1682j Campaigns are not a science. why? because it’s the stories that move the world

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IntroductionSpeak Up Stay Safe is a British Safety Council campaign that seeks to show young people – and those that work or volunteer with young people – that OSH should be taken seriously but is an enabler to good work and successful activities. In doing so we have learnt that campaigning requires stories to produce memorable messages that promote real change. All too often OSH campaigns simply describe a problem and give little time to produce imaginative idea on what to do about it. Questions of narrative, language and image should be considered in OSH messages.MethodsSpeak Up Stay Safe starts from the premise that as the audience is intended to be young people, they should be at the heart of the campaign and feature in its content and design. The campaign has taken a flexible approach by trying things out to see what works, for example by extending the campaign to include a media competition or the voluntary sector where there is concern that OSH can dissuade adults from volunteering with young people.ResultsResults are measured through site visits (including on YouTube), retweets and Facebook likes. We have seen the campaign has become an important source of induction for young workers and has also provided opportunities for existing youth networks to introduce OSH in a way that makes sense to them.ConclusionAn inventive use of language and image is becoming even more important in making content more visible – if ‘Google robots’ pick up repetition and dull language, then it will be downgraded and information will become less visible. Variety, relevance, linkage and a clear message all contribute to the campaign that has seen it grow beyond the UK. One of the campaign videos has also contributed to a different campaign that is highlighting the mental health challenges for construction workers – which again is a testament to the flexible nature of the campaign.

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