Push the Envelope

In an effort to raise awareness about the lack of funding for the Arts in Northern Ireland, I created a poster illustrating how hard done by we were.  But how to get that message out to the people?  People don’t look at posters, especially not when they have no naked ladies or if they are askng for help.  I needed something noticeable that would make people actively seek out the information.

Hmmm, well a few ideas had bounced about in my head, such as printing the statistics on photocopied money.  Highly illegal, and seeing as this was one of my first projects of my MA, I didn’t want to get arrested right away.  I decided it would have to be money related to make it stick in people’s minds though.

So my dedicated classmates and myself placed the posters nicely within 1,000 wage envelopes and went about early one morning placing them everywhere in Belfast.  I had them in phone boxes, park benches, bus shelters, everywhere!  It was great to sit and watch people notice them, thinking that someone had dropped their wages, then have a quick look about to see if anyone was watching, then pop them in their pocket. :)

The project was a success with a few hundred visitors registering their support on the site.  One key learning point to come off this though was how difficult it is to get people to go and manually enter a web address after seeing it on a poster.  It’s much less effort for someone to simply click on a link and register their support.  Future campaigns I think will be more web based, although there are still a large number of people who aren’t regular web users and finding a way to include them will be a challenge.