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239 SW 41st Street
Renton, WA

(206) 728-8181

Trio Group is a full-service marketing communications agency that assists its clients in successfully bringing their unique voices to the marketplace. 

Democracy Voucher Program

Trio helped the City of Seattle's Democracy Voucher Program reach eligible residents in the city within a dramatically reduced timeline.

A new way to contribute to local campaigns

Services Provided

Copy Writing

Graphic Design & Illustration

Communications Strategy

Print Production

Direct Mail & Fulfillment

Background

The City of Seattle’s Democracy Voucher Program had the privilege and the challenge of being the first of its kind in the nation. Created by a citizen-led initiative, the program faced a steep deadline of designing and mailing the program materials to over 500,000 eligible Seattle voters. Additionally, the initiative specified that program materials be made available in 14 other languages.

Program Manager René LeBeau needed to design the outbound materials, print, and mail half a million pieces, but time was not on her side. The first informational mailer needed to be designed, translated, printed, and mailed within one week. René and her team were busy building the program from the ground up, and didn’t have much time to spend to get it right.

René asked us to help the Democracy Voucher Program get into the hands of eligible voters. Thanks to our work with King County Elections, we were comfortable with tight deadlines, secure customer data, and copy writing and design for community outreach.

After our initial onboarding meeting, we outlined our plan:

  • Review community group feedback on the draft program materials
  • Redesign the program materials to facilitate multi-language messaging and create a professional yet approachable style aligned with the City of Seattle’s new brand
  • Simplify and streamline copy about how voters can participate in the program
  • Create a library of icons to demonstrate the simplified process
  • Print the materials, image (print unique customer data), and mail to eligible voters in Seattle

Shortly after the informational mailer was delivered, the Democracy Voucher Program started receiving its first calls from interested candidates and inquisitive voters. Awareness of the program has risen dramatically as evidenced by website visits, phone calls, and requests for more information. 

After releasing the informational mailer, we turned our attention to the vouchers themselves. We designed the vouchers in the City of Seattle’s iconic blue color so they would stand out, and carried the design elements from the informational mailers to the voucher envelopes and instructions. Next, we consulted with the Rene and her team in order to select the best paper stock, folding/perforation options, envelope, and even mailing rate to help the Democracy Voucher Program be mindful of the public’s money and deliver a quality product that represented the City of Seattle well. Finally, once the design was approved, we printed the vouchers with secure customer data from King County Elections, and mailed them in batches from our facility in Kent. 

Between the informational mailers and the voucher mailings, we designed, printed, and mailed over 1 million pieces. 

Later in 2017, we designed and implemented a media plan that reached over 400,000 people in the Seattle area. The plan coincided with the deadline for candidates to apply for the program and included print ads in the Seattle Times as well as local and in-language newspapers, radio spots on three channels, and display ads on SeattleTimes.com. The campaign was a success, as Rene and the Democracy Voucher Program received a dramatic uptick in calls and submissions of the vouchers.