End Precarious Work

We believe in the power of design to rouse passions and challenge assumptions. And we believe it is our duty to help civil society, governments and companies to craft a better tomorrow.

Background

“Europe: End Precarious Work Now! - Decent Work and Equal Treatment for All” was a joint initiative between ETUC, EFBWW, EFFAT, EPSU, ETF, IndustriAll - Europe, UNI Europa, co-financed by the European Commission.

Having worked in the past with EFFAT (European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade), we were invited to participate with a project proposal for the tender regarding the communication strategy of the campaign. The project proposal that won us the contract was divided into three (3) sections - a strong communication strategy with a focus on digital storytelling, the development of videos with workers affected by the precariousness of their work and the development of a platform to foster the communication of those involved in the project and those interested in the subject.

Challanges

Right before the kick-off of the project, the communication officers of the project partners were replaced - that meant we had to work with new people, who were just getting acquainted with the project. Moreover, it was hard overall to have a consensus from all the project partners in terms of what they wanted, and how they wanted the project to be delivered. Thus, although we created a timetable for all deliverables, we had to change it all the time and work in at a very fast pace, with short deadlines.

In the end, we delivered to the client a visual identity for the campaign, a landing page with live Twitter integration, infographics, an animated infographic and a video with the stories of the workers who shared their experience as working in precarious conditions.

Strategy

Because the target audience of the campaign was very specific - policy makers, trade unions and workers, we had to do an extensive research on the subject. We did interviews with the members of the trade unions who answered our call in order to discover a common ground for the visual identity. As for the infographics and animated video we analysed the legal opinion specially created for this campaign, we’ve gone over available European data regarding precarious work, working conditions and economical stability in the member countries.

As for the testimonials of the workers, we devised semi-structured interview questions and recorded their answers during the conference.

For the information and data to be displayed in the infographics, as well as the script for the animated infographic, we collaborated closely with the communication officer of EFFAT.

Design Direction

For the visual proposal we came up with two (2) concepts. The first one, which was the version agreed by all the project partners, revolved around the definition of precariousness as something likely to fall or collapse and a hashtag as the representation of social networks and social change.

The second option came from the insight of McLaughlan which stated that ‘Young people [ … ] are being trapped upon zero hours conditions like rats in a maze. Trapped within a maze of poor pay, unjustified and insecure hours, and the inability to plan a life outside employment.’

Design Direction

In terms of the infographics, we translated the data in the form of building blocks, and integrated human figures representing different precarious jobs.

Design Direction

The landing page was created having in mind simplicity and efficiency, a place where all the information gathered before, during and after the final conference can be stored and easy accessed. As a new element, we integrated the Twitter wall, which was very efficient in order to track the activity during and after the conference.

Design Direction

For the testimonials, we looked for a scene that would capture the look and feel of Brussels and in the same time protect us from the technical difficulties imposed by the changing weather.

Conclusion

Although we had to work with some short deadlines and had to integrate in the final product all the opinions of the project partners, we are happy to have had to opportunity to work for a project that reminded us why we decided to get involved in this sector in the first place.

The social media activity we had during the conference made our hashtag #endprecariouswork trend for about half an hour in Brussels - bear in mind that during the same time there were important EU related events happening in Strasbourg and a transportation strike, which makes it hard for anything else to gain momentum. Furthermore, the data analysis made after the event showed that the most retweeted tweets were the ones which had the infographics in them.