• Tue. Aug 16th, 2022

Blue State’s Marie Danzig on utilizing design to make the world a greater place

Read Time:7 Minute, 26 Second

Marie Danzig is head of inventive and product at Blue State, a values-led inventive and campaigns company that companions with main causes and firms to assist them rework how they have interaction with audiences.
Based in 2004 and headquartered in Brooklyn, its purchasers embrace UNHCR, Amnesty Worldwide and Tate Trendy, in addition to firms like Google, Co-op and Nesta.

Specialising in on-line fundraising, advocacy, social networking and constituency growth, Blue State is on a mission to make the world a greater place. And that is nothing new for Marie, having beforehand labored as deputy digital director for the Obama presidential marketing campaign (2012-13) and as head of on-line fundraising for the World Meals Programme (2010-12).

We chatted to Marie to seek out out what Blue State’s company and charity purchasers are searching for, how she engages them and delivers concrete outcomes, and what making a distinction appears to be like like on the planet of 2022.

What makes Blue State completely different?

Blue State is greater than an company. It is a spot the place individuals can work on the causes they care about and encourage them to take motion. We have helped elect presidents, change legal guidelines, change opinions and lift thousands and thousands of {dollars} for non-profit organisations. And we additionally join individuals with firms in significant methods.

Over the previous couple of years, the world has skilled one disaster after one other: from pandemics and struggle to racism and gun violence. And it is felt nice to be working with companions who’re knee-deep in these fights. To educate manufacturers on tips on how to have interaction. And to seek out and really feel that solidarity amongst each other.

What sorts of issues do your purchasers ask for?

Amongst advocacy and non-profit organisations, there’s at all times the query of scale and tips on how to make a fair greater influence? How can we attain extra individuals? How can we do extra good on the planet?

When it comes to firms, there’s been extra of a shift into purpose-driven work and past CSR [Corporate Social Responsibility] campaigns and actions. These are vital and a great way for firms to direct their earnings. However now, an increasing number of firms are really main with goal. They’re afraid to take a stand and see how it will assist construct their buyer base and enhance buyer loyalty.

Work for Co-op © Blue State

How do you’re feeling concerning the position of social media in all this?

I’ve very blended emotions, for positive, about social media. It is most likely just lately been used for extra hurt than good. And that is not solely the dangerous actors; we see these research and detrimental influence on issues like self-image and well being. Plus, the platforms themselves are making it tougher, in some methods, for organisations to achieve the individuals who may help them of their good causes within the identify of transparency or information privateness.

It is nonetheless a little bit of a obligatory evil. So we’re persevering with to evolve on these platforms and determine how we are able to proceed to mobilise communities. However it’s getting tougher.

You led the digital efforts of Obama’s marketing campaign, which was themed on hope. However do you continue to have that hope for the longer term?

Yeah, completely. We’ve been by way of some darkish instances with the latest faculty shootings and the strikes to finish abortion rights. And so even our employees who’re really dedicated to those causes really feel the load of those crises and are extraordinarily personally affected. It is exhausting to point out up if you really feel so knocked down. However that is precisely when we have to proceed the struggle and never change into complacent or despondent.

Certainly, it is a part of our job: to give you methods to encourage and mobilise individuals, to inject hope in a manner that truly resonates. Particularly as individuals have change into fairly cynical. There’s much less belief in establishments and organisations. And so, serving to organisations overcome that, and proceed their momentum, is simply so vital.

Creativity performs an enormous position in selecting the best imagery and phrases. But in addition in serving to organisations nail down their principle of change in order that we’re assembly the temper and serving to individuals rise to the problem.

So, how does that look in observe? Are you able to discuss us by way of what you probably did for Amnesty, for instance?

Certain: I really like speaking about our work with Amnesty Worldwide! I am pleased with what we did in partnership with them. It is an unbelievable organisation with deep roots in grassroots mobilisation and collective motion to finish human rights abuses.

Amnesty wanted to evolve to stay related and efficient in its work. They usually felt they weren’t being consultant and inclusive sufficient of their advertising and branding. In order that they requested us to assist develop a brand new international model platform that will resonate with and encourage the subsequent era of advocates and supporters.

We knew we would not achieve success except we received on the market and ensured that each one voices had been heard. So we ran co-creation workshops with dozens of representatives throughout the globe; I believe it was in six completely different nations. In consequence, we constructed a model positioning that places hope and humanity on the core of the model story and helps reframe human rights for the twenty first century.

You’ve got additionally achieved work for Co-op: one other good trigger.

Co-op is a enjoyable instance of making use of our mobilisation methods and experience to an organization that is at all times been dedicated to social good. Neighborhood organising has been a part of their mannequin because the nineteenth century. However they wished to construct a extra subtle programme and enhance their influence. They wished to do greater than your commonplace CSR marketing campaign and really rework communities; actually get in there and make a distinction.

So we helped them construct a mannequin to have interaction their clients at a grassroots stage. Not solely on-line however offline; marrying that digital activism with area organising, and with platform and know-how growth. So it was a very nice mixture of experience that we had been capable of provide, and it has been actually rewarding to see it develop and proceed to have interaction individuals in native activism.

Work for Amnesty International © Blue State

Work for Amnesty Worldwide © Blue State

Work for Amnesty International © Blue State

Work for Amnesty Worldwide © Blue State

With these huge tasks, the place do you begin?

We wish to say all of it begins with the individuals. So ensuring that we’re listening to the best stakeholders and discovering out: what precisely is the problem? What are the targets, what are the wants, and what are the issues? And so, it begins with an enormous discovery and technique section that places the consumer and the individuals on the centre.

Relying on the venture’s dimension, scope, and nature, that technique section can look very completely different. However we have now a whole lot of instruments to analyse the viewers, ensuring that we’re listening to the info and never simply our intestine. Doing a whole lot of stakeholder interviews, surveys, and focus teams. And simply ensure that we have now all the best data and grounding to construct an answer. As a result of essentially the most harmful factor you are able to do is soar straight to an answer with out totally understanding the wants.

You are smiling as you are telling me this. Is that your favorite a part of the method?

I believe it is a differentiator for us at Blue State; how a lot worth we placed on that section and the way it can rework the way you do the work. Another companies put money into the fashionable or flashy factor, and we actually go for that actual and lasting change and influence. Typically it isn’t the best or sexiest path. Nevertheless it’s the best one. And Blue State is mostly in it for the lengthy haul, no matter that you must do to actually construct that change and rework the way in which your organisation capabilities or the way in which you ship to communities.

So, if you’ve achieved all that course of and made the distinction, how does it really feel?

Seeing your work activated out on the planet is simply so fulfilling. As an illustration, to see a visible id that you simply labored on at a bus cease in your “actual life”. And simply making an influence on the planet and accelerating change. We at Blue State simply need to hasten progress. And so it is stunning to see all of your blood, sweat, and tears present up on the planet.

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