How The British Red Cross learnt to talk about loneliness

The question

The British Red Cross works in the UK to connect human crisis with human kindness, and encourage resilient communities, where people look after each other.

As part of this, it sought to raise public awareness and understanding, provide suitable services, and influence policy concerning loneliness.

Our approach

Loneliness is often hidden and rarely spoken about out loud. However, social media’s veil of anonymity gives people a safe space to talk. We read, assessed and brought together the experiences of thousands of people talking about loneliness. This let us get under the skin of loneliness, to understand what caused it and why. We were able to identify a number of loneliness ‘personas’ – which were then used to inspire the campaign (including this creative).

The answer

“This has helped us understand what lonely people need. The immediate impact was to equip marketing, policy, fundraising and our operational teams to talk credibly, authentically and engagingly about loneliness and social isolation, using the right language for the right scenarios and finding case studies which resonate.

Following our Connected Communities (loneliness) campaign, our brand tracker showed a significant uplift in positive perceptions and consideration to support. Thousands of people also signed up to become community reserve volunteers, to share their kindness with isolated people.” Siobhan Smith, Research Manager