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A campaign to educate staff on how to tackle racism in the workplace.

Royal College of Psychiatrists

Six in ten Black, Asian and minority ethnic psychiatrists have experienced racism at work.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCPsych) is the professional medical body responsible for supporting psychiatrists throughout their careers, and in setting and raising standards of psychiatry in the UK. As a result of a survey they did for their members, RCPsych was taking immediate action to address this issue and support any members who'd been affected.

They asked us to support them with a campaign designed to improve individual staff members' confidence in knowing how to tackle this important workforce issue - whether they were directly experiencing it themselves or were bystanders to those experiencing racist behaviour.

Project summary

  • Research and insights
  • Concept development
  • Campaign strategy
  • Messaging development
  • Audience testing
  • Copywriting
  • Graphic design
  • Paid social

Approach

Due to the delicate nature of the subject, we knew it was important to tread carefully with this campaign. Understanding that the subject of race and racism is wide and far reaching, we knew that tackling racism in the workplace would need to be a fully-rounded approach that tackled multiple areas at once.

The audience was a complex one, made up of those who have experienced racism, those who have witnessed it and those who’ve either never thought about the issue, or don’t see it as important. The campaign would also be speaking to those who've perpetrated racism – either intentionally or unknowingly. With this in mind, we wanted to make it easy for people to get involved – regardless of where they were on their own learning journey.

Our discovery phase began with extensive research, building upon the findings already gathered from our clients’ initial survey. We then held a focus group with members of the potential audience, asking a specific set of questions that would help us determine the direction of the campaign. We distilled all of our insights from our research and the workshop into a presentation that we delivered to the project team.

The campaign concept ‘Act against racism’ explored the idea of opposing forces working against each other. Racism is a social ill which, unless directly pushed back against, will persist. Using directional cue, our design for this campaign marque demonstrated how ‘act against’ is the prevailing forward force, while ‘racism’ is the way backwards.

We rolled out the new campaign identity across a range of different deliverables, including a guidance document (to be used by mental health trusts across the country) on how to tackle this important topic. This document was created by the RCPsych Tackling Racism in the Workplace working group – a group made up of psychiatrists. This document now essentially acts as a ‘bible of progress’ and includes a maturity matrix that allows stakeholders to review their progress and go through manageable steps to eradicating racism in their workplace.

We also produced video content for the campaign, recording the 15 action points from the guidance document by filming the working group in the college itself. We also recorded an interview of Dr Adrian James (the outgoing president) and Dr Lade Smith (the incoming president) - discussing the importance of stakeholders adopting this guidance, wherever they were in their journey.

A mock up of the campaign creative on Instagram.
Another mock up of the campaign creative on Instagram.

Impact

RCPsych had the initial objective of signing up 10 trusts to the initiative within the first three months of the campaign. As of 20th September 2023 – just over two months since the launch at their annual congress in July – 11 trusts had signed up.

Our client also took home the award of Campaigning Team of the Year at the 2023 Charity Times Awards, highlighting our Act Against Racism campaign as a key part of their reason for winning!

 

"You helped bring our vision to life - from the original concept to the various changes in direction and the final deliverables. Please pass on our appreciation to everyone involved with the project. It was a pleasure working with you and we look forward to continuing our work together."

Director of Strategic Communications

Royal College of Psychiatrists

A mock up of the campaign toolkit.