Be Brave Enough to Be Creative

You know that Error page that appears on the internet when a page cannot be found on a website?

While reading my LinkedIn feed, I discovered an organisation called Missing Children Europe, had created an app that converted those 404 error page in poster of missing children.

Wow! Right?

Social impact and creativity

I’ll be honest, for me it was positively shocking to see an NGO being so brave with their communication to allow enough room for creativity. I have produced documentaries and consulted for a range of NGOs and daring to be creative was often a challenge. Clearly some of the issues are related to funding but the uncertainty also comes from the fear of doing something different and see what the feedback would be. Is it going to work?

Notfound, the campaign promoted by Missing Children Europe definitely worked. The web app linked to the campaign was downloaded by 5,700 website and the success contributed to  the creation of the #NotFoundDay. Between media coverage and trending on Twitter, the effort to find missing children reached 3 million people. All because they were brave enough to be creative.

 I wasn’t looking for the idea, it just found me

But they had help. The idea came to Laurent Dochy, who was digital creative director of FamousGrey. Laurent says: “I was sitting at home, my girlfriend was watching a police TV show about missing people. At the same time I was browsing online and a 404 error page came up. I looked at the TV screen, then back at the error page… and I realised that missing people and not found pages could be combined. I wasn’t looking for the idea, it just found me.”

Communication can be positive, impactful and compassionate

When I’m positively surprised by something, I feel the urge to start a conversation with the person who made it possible or with their organisation. Which is how I got in touch with Gail Rego, former Head of Communication and Membership at Missing Children Europe. We spoke at length during a Facebook Live interview about creativity and social impact, promoting positive communication and being compassionate when sharing sensible information.

Brave enough to be creative

In the interview, Gail explains what steps they took to create the NotFound campaign and how important it was (and is) to ask for help to agencies and bigger organisations such as Google and Twitter.

 

Know your voice

In our conversation we also touched on the topic of branding as Gail highlighted the importance of knowing your voice as an organisation. Which is something I insist on with people I work with. Knowing you voice means that if we see each organisation as a person, that person has a style, a tone, things they say, values, colours that represent them. Your voice is everything that makes up who you are. And that voice needs to be heard.

What do you take away from this conversation?

You can re-watch the interview and share in the comments what are the things that inspired you the most and what actions you are going to take to put them in practice. Also, keep following this space, because more interesting interviews are coming up in the next weeks.