While our frustration with the media’s treatment of refugees and asylum seekers had been around for quite the while, the same couldn’t be said of Rehumanize, which went from a quick idea to launch in 3 hours. We thought we’d give you a look at the process.
5pm | The First Hour
There are better times than Friday at 5pm to pitch an idea, but there is no better person to pitch to than our Head of Digital, Tom. His always-enthusiastic demeanour and slick digital skills make him a prime candidate to not only get behind an idea, but be able to bring it to life.
This particular Friday afternoon I made a passing comment on Slack, saying I thought something that changed words like ‘migrant’ to ‘human’ could really hit home, and he was away.
Tom gave himself an hour — well, originally 30mins, but we ran over (#agencylyf) — to build and test the plugin and by 6 o’clock, there it was.
6pm | The Second Hour
It was at the start of the second hour, as Tom was showing me the plugin at work, that Murray and Sally overheard and Rehumanize began to fully emerge.
We broke the work ahead into four: Tom worked on finessing the plugin and getting it into the Chrome store, Sally created the brand, Murray built the site on which it would live and I put together a media plan.
That is a perhaps an overly neat description of what was a particularly frenetic hour. In truth, dinner plans were cancelled, playlists played through, and dozens of domain names were tried and found wanting.
7pm | The Third Hour
This was a time full of false finish lines and anticipation.
With the media list ready, tweets lined up to go it was a matter of making sure that the site, and indeed the plugin were ready to go public. Most of the hour was spent in a call and response pattern.
I would ask ‘are we ready to launch?’ with my finger ready on the send button for the press release. The others would respond in unison, ‘not yet, but soon.’ Then: the brand was done, the site finished, Rehumanize was ready, and my trigger-happy finger got to do its thing.
It’s fair to say that we were humbled by the response to Rehumanize. What had taken us a few hours of collaboration spread quickly around the world, and by the next morning we were waking to news reports from some of the UK and Europe’s biggest publications talking about our little idea.
But the absurdity of challenge on a Friday afternoon becoming an international news event, is no match for the absurdity of people being denied their humanity and their identity simply because they are fleeing from conflict.