Information Centre GENDERDOC-M, the only NGO in Moldova that works in the field of defending and promoting LGBT rights, called for the communication services of Fabrica de imagine for the organization of the event “Equality March” in 2016.

Surveys conducted recently show that LGBT is the most discriminated social group in the Republic of Moldova. The number of people who have negative views towards LGBT people has increased in recent years. In order to understand which are the motives of such intolerance, Fabrica de imagine conducted a qualitative study using the method of guided interview, by which we identified attitudes towards LGBT people of the skeptics and of the tolerant people.

Communication strategy

After analyzing the results of these studies, we found that there is a need to organize a social campaign before the Pride March, which would help change the perception towards LGBT community.

The most important work stage on this project was the development of the communication strategy of the campaign “No Fear”. This sets out the vision of communication, the concept and the messages of the campaign, the target audience, communication tools, campaign activities etc.

The social campaign was built around the concept of liberation from fear.

The campaign aims to create a group of active supporters of the LGBT community consisting of public figures, and to give both, the population and the LGBT community, a common communication context.

The aim of communication within the campaign is to change the perception about the differences between LGBT people and other members of society by identifying and promoting some elements that unites all people, common things that we all do or feel the same way.

Target of the campaign

The campaign has 3 categories of target audience:

  • public figures, who in private conversations support LGBT members, but are not showing their support at public events because it is not popular or accepted by the majority;
  • LGBT community members, that as a result of this campaign will overcome certain fears regarding their sexual orientation;
  • Hidden homophobes, who need to understand that between the LGBT community and the rest of the citizens of this country, there are no differences, because we all have the same feelings, including fear.

Communication tools and activities

The tools were designed to have an impact on a larger number of people. The campaign started on online media and on social media then went offline with a flash mob, the letters „No Fear”, the press conference and the March of Solidarity. Organized events influenced media to widely cover the campaign (on TV, radio, news portals).

Branding

One of the first decisions we took during the campaign was its dissociation in the first stage of implementation, with the GENDERDOC-M organization’s insignia. In this regard, in partnership with creative agency Piko, we have developed visual materials of the campaign. Among them the logo of the social campaign – a black square, that illustrates the closed form of fear and its colour.

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The square comes from the idea of the box in which we stay imprisoned, and because of that we don’t see beyond us – the box. Thus the square symbolizes our own vision, and black is the fears that affects and dominates them and are not allowing us to think out of the box.

We have also developed the design of the promotional materials: shirts, letters, mugs, badges and magnets.

Video interviews

One of the tools of the campaign was the creation of a number of interviews, where public figures, ordinary people and LGBT community representatives spoke about their fears. With these videos we wanted to show that all people have fears, regardless of their social status or sexual orientation. Videos were made by the media partners of the campaign: Diez, Unimedia and Allmoldova.

The video spots were posted on the websites of our media partners, on Youtube channel and Facebook page of the campaign with the hashtag #FarăFrică.

You can watch all the interviews made during the “No Fear” campaign on the Youtube channel of the campaign.

„No Fear” letters

Writing and sending of “No Fear” letters, was one of the most exciting activities during the campaign. People have received letters from Fear, who said goodbye to them, telling them it is leaving because it feels it no longer helps them. The idea of letters started from the necessity to communicate directly with the public, with every man individually, for the message to be perceived through personal prism. We created a context in which those who received a letter like this questioned themselves and thought about the possibility of overcoming the problems they face.

The letters were placed in mailboxes of 4000 people from Chisinau. Also they were sent to mass media institutions, diplomatic missions and partner institutions.

Shortly after the dispatch of letters they became viral on social networks. Several users posted pictures of the envelope and of the letter itself, expressing their opinions about the message.

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Video „No Fear”

The video of the campaign illustrates the process of „liberation from fear”. In this case, fear is looking like tar and the liberation from fear makes us stronger and better. The video was made by the production company of Fabrica de imagine – MILK Films.

The video was appreciated and distributed by some media outlets from Romania. IQads.ro, a platform dedicated to communication and creative industries from Romania, published an interview with the director of the video, Eugen Damaschin.

Interview from IQads.ro: A campaign about the fear of being gay in Moldova. “It was hard. I could not find the actor. Even in the crew there were people who refused to participate.”

