments with experts to answer questions many Hispanic families had about the process of becoming U.S. citizens. Experts walked viewers through the electoral process and encouraged them to get to the polls.
- UCI's networks and stations aired dozens of powerful national and local PSAs on citizenship and PSAs that encouraged those eligible to get engaged in the electoral process.
- UCI leveraged major events including its primetime music award shows, coverage of the Copa America Centenario international soccer tournament, and Univision News coverage of the national conventions and debates.
- Grassroots Outreach:
- Experts from LULAC answered questions on citizenship on a national radio tour.
- UCI hosted hundreds of nonpartisan community events, many in collaboration with leading local and national organizations, to register voters on the ground and provide nonpartisan information.
- On NVRD, for the first time ever, all of Univision's local television and radio stations – both owned and affiliates – hosted community call centers.
- Registered hundreds of thousands of voters – more than 10 times the number of voter registrations achieved by other Hispanic media companies.
- Univision registered more than 100,000 people to vote on its website, and (along with its partners) registered an additional 100,000+ at community events and phone banks.
- Together, as a direct result of this campaign, more than 200,000 people registered to vote. And this figure does not capture the many more people who registered to vote through other channels after being motivated by the campaign's messaging
- Over 900,000 people received text messages helping them get to their polling place.
- YourAmerica.com helped hundreds of thousands of voters.
- More than 14,000 calls were answered and more than 3,200 community members attended community workshops
- Messaging was seen or heard over 1 Billion times.
- A series of 17 workshops and 14 phone banks on citizenship in the nation's top markets to answer questions on eligibility, financial assistance programs and how to navigate the application process were hosted.
- PSAs aired across UCI networks and local stations, making hundreds of millions of impressions.
- Univision local community events were attended by over 300,000 people.
- Over 100,000 people called into the community call centers to receive guidance on participating in the electoral process.
Seth Flaxman, the founder of TurboVote, reports: "The number of Univision voter registrations is 24% higher than the second-best performing TurboVote partner. I've never seen such a successful campaign."
Video for Univision Contigo’s Civic Participation Initiative