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Creating an advocacy campaign for The National Archives

The brief

The National Archives is responsible for the leadership of the archives sector in England and Wales, supporting organisations from a range of sectors. In 2019 they developed a three-year digital capacity building strategy called Plugged In Powered Up, that aimed to educate and upskill archivists, and encourage decision-makers in organisations with archives to invest in their workforce’s skills and infrastructure.

Having launched the new strategy, communications agency support was then needed to quickly develop an advocacy campaign. This would include a communications strategy, delivery plan, design concept and content, all to be delivered in a 12 week period before the financial year end.

Credit: Nick Cooper, Wikimedia Commons

Our response

Our team conducted qualitative research to understand the digital transformation challenges and motivations of the two key audiences. We sourced 15 interviewees from within the main sectors with archives, and interviewed them to supplement The National Archives’ existing audience intelligence.

This audience insight enabled us to create an evidence-based communications campaign, which involved a compelling proposition for each audience that outlined the urgent sector need for change and why they should act now.

With a strong strategy in place, we quickly moved on to the delivery plan. Allegory hosted a focus group workshop in central England, attended by members of the audiences, where we tested the design concept and campaign messaging. We also cross-checked the intelligence from the 15 audience interviews in order to finalise our choice of communications channels and tactics in the delivery plan.

Working closely with our design partner, Ergo Creative, we developed a campaign video (below) and a portfolio of images, some graphically enhanced, to support the design concept and encourage the audiences to take the desired action.

I am tremendously pleased with the outputs and working with you all at Allegory and Ergo has been fun and rewarding. We were particularly impressed by your collaborative approach which led to a refreshing and appealing campaign video

Simon McKeon, Head of Collections and Audience Insight at The National Archives

The outcome

At the end of the project, our team had created a sizeable body of research, recommendations and campaign collateral. This included:

  • An audience insight report
  • A communication strategy and multi-channel delivery plan
  • An evaluation plan
  • A design concept, complementary to The National Archives brand
  • A campaign toolkit
  • A bank of case studies
  • Campaign content to support audience engagement activities
  • A campaign video
  • A portfolio of images, some graphically enhanced

By hitting the tight deadline, producing better results that The National Archives had anticipated were possible, Allegory helped the project to successfully progress to phase two of the rollout of the Plugged In Powered Up strategy.

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