Reframing newsletter

New Video Builds Awareness for Human Services in Illinois

March 5, 2020

Last year, we told you about the success of National Reframing Initiative partner Illinois Partners for Human Service’s digital marketing campaign, “Our Shared Human Story” (OSHS). OSHS “is a campaign aimed at increasing awareness of the sector and changing public perception of human services.”

Illinois Partners, a statewide coalition of over 800 human service organizations, wanted to take a different approach to advancing human services. Their first phase of advertising included banners on websites and posts on Twitter and Facebook. They reframed their entire website, created a new dedicated Our Shared Human Story webpage, and featured the branding on the organization’s homepage.

Recently, Illinois Partners upped its game with the addition of an Our Shared Human Story video and has found it resonates with the public. We spoke with Illinois Partners to learn more.

Ibis Antongiorgi, Communications Manager at Illinois Partners, said the OSHS video has been well-received with partner organizations’ feedback positive and Board members supportive. The video and a social media kit were shared with partners who, in turn, shared it with their networks. She recounted that partners think it captures what human services are and shows there’s value in investing in the sector.

The OSHS video premiered in November 2019 and has already reached over 5,000 people on Facebook and Twitter. Hundreds have engaged with the video by watching and sharing it on social media. It was one of their top three Tweets during the period when it ran and is the second most-visited page on their website, after the homepage.

The campaign video seeks to change the conversation on human services, build broader and deeper support for the sector, and demonstrate the integral role human services play in building well-being. It emphasizes the need for essential investments to fully fund the sector; highlights the industry’s value and high standards of excellence and national accreditation; and demonstrates how human services drive jobs and important economic benefits in the state. In addition, Illinois Partners used reframing to illustrate that human services benefit all of society.

To do so, the video incorporates the Building Well-Being Narrative’s value of human potential, explanatory construction metaphor and life cycle examples. For instance the narrator notes that:

It also uses inclusive language, maintains a reasonable tone, uses data in context and does not tell episodic stories.

Lauren Wright, Executive Director, remarked, “We recognize the challenges our sector faces in changing patterns of public thinking about human services, but we also know that reframing is a communications resource that is proven to work and resonate with people. It fits into our strategic efforts to change the conversation on human services and unify and strengthen the sector by speaking with a collective voice.”

Illinois Partners plans to produce four shorter videos to showcase different pieces of the messaging, including the societal benefits of human services and the importance of investing in the sector. It also intends to redesign its website to fully integrate OSHS and the video as part of the digital campaign.

Antongiorgi noted, “I can’t stress enough how important reframing was to the process; it played a role from beginning to end, and it was the lens we looked through to make sure the video would resonate with viewers.” Illinois Partners sought feedback from the National Reframing Initiative, which provided helpful input during the video’s production. Antongiorgi stated “Illinois Partners leads by example and reframing is integral to everything we do internally and externally.”