Client: Ajuntament de Barcelona
Videos from White Horse
Client: Ajuntament de Barcelona
Videos from White Horse
The Ajuntament de Barcelona wanted to promote the growth of public professionals; to guarantee the provision of essential public services; and to reinforce the institution’s capacity for quality services. To do so we needed to completely transform the perception of the public sector, highlighting the real people behind the scenes, celebrating their skills and recognising their work for the community. In order to reach the public in a meaningful way, we took on a content-led approach to communication in the form of a brand series with assets that could work across print and digital.
The institution needed to improve its reputation and take back public management from external companies by restoring people’s confidence in internal administration. This meant communicating its services and values in a more human way.
Over the past few years, the Ajuntament de Barcelona has been losing its capacity to offer new positions, which have increasingly been given to private companies. The public sector and its various roles have not always been seen in the best light. The time had come for a radical change in language and framework.
Based on“La Mirada Imperfecta”, a campaign we developed for betevé to change people’s perception of the different areas of Barcelona, the Ajuntament de Barcelona contacted Folch for the commission. By focusing on the details, imperfections and personal narratives that together describe Barcelona, we helped betevé win social support for their campaign, offering a new perspective on the city’s neighbourhoods through the eyes of its citizens. The Ajuntament de Barcelona needed a similarly titanic shift of paradigm in terms of communication. And so Pla de Recursos Humans was born.
Many institutions are now asking themselves how important it is to communicate, not just as an institution but as a media platform, turning ideas into clear narratives using a journalistic approach. Nowadays, there’s no need to turn to the media to reach or convince an audience, you can jump the fence yourself.
Rafa Martínez, COO, Partner & Brand Strategist, Folch
In order to modify public perception, the campaign needed a journalistic approach. We had to forget that we were working with the public administrative sector and start from the ground up: with real people. We decided to focus on authentic stories about people’s passions, expertise and responsibilities. By capturing inspiring narratives, we aimed to indirectly align people’s individual values with the values of the institution as a whole. It was important to connect people to the city council on a human level before referring to facts and figures, and to explain the administration in a natural and relatable way. Our top level message therefore centred around people, public roles, and the potential value of the professional collective. Facts and figures became secondary supports.
White Horse, Folch’s creative offset company managing the production of our audiovisual pieces and photographic commissions, initially produced and directed four poignant video interviews, as well as a number of shorter clips specially edited to fit within the frames of social media. Four personalities from different sectors of the Ajuntament de Barcelona talked about their experiences and visions. We wanted to capture their essence by asking them what they like to do when they are not working, where they come from, memories from their past, their parents, relationships, and their insecurities – focusing on themselves rather than their work.
Conducting an authentic conversation in an everyday context where the interviewee felt relaxed and comfortable ultimately allowed us to connect and empathise with a skeptical audience.
Pol Gonzalez Novell, Filmmaker, White Horse
To compliment the videos and add another layer of communication to the campaign, we also produced a printed fact sheet with detailed recruitment statistics, job descriptions and infographics relating to the Pla de Recursos Humans. Each leaflet focused on one of the employees, starting and ending with a profile shot alongside their interview. All printed production was managed by Artifact, Folch’s offset company specialising in global high end print and production management services in collaboration with @agpograf_impressors and 200bis.
We proposed that the images should be in black and white, with the background colour changing according to each sector. Instead of a role description, each leaflet began with a quote from the interviewee, followed by a statement describing what an increase in recruitment would mean for the sector, for example, ‘reducing the time it takes to renew your license.’ We used ITC Johnston as the only typeface, a “classic” that has the best typographic qualities of a geometric sans serif married to humanistic letter shapes and proportions. Its straightforwardness, sturdiness and sociability was the best candidate to embody the Pla de Recursos Humans.
Our aim was to gain visibility and influence, to get people talking, but also to prepare the audience for a change in their perception of the public sector. We started by sharing the shorter clips on social media in an attempt to speak to people on a personal level. We used a combination of banner ads, and organic and promoted posts to share the shorter videos on Facebook and Instagram using the final hashtag #MésServeiPúblic, which developed from the original hashtag #Treballemperatothom. The longer videos were available on YouTube and the website.
We used inclusive language to slowly break down the barriers between the Ajuntament de Barcelona and the public, to show that the institution is made up of real individual people – ‘you and me’ – working for the community as a collective ‘we.’ We saw that people were more likely to be open to what we had to say, to empathise and to absorb information if it came from employees as people, rather than from the Ajuntament de Barcelona as an institution.
By starting with social media we were able to approach a challenging environment having already generated a steady stream of positive thinking and empathetic feeling. The next step was to release the printed assets and start working on media activation, launching a comprehensive PR campaign with coverage across local media platforms.
Two lines of action worked in parallel. Firstly, we continuously strengthened the public sector’s reputation via social networks, websites, press, and internal communication to gain maximum visibility. Secondly, we took specific action according to the calendar of announcements and incorporations within the Ajuntament de Barcelona. Not only was it essential to boost recruitment by reaching new audiences – the media, the public and HR forums – it was also important to communicate a positive message internally, generating pride amongst employees.
Through a dynamic activation strategy and journalistic approach, we helped change the face of the public service sector and highlight the institution’s efforts to improve public services. By reversing traditional campaign methods, starting with real people, real employees talking about their individual roles directly via social media, we managed to create a hospitable environment to talk about the institution as a whole. We told the story of public management through the eyes of the people who are proud to carry out their responsibilities, generating more confidence in the service sector through inclusive language and increased visibility.