Amnesty asked Eden Stanley to develop their communications strategy, with the aim of doubling their supporter base over five years. Our research immediately found a near collapse in support for human rights in the UK.
When the Human Rights Act came into force in 1999, it was difficult to imagine that anyone would object to a bill of rights designed to protect them. But almost twenty years on, and 5,000 issues of the Daily Mail later, public support for inalienable human rights is at an all time low. Human rights detractors have deliberately linked the narrative to terrorists evading justice, an interfering European super-state, and excessively liberal values that have just gone too far. Counter-narratives have been barely audible, leaving the overwhelming majority of the UK population feeling and expressing disquiet about the cause, and the prospect of public resistance to rolling back human rights legislation looking weak.
Through a large-scale national survey, followed by an attitudinal audience segmentation and qualitative research programme, we found Amnesty had effectively saturated its natural supporter group, and needed to look further afield.
This meant finding a way to re-connect politically moderate supporters of NGOs with the positive case for human rights, focusing on benefits to family, community and democratic values, both here in the UK and overseas. As the political and social disruptions of 2016 unfolded, the importance of the new strategy became ever clearer.
The resulting strategy has been transformative for Amnesty, who have shared it with other nonprofits as an exemplar approach for broadening support for social justice, in a volatile and divided environment.
Click the image below for a summarised presentation version of the strategy.