Originally called RightsInfo, the organisation was the brainchild of Adam Wagner, one of the country’s leading human rights lawyers. He founded the charity as a human rights news source and data hub to help fill a growing information gap and to help more people in society understand the value of their rights. In the last 15 years, the world has turned, and human rights have been rebranded by opportunists. In our evermore divided society, public perception is shifting from a universally accepted code of tolerance, openness and respect to seeing human rights as a manual for political correctness gone mad. And what’s more, people are tending to stick to their own opinion bubbles, re-enforced further by the world of social media and preferred news sources. We were asked to help to take the charity to the next level, to find a way to grow its reputation and to reach out to even more people.
RightsInfo were on a mission to challenge public perceptions and misconceptions about human rights. An enormous challenge for such a small team, if they were to stand a chance of making a real difference we knew they’d need to find more ways to reach new audiences. We kick-started the project with a series of working sessions with the team to identify the shifts they’d need to make.
The answer lay in a fundamental shift to the charity’s theory of change. We encouraged the team to see themselves as a proactive campaigning organisation rather than a static information source, on mission to reach people on a more emotional level and start conversations. They would stand for empathy ahead of outrage, connection ahead of disagreement and shared humanity ahead of focussing on our differences. They would use their communications skills and creativity to build bridges, make friends and celebrate the things we all share. We developed three principles to help them make the change:
Conversations not lectures
We can’t inspire by dictating terms and we can’t challenge without being prepared to be challenged back. When we talk we need to listen too and when we listen we need to respond. Our job isn’t done until conversations flow.
Little picture, big picture
We need to make human rights human, personal and intimate with specific stories. But we also need to draw a line to the bigger societal picture too. To show how an individual’s experience relates to others. To make the specific universal. To show that human rights are a non-zero some game.
Experiment to connect
We use stories, film, words and pictures to start conversations about a world of complex, emotionally demanding and at times controversial and divisive issues. We'll need to be prepared to use all our creativity, all our ingenuity and empathy to capture the imagination, break down barriers and open doors in people’s minds. We need to use our wit, our charm and to harness our indignation and even anger. We need to explore and adapt. We need to try and trial. Test and learn. Be new. Be unexpected. Be chameleons. But whatever route we take, the only thing that matters is that we connect.
We’re living in a time when people aren’t as open to listening to one another as they once were. Minds are made up, society is divided, important issues are polarised and discussed as if they’re black or white. Human rights have fallen foul of this way of thinking, they’ve been re-branded and are often misunderstood.
We believe the principles of human rights are a good thing for the world and deserve to be given a second thought. Minds are closed, people have picked sides and not enough of us consider the bigger picture anymore. We’re here to try and change that. To inspire people to think again about human rights. To open their minds to another point of view, switch themselves on to something new, or re-remember what human rights really stand for away from laws, policy or activism. It’s not easy but we mean it, and we mean it for everyone. For nay-sayers who’ve written off human rights, for the undecided and for those who don’t see how these ideals relate to them and their lives. And we mean it for human rights advocates too because we know that no matter who you are or what you stand for, there is value in opening our minds to a different way of thinking, even if only for a moment.
That’s where we come in, we harness the power of creativity and our expertise as communicators, because underneath all the division, tension and disagreement we believe that there is more that connects us than divides us. And we know that it’s exactly this sentiment that underpins the principles of human rights laws.
We champion difference and diversity but always strive to find the connections. For us that begins with communication and conversation and a willingness to celebrate what we share. We work to find common ground, to burst bubbles and break down barriers. We use all our creative firepower, our ingenuity, expertise and empathy to capture the imagination, tell stories and open doors in people’s minds. We explore and adapt, try and trial, test and learn. But whatever route we take, the only thing that matters is that we connect.
With the new positioning in place it became clear that the name 'RightsInfo' wasn’t doing the organisation justice anymore. It was often mistaken for an information source on human rights and since it wasn't projecting the sentiment of the new positioning, it was agreed that the time was right to make a change. It was felt by the team that the word ‘rights’ had become toxic in public discourse and was more of a barrier in their work than a benefit. The new name would need to shift the emphasis away from education and information towards human connection and inspiration.
Matching the friendly, human and universal tone of the name, our new visual identity was designed around a bespoke hand drawn alphabet. This gave the tight-knit charity team a really practical tool they could use easily and quickly, giving them instant stand out in their sector and delivering the spirit of the new positioning. We pinpointed a set of fresh, bright colours to bring impact and energy. We wanted EachOther to be the most all embracing, universally appealing human rights organisation out there… as comfortable in the world of the Daily Mail as in that of the Guardian.