We were asked to devise a three-week advocacy campaign with two objectives: to gather 10,000 signatures for a petition calling for the Irish government to make affordable housing a priority; and to raise awareness about the impact on people who are being left behind by a complacent, slow system.
The challenge in running an advocacy campaign is that it’s harder to interrupt people from the myriad distractions of the digital world; there’s only brief window to communicate complex social issues. So, instead of a digital campaign that saturates people with information they have no interest in, we proposed a Facebook-led approach, whereby individuals who had previously expressed an interest in homelessness could add their name to the petition.
We worked with filmmaker Nick Kelly to produce a short emotive film, featuring homeless people’s first-hand accounts of the realities of life on the streets. The film ended with a call to action to sign Simon’s petition. At that point, sign-ups immediately begin an automated process where they were contacted by email and encouraged to take further action.
Rather than host the film on each of Simon’s regional Facebook pages, we posted lead-generation ads which were targeted to six different regions across Ireland. The ads were geo-targeted to specific age groups and interests. Once an individual signed the petition, they began an email journey (via MailChimp) that spoke of the homelessness issue and Simon’s approach to solving it. Individuals were asked to take further actions (such as sharing the campaign, contacting the government directly on Twitter and liking the Simon Community’s regional Facebook pages) to deepen their involvement in the cause.