Unlocking a client’s potential


Unlocked is tackling one of society’s toughest challenges. They’re fighting to break the cycle of reoffending in the nation’s prison population. This means they need to attract people with potential who’ll influence and change society for years to come in the prison industry. They’re passionate about prison reform, and proud of the work they do.

We took a closer look at all the different kinds of graduates that Unlocked were looking to attract. We found out where their ‘ideal candidates’ were. We put ourselves in their shoes. We looked at what was trending. We looked at what candidates were looking for and we used all this to our advantage.

Our deep understanding of both clients and audiences is what makes us unique in this market. We then use our creativity to connect the two and deliver campaigns that benefit businesses, candidates and society as a whole. For Unlocked this meant taking a good hard look at the elephant in the room. Working in prison can be a very scary prospect. It can be daunting, it can be intimidating and it’s a lot more of an unknown than other career choices. But, we know candidates can and do look past this. The real difficulty comes when a candidate gets past all these hurdles. Just when they start to imagine the possibility of an exciting and rewarding a career in the prison industry, they tell their parents, friends and grandparents about their plans only to be met with a reaction that stops them in their tracks.

We knew our audience could handle the truth. So, we didn’t shy away from it. We embraced it. We made a whole campaign out of it. We took our biggest problem, turned it on its head and used it to our advantage. We took the fact that whenever you tell anyone you’re going to become a prison officer, you’re going to get a reaction. And there’s a good chance it won’t be positive. For every impressed future employer, there’ll be a baffled friend. For every understanding sibling, there’ll be a gobsmacked grandparent. We took all of these reactions and created a brave, bold video that positioned Unlocked as “A career that gets a reaction”.

This flagship video would then become the catalyst for a digitally led campaign to simultaneously create mass interest and engagement and reaching a highly targeted audience.

We also got very, very targeted. Using YWare (our ingenious, market-leading data visualisation tool), we found exactly which degree courses Unlocked’s ‘ideal’ candidates were in. It also showed us which universities to target. This allowed us to go after the hard-to-reach audiences with determination and bags of curated content. Digital radio gave us a great opportunity to reach our audience. It’s a relatively unused platform in this sector, and we saw an opportunity that we had to grab. Together, it created a campaign that got a lot of people talking.

The results were impressive, and the reactions were brilliant. We received over 400,000 views on YouTube, with a 152% increase in adverts seen from digital activity – as we as a lot of other impressive results.

Following on from our successful video, we wanted to open tough dialogues, with a race and disproportionality in prisons online event. To promote the event, we drew on our YWare findings to identify and partner with BAME student societies at key universities.

Then, we unleashed the power of influencers. To further promote the event, we partnered with Hype Collective to involve social micro-influencers who brought a personal, passionate take on the issue. We supplied them with personal invites to the event to share on their Instagram feeds and stories, to encourage people to get involved in the conversation.

The campaigns were a success, and we saw large increases in applications.