DDN June 2017 DDN July2017 - Page 12

Youth services

Finding the right voice

CGL has been consulting with young people on the best ways for its youth services to get their message across .

DDN reports on the outcomes , and the potential lessons for other providers

P romoting services to young people , particularly in an area like drugs and alcohol , can be fraught with potential pitfalls . It ’ s important not to seem intimidating or offputting , and to come up with something young people can relate to , but at the same time it ’ s vital to avoid slipping into patronising or embarrassing ‘ down with the kids ’ territory – something that ’ s likely to alienate your target audience even more .

Following the re-branding of change , grow , live ( CGL ) from Crime Reduction Initiatives ( CRI ) ( DDN , February , page 11 ), the organisation felt that it still needed to do more to reach younger people . ‘ Prior to the national rebrand many of our YP services created their own local branding ,’ CGL ’ s national head of operations for young people ’ s services , Raj Ubhi , tells DDN . While the organisational rebrand ensured a ‘ refreshed visual identity and national consistency ’ in how services were marketed to service users and potential referrers , it didn ’ t necessarily appeal to younger audiences in the same way as it did to adults , he says . ‘ We therefore decided to work with young people themselves to develop a specific , distinctive and recognisable brand which young people could more closely relate to and engage with .’
The process started around six months after the national CGL re-brand was introduced , and following a period of extensive consultation , development and implementation , all of CGL ’ s services across the country adopted the new young person ’ s brand from April this year . ‘ What young people want from a brand often differs from what adults want – I think there was a consensus that actually we can do something that better appeals to our younger audiences that ’ s separate to something you might expect to see in an adult service ,’ he says . It was ‘ a big piece of work ’, however , involving more than 20 services working with varying ages , backgrounds and needs , all of which CGL wanted to cater for .
The organisation consulted more than 180 young people , but also extended the consultation to commissioners , professionals and partners , because ‘ a lot of the marketing material has to appeal to them as referrers also ’, he explains .
A key element to get right was one of the most basic – the actual naming of the services . ‘ One of the things that is central to our values is service user voices informing and influencing the services we offer them – ultimately it ’ s their service ,’ says Ubhi . ‘ Therefore , young people often inform what our services are named locally . We want something they can relate to and something that ’ s going to appeal to them . Generally we go into local areas to consult through competitions or raffles to help determine service names , and it ’ s important that a national brand has the capacity for localisation . So although the logo for all our services is now the same – and the design architecture that sits around it – the actual service names are going to be local . There are quite a few of our services named Wize Up – young people seem to like that name .’
Just as important were the visuals – an area it can be easy to get wrong . ‘ A lot of that came through in the consultations – young people didn ’ t want a brand that contained patronising images , language and designs ,’ he says . ‘ Some of the key messages were that they wanted something that looked current , bold and minimalistic . They liked the dark backgrounds , black and white images and bright colours , so something quite striking but simple at the same time . We took into account national commercial brands that they were particularly fond of .’
They also wanted images that ‘ represented young people in general ’ rather than pictures of the type of people generally perceived as ‘ substance misusers ’, he stresses . ‘ They were against using young people ’ s faces more generally because they thought that could stereotype the type of person that might access the service . There isn ’ t a typical young substance user – most young people will have some level of interaction or relationship with substances , whether that be curiosity , recreational or more problematic use .’
