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Social employment gets new positive narrative

The interests of social circular entrepreneurs in Flanders are represented by HERW!N. In this storytelling project, Shaved Monkey helped to shift their message towards a new and constructive narrative.



Communication strategy
Marketing plan

In search of social engagement

Work is a basic right, but many people with lower education levels or psychosocial problems have trouble accessing the labour market in Flanders. HERW!N, representing social circular entrepreneurs, wanted to convince policymakers to invest in social employment by increasing public support for it. Their question for us: how to transform HERW!N’s ‘Right to work’ thinking into an engaging narrative that resonates in wider society?

"Rethinking, that's what Shaved Monkey taught us to do. We don't demand, we help. With [storybook character] Floddertje in mind, I can now consistently translate our message into a positive statement. The umbrella campaign ‘100,000 hands, ready to work’ makes the added value of the social economy to society tangible. And our members, social circular entrepreneurs, are happy to highlight that with – of course – reverse vacancies with us."

Linde Brewaeys
Communication coordinator HERW!N

Thorough understanding of the context

To start from the right foundation and save time during the process, Shaved Monkey began, as always, with a thorough understanding of the internal and external context. During a workshop with HERW!N, we delved into the organisation’s needs, looking for answers to the question ‘What exactly do we want to set in motion and with whom?’. In a second session, we turned the tables and together identified the needs and sensitivities of the potential stakeholders we wanted to reach.

From ‘Right to work’ to ‘We can help’

Thanks to the rich insights from that first phase, we established that the activist ‘Right to work’ message, with which HERW!N was positioning itself, was no longer appropriate. To bring about change, we needed to approach stakeholders in a different way. Not with a raised fist, but with a helping hand. Not negative, but positive. Thus was born the new ‘100,000 hands, ready to work’ narrative, based on the 50,000 bespoke supported jobs that the social circular economy can create within five years.

Inspiring framework for the future

Building on this idea, we also developed the ‘reverse vacancy’. This campaign concept for World Social Justice Day does the exact opposite of a traditional job ad: instead of a list of conditions to find one perfect person, it seeks literally everyone. By positively shifting the message, HERW!N had a strong, appealing story to tell. This new framework transforms them into allies and inspires HERW!N to fulfil its mission – getting people into work in the social circular economy – now and in the future through all kinds of actions and campaigns.

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