Engaging industrial workers in politics through collective storytelling and advocacy.

With over 300,000 members, IF Metall is a Swedish trade union for industrial workers. Many of these members are elected officials in both local and national government.

The Social Democratic Party (SDP) and IF Metall have a long and shared history in the labour movement. This connection is still strong, and is reflected in many of IF Metall’s members running for office for the SDP – most prominently, the current Swedish prime minister and former chair of IF Metall, Stefan Löfven.

Despite this, in recent years little focus or time has been given to explaining the historical and current relevance of the SDP and IF Metall’s collaboration. In parallel to this, a considerable number of IF Metall’s members had grown critical to this collaboration.

How could IF Metall refocus their narrative and campaigning, whilst maintaining this close and important cooperation with the SDP?

To meet this challenge,  “Vote for somebody who understands” (Rösta på någon som vet) was born. By focusing on IF Metall members running for office, as opposed to the SDP itself, the union was able to tell their core story of empowering members and fight to improve working conditions, while continuing to strengthen their cooperation with the SDP.

While lifting the realities of working conditions for industrial workers in Sweden, the campaign aimed to get members to vote for one of their peers running for office with the SPD. Someone with whom they share mutual understanding and can relate to. A co-worker, not a career politician.

We created a site which served as not only an educational platform for members to learn about IF Metall’s political positions, but as a platform to discover local fellow industrial workers who were running for office. Each candidate was given a dedicated page with their picture, profile and political focus, and personal campaigning message. Members were also given the option to print out posters of their favourite candidates and hang them in their break rooms at work.

Over 400 IF Metall members applied and were displayed on the site. A diverse array of members were profiled – everyone from an ambitious 26 year old mechanic, to the current Swedish prime minister.

The site also served as a platform to gather powerful stories from hundreds of industrial workers, who proved willing to share their own experiences to illustrate the costs of failing to meet IF Metall’s demands for fair and safe workplaces.

These individual stories were also used in Facebook ads to promote the site, and encourage even more members to share their personal perspectives.

Facebook and email marketing were the primary sources of traffic to the site. By using geodata, including to specifically target large workplaces affiliated to IF Metall, we were able to increase engagement through custom messages such as “Vote for somebody who understands in Söderhamn”.

After the election, all stories were compiled into a folder and was sent out to newly elected officials, regardless of party. This was intended to give them insights into the reality of industrial workers, and remind them of their responsibility towards them.

 

The campaign was a huge success. With over 2 million site impressions from a unique audience of 500,000, the highly-targeted campaign proved very engaging to IF Metall’s over 300,000 members. Advertising costs for the campaign, with its personal focus, was only half that of other political content not tied to the campaign – due to the higher perceived relevance of the campaign.

And for the first time ever, IF Metall brought together over 400 members running for office in 2018 on a unified site and platform – laying the foundations for more effective, more focused political campaigning in the future.

Our deliverables

Campaign strategy

Creative concept, campaign name  & graphical design

Site development

Content development

Email marketing and social media advertising

CRM and database setup and management