It was important to try to increase visibility and accessibility for all these audiences by reducing stigma , he says , another reason to move away from ‘ traditionally deficit-based images that represent problematic drug use , or that scream out “ drug and alcohol misuse ”’. There may be a bit of resistance in terms of engaging with that type of service , depending on the young person , parent or carer – that was key feedback that we tried to take into account .’
On the subject of feedback , the reaction since the rebranding has been positive , he says . ‘ It ’ s really good that young people were involved throughout – not only did we
12 | drinkanddrugsnews | June 2017 www . drinkanddrugsnews . com
Youth services Finding the right voice P CGL has been consulting with young people on the best ways for its youth services to get their message across. DDN reports on the outcomes, and the potential lessons for other providers 12 | drinkanddrugsnews | June 2017 romoting services to young people, particularly in an area like drugs and alcohol, can be fraught with potential pitfalls. It’s important not to seem intimidating or off- putting, and to come up with something young people can relate to, but at the same time it’s vital to avoid slipping into patronising or embarrassing ‘down with the kids’ territory – something that’s likely to alienate your target audience even more. Following the re-branding of change, grow, live (CGL) from Crime Reduction Initiatives (CRI) (DDN, February, page 11), the organisation felt that it still needed to do more to reach younger people. ‘Prior to the national rebrand many of our YP services created their own local branding,’ CGL’s national head of operations for young people’s services, Raj Ubhi, tells DDN. While the organisational rebrand ensured a ‘refreshed visual identity and national consistency’ in how services were marketed to service users and potential referrers, it didn’t necessarily appeal to younger audiences in the same way as it did to adults, he says. ‘We therefore decided to work with young people themselves to develop a specific, distinctive and recognisable brand which young people could more closely relate to and engage with.’ The process started around six months after the national CGL re-brand was introduced, and following a period of extensive consultation, development and implementation, all of CGL’s services across the country adopted the new young person’s brand from April this year. ‘What young people want from a brand often differs from what adults want – I think there was a consensus that actually we can do something that better appeals to our younger audiences that’s separate to something you might expect to see in an adult service,’ he says. It was ‘a big piece of work’, however, involving more than 20 services working with varying ages, backgrounds and needs, all of which CGL wanted to cater for. The organisation consulted more than 180 young people, but also extended the consultation to commissioners, professionals and partners, because ‘a lot of the marketing material has to appeal to them as referrers also’, he explains. A key element to get right was one of the most basic – the actual naming of the services. ‘One of the things that is central to our values is service user voices informing and influencing the services we offer them – ultimately it’s their service,’ says Ubhi. ‘Therefore, young people often inform what our services are named locally. We want something they can relate to and something that’s going to appeal to them. Generally we go into local areas to consult through competitions or raffles to help determine service names, and it’s important that a national brand has the capacity for localisation. So although the logo for all our services is now the same – and the design architecture that sits around it – the actual service names are going to be local. There are quite a few of our services named Wize Up – young people seem to like that name.’ Just as important were the visuals – an area it can be easy to get wrong. ‘A lot of that came through in the consultations – young people didn’t want a brand that contained patronising images, language and designs,’ he says. ‘Some of the key messages were that they wanted something that looked current, bold and minimalistic. They liked the dark backgrounds, black and white images and bright colours, so something quite striking but simple at the same time. We t ѼչЁѥɍ)Ʌ́ѡЁѡݕɔѥձɱ䁙d)Q䁅ͼ݅ѕ́ѡЃaɕɕ͕ѕչ)ɅdɅѡȁѡɕ́ѡɅ)ɍٕ̃aՉх͕ϊdɕ̸͕aQݕɔ)Ёͥչé́ɔɅ䁉͔)ѡѡ՝ЁѡЁձѕɕѡͽѡ)Ё́ѡ͕٥QɔͻeЁչՉх)͕ȃLЁչݥٔͽٕѕɅѥ)ȁɕѥ͡ݥѠՉх̰ݡѡȁѡЁɥͥ)ɕɕѥȁɔɽѥ͔d)%Ё݅́хЁѼѼɕ͔٥ͥ䁅)ͥ䁙ȁѡ͔Ց́ɕՍѥ)̰ͅѡȁɕͽѼٔ݅䁙ɽaɅѥ)е͕́ѡЁɕɕ͕Ёɽѥ՜͔)ѡЁ͍ɕЃq՜͗wdQɔ䁉)Ёɕͥхѕɵ́ݥѠѡЁ)͕٥ѡչͽɕЁȁɕȃL)ѡЁ݅́䁙ѡЁݔɥѼхѼչлd)=ѡՉЁѡɕѥͥѡɔ)Ʌ́ͥѥ̸ٔͅa%ӊéɕ䁝ѡ)չݕɔٽٕѡɽ՝ЃLЁ䁑ݔ)ܹɥ՝͹̹