HJA – Hearing Their Voices storytelling campaign, identity and website

September 29, 2018 • 3 minute read

BRIEF

Personal injury and family law firm Hodge Jones & Allen (HJA) have a passion for making their clients’ voices heard. To boost new business and raise awareness of the issues tackled everyday, such as industrial disease and medical negligence, they turned to Infinite Global to lead a new initiative. Together, we devised a creative campaign that captured the emotive, and at times distressing, content and client stories, and a way to present this interactively to ensure the engagement of key stakeholders and target audiences.

APPROACH

After exploring numerous visual concepts, it was agreed that our multi-platform approach would integrate film and interactive web content to showcase stories and associated content, both disseminated via social media. It was crucial that we built an easily manageable and future-proof platform that allows the flexibility to expand as the campaign develops, but also tracks key metrics and provides new audience data to the client.

A number of well-defined focus groups, qualitative surveys and social listening, supported by complementary research reviewing similar campaigns, re-confirmed the opportunity within the market place and informed our brand positioning. Rigorous trend, SEO, hashtag, domain name and trademark research was carried out throughout this brand positioning and naming exploration.

The audience insight and creative inspiration informed the brand proposition we established for the campaign: Hearing Their Voices. This new brand defined a new space within the professional services’ digital arena, whilst simultaneously retaining its integrity to the HJA master brand values. Agreement of the campaign logo and core values was closely followed by the wider visual language and individual story branding: a bespoke set of visual identities and guidelines for each ‘story bank’ area of the website and any corresponding collateral. The development of identities for each of our two initial stories (Margaret, a victim of mesothelioma, and Jason, a victim of MoD negligence in the Iraq war) included hand-sketched iconography and an original typeface: Jason’s Type. A brand journey and visual guidelines booklet equipped the client with all the necessary rules and brand assets, but also introduced the campaign to company-wide supporters and champions. Parallel to the visual identity and art direction work, content for the films and website was prepared and a language tone and style agreed.

To fully illustrate the breadth of expertise provided by the HJA team, it was crucial to accompany their client stories (each presented through a central film) with relevant informative content. This ranged from the history of asbestos and prevalence of mesothelioma, to practical information as to where someone affected by the issues can get help, or, how the Human Rights Act was integral to Jason’s story. All information was presented in a visually attractive and engaging way, including interactive infographics and maps, and image galleries and film, whilst ensuring technical accuracy and accessibility to the audience.

To ensure the films telling the client stories were as information-rich as they were poignant, Infinite Global’s Content and PR teams took the lead in preparing interview scripts and media training. Following careful storyboarding – a process that involved art directors and content managers alongside client, lawyers and film directors – voiceovers were produced at London recording studios, interviews took place at the client’s Camden offices and any additional film footage required was captured in countryside locations. Core messaging and visual language were then woven into the films through editing and production, before a number of cuts were tailored for use on social media as well as the website itself.

We then built and populated a custom-HTML website, with careful thought given to how interactions and UX remain true to the site’s content and audience. Once live, the website content was disseminated via a social media campaign, with Instagram and Twitter being the primary platforms. The visual focus of the project, coupled with the aim to explore real-life stories, meant that Instagram was the natural choice to drive the dissemination of content. Whether video or imagery (owned or reposted), the content published via Instagram was scheduled with a periodic thematic focus to ensure all stories, issues and visual identities of the campaign were given equal weight. This focus was often timed to coincide with awareness events, for example Armed Forces Week or Asbestos Awareness Day, to maximise potential engagement and hi-jack trending topics.

To ensure the aim of the campaign was achieved, we had to ensure we connected with relevant social media users accounts and not just broadcasters or organisation accounts. The social media stakeholder mapping process was extensive. In addition to using social media tools to identify influencers on key topics, we actively monitored conversations and drilled down into the core issues of a topic to see who else was truly engaged and could be interested and relevant to the project. Nurses who treat mesothelioma sufferers, members of the Armed Forces and their family and friends, or industrial workers, for example, were all key targets.

OUTCOME

As expected, visual content provoked higher engagement, in particular the infographic created on asbestos. Throughout the campaign, this repeatedly proved to be the most popular. We also used geotags to boost engagement and tap into local communities likely to be affected by the issues we were discussing. This was most relevant to ‘Margaret’s Story’ and focused on derelict buildings with asbestos, asbestos factories and key landmarks such as Buckingham Palace or the Palace of Westminster which are both known for their high level of asbestos.

Rather than chasing numerical targets, such as followers or retweets, the aim from the outset was engagement. Our analysis focused on the conversations that were occurring, which ranged from mesothelioma sufferers discussing their experience and thanking the campaign for educating further on the topic, to a leading advocate and mesothelioma widow who campaigns for the removal of asbestos sharing her experience.