Flash mob „No Fear”

The flash mob aimed to raise awareness on the rights of LGBT people by emphasizing the inequality that exists in society towards the perception regarding the manifestation of affection in public by LGBT people. Volunteers from the AIESEC organization formed a square, the symbol of the social campaign “No Fear”, and in the end they displayed a banner saying: “We’re not afraid to hold hands in public. LGBT – Yes.”

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Press conference with the presence of non-LGBT public figures

One of the aims of this social campaign was to encourage as many people as possible, both LGBT people and supporters to come to the march of solidarity “No Fear”. In order to announce more details about the march, we organized a press conference before the event. The conference was held by several well known people who support LGBT rights and are not afraid to talk about it.

The event was attended by Mindaugas Kačerauskis, political officer from the Delegation of the European Union in Moldova, Paul G. Graddon, Political Officer of the US Embassy in Moldova, Natalia Morari, journalist, Oleg Brega, human rights activist, Alla Dontu, music producer, Yan Feldman, president of the Council on the prevention and elimination of discrimination and ensuring equality in Moldova and Angela Frolov, program coordinator for the Information Centre GENDERDOC-M.

The press conference drew attention of several producers from media outlets on the issue of discrimination. As a result, Angela Frolov, program coordinator for the GENDERDOC-M was invited to participate in several TV shows.

One of the most watched was the TV-show INTERPOL conducted by Natalia Morari.

Social media

Social campaign “No Fear”, lasted 2 weeks, and was carried out both online and offline. The campaign started on May 12, 2016 with the publication of the first video interviews on the platforms of our partners. Videos were uploaded both on Facebook and on Youtube.

After the first series of interviews users began to share on the Facebook page of the campaign and on their personal profiles messages about their fears, using the hashtag #Farăfrică, and some of them even made videos in which they shared their fears.

The Facebook page of the social campaign gathered more than 1,000 likes in the first five days of activity. During the campaign page posts have been seen by over 100,000 people and post engagement has exceeded 170,000 users. Videos of the campaign were viewed in a total amount of 28,000 users.

March of Solidarity „No Fear”

The march of solidarity “No Fear” was held on May 22, 2016. According to the representatives of GENDERDOC-M Centre, the march from this year was attended by 2 times more participants than last year and the distance covered is the longest in the history of this event in Moldova.

Besides LGBT people, the march was attended by representatives from the embassies of USA, Austria, Sweden, Italy, representatives of the EU Delegation to Moldova and some UN agencies in Moldova.

The march of solidarity “No Fear” was covered by all media outlets with national coverage from Moldova, media outlets from Romania, Russia, Ukraine, France, and Australia. A total amount of 170 articles and reports about the March were broadcasted and published.

LINK Media monitoring: Media Monitoring Report about the march of solidarity “No Fear”

Immediate impact              

We believe that one of the most important outcomes of the social campaign “No Fear” is converting the fight for the rights of LGBT people into the fight for the rights of each of us. The campaign created the 5 intersections of freedom that concern us all.

We realized this by analyzing the content of articles and reports about the march of solidarity “No Fear” and by analyzing the reactions of some opinion leaders.

LINK: Public reactions about the march of solidarity “No Fear”

Lessons for us and for others

Social campaign “No Fear” was a challenge for the whole team of Fabrica de imagine, but from which we have learned many lessons. Some of them were known to us and have been reconfirmed.

  1. Research is an important step in strategic communication – fact reconfirmed. A qualitative research lets you set the target correctly and come with appropriate messages;
  2. A campaign of this magnitude, accomplished in such a short time is possible only if you’re working with teams of professionals, who believe in the idea of the campaign and are ready to work 24/7 for its implementation;
  3. Continuous communication and mutual trust between the client and the communication company are the elements that contribute greatly to the success of communication activities. This was the case with our collaboration with GENDERDOC-M. Angela, Anastasia, Artiom, thank you!
  4. It’s difficult to move the mountain of scepticism and personal comfort in an attempt to get people on your side, but if you’re insistent and you believe in the idea that you promote, you’ll succeed;
  5. Perhaps it’s better to be cautious and not get involved in campaigns that have a vulnerable target, but sometimes it is worth the risk.

For more photos from the March, please visit the following link: Photo album from the March of Solidarity “No Fear”

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