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Barnardo’s Christmas Day ‘Teens’ Speech’ campaign

Barnardo’s Christmas Day ‘Teens’ Speech’ campaign

Best practice from eModeration.

Background

Over three months, children’s charity Barnardo’s interviewed hundreds of teenagers from across the UK, giving them the chance to air their views on a wide range of issues they consider important.

Teenagers were invited to get involved online, uploading video and comments to pages on MySpace, Facebook, Youtube and on The Teens' Speech blog. The final film was broadcast on MySpace on Christmas Day.

The campaign was created by Poke and moderation of the uploaded material was by eModeration.

Challenge

Teenagers are a much-maligned and often-ignored group, and yet their views are incredibly important to our future. Barnardo’s believes that helping young people also means helping Britain, and that their futures should be national concern.

To quote its website, it works towards achieving “a future where young people are free to express themselves openly, without fear of disapproval”, and fostering “a culture of understanding between generations in an age when it seems the most vulnerable members of society are the most demonised and misunderstood.”

Strategy

The Teens Speech, created by Poke, was a platform from which Britain’s young people could voice their opinions, and be heard by an adult society that all-too-often condems its youth.

According to Barnardo’s website: “The Teens' Speech was predicated on the belief that if we gave young people an avenue to express themselves, they would reward us with a genuine insight into a section of society that is, as one contributor in the film states, a 'taboo'.”

Young people aged between 13 and 19 were invited to submit videos expressing their views to a dedicated YouTube channel, MySpace page, and via The Teens’ Speech blog.

All of these were moderated by eModeration to ensure that the content was appropriate and ‘clean’.  Selected contributors were invited to participate in The Teens’ Speech film which was premiered on the MySpace homepage at 3:10pm GMT on Christmas Day.

Implementation

Hundreds of teenagers responded to the call from Barnardo’s to submit their videos for the Christmas Day Teens’ Speech.

They uploaded their views on topics as diverse as crime, drugs, sex and relationships, money, family and friends, cultural diversity, politics and their views on Britain’s future. 

The final selection of contributors features in The Teens’ Speech film, just over 17 minutes long, which was premiered on the MySpace homepage at 3:10pm GMT on Christmas Day.  It is a brutally honest, intimate and often moving view of Britain through the eyes of its teenagers.

As you would expect from a campaign aimed at teenagers, discussion of the campaign was enabled across multiple platforms: the Teens’ Speech blog, YouTube, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and the Barnardo’s website. 

Results

Teens responded positively, taking the opportunity to upload serious commentary on British society, and although every upload was checked, they proved themselves trustworthy: there was very little content that could not be posted.

Naturally, all online discussion of the videos was also moderated by eModeration to ensure that the conversations stayed ‘clean’. Hundreds of teenagers posted videos, and the film premiere on MySpace had over 32,000 views on Christmas Day alone. It was also a hit on YouTube, with more than 50,000 views in ten days.

Peter Beech, the partner running the project at Poke, said: “The Teens’ Speech was an opportunity to give a voice to teenagers to express their views on Britain today, and the issues they face.

"These are the people who will shape the future of Britain, so their views matter. Ensuring teenagers have promising and happy futures should be a national concern, which is why we created The Teens’ Speech."

Tamara Littleton, CEO of eModeration, said: “Barnardo’s does an amazing job of helping children and teenagers in Britain. Teens often go unheard, and yet their views are incredibly important to our future.

"We have a duty both to listen to their views and protect them from abuse: physical, verbal and virtual. Our job is to work with organisations like Barnardo’s to ensure that the content they see online is safe.”

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