Building Conversation

The Harm Reduction Coalition is a national organization that advocates for policy and public health reform rooted in the practices of harm reduction.  Harm Reduction is a set of practical strategies and ideas aimed at reducing the negative consequences associated with drug use.  It is particularly effective at curbing the spread of communicable diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis C as well as reducing the rate of fatal drug overdoses.  While it is scientifically regarded as a viable and effective approach to public health, it still faces significant political and social challenges in its widespread adoption.  Every two years HRC hosts the National Harm Reduction Conference, a gathering of harm reduction stakeholders.  The Tenth National Conference was held in Baltimore with roughly 1000 people in attendance.

Objective

To create a campaign that helps conference-goers succinctly share their personal stories related to harm reduction in order to activate HRC’s key social media constituency.

Insight

The upcoming UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs (UNGASS)  and interstitial Commission on Narcotic Drugs offers HRC and its sister organizations the opportunity to advocate for changes to global drug policy.  Chief among the changes sought by HRC is the simple recognition of harm reduction as a viable approach to public health in the Assembly’s closing policy statement.  Although UNGASS does not happen until 2016, the conference offered a unique opportunity to develop media assets that could serve the dual function of building conversation around the conference as well as be used to advocate for HRC’s position during the Commission on Narcotic Drugs as well as the 2016 Assembly.

Solution

Luceo created a campaign producing on-site photography and video stations that engaged conference-goers in sharing their personal stories related to harm reduction.  Conference-goers were asked to complete branded, fill-in-the-blank styled cards which allowed them to tell key pieces of their stories.  Participants were then photographed in diptych with one half of the diptych showing their hand holding their story and the other half featuring a tight, very personal portrait of their face.  The resulting images were then propagated through HRC’s social media channels.

Participants with especially superlative stories were recorded and edited into 30 and 60 second spots.  All generated media was shot in a simple, direct black-and-white style emphasizing the intrinsic humanity and dignity of each person.  Generated media will be filtered through HRC’s channels over the next two years.  

A selection of the photographs from the campaign were selected to be exhibited at the 58th Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) at the United Nations in Vienna, Austria.  The exhibited works were printed on translucent backlit material and hung in large format throughout the windowed hallways at the CND.  Exhibited images were paired with relevant quotes from United Nations officials supporting broader adoption of harm reduction practices to international policy.  This will also be used in conjunction with HRC’s conversation surrounding UNGASS. 

Services Rendered

Video and production services
Photographic Services
Post Production Services
Graphic Design
Copywriting
Exhibition Design & Build
Printing and Site-specific Installation
Strategic Consultation
Social media

Results

Approximately one in three conference-goers participated in the campaign.  Posts from the generated content netted a reach increase of 396.7% with a page-like increase of 263.3% for HRC.  

Materials exhibited at the United Nations CND received key placement in the central atrium just outside of policy hearings requiring international delegates and NGO officials to view the work on a daily basis.  The work received an estimated 7, 500 impressions by key international decision-makers and drug policy reform advocates. 

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