Engaging with employees for The City of Edinburgh Council

Hookson was asked to create and produce a film conveying the initiative’s vision and values.

Pride in our People Film Project

The City of Edinburgh Council’s Pride in our People project was designed to improve staff morale at a time of challenging budget cuts. The project fostered pride in the work of the Council – crucially, through reminding staff of the positive differences their own everyday actions could make.

Pride through values

Spearheading the project was a set of aspirational values: Customer First, Work Together, Forward Thinking and Honest & Transparent. By living the values, staff would be working at the top of their game and doing a job to be proud of.

Recognising achievement

Research revealed that staff considered themselves small cogs in a vast machine. They found it difficult to appreciate the positive impact of their roles.

An awards programme would recognise outstanding achievements, improve morale and encourage excellent performance. Hookson was asked to create and produce a film conveying the initiative’s vision and values.

Celebrating a vision

The Council’s required a film with an edge. For maximum engagement it was crucial to present something quite unlike the typical expectation of a film from a local authority.

Keeping it real

We knew that these projects lived or died by their credibility. Using actors was definitely out. In would come real Council workers. Real locations. Real opinions.

Rational reasons

As well as fostering pride, the film would have to communicate truths about budget cuts and strains on services. These would help position the best-practice values as a reasonable response to the challenges ahead.

Demonstrating diverse roles

With the Council at the heart of Edinburgh life it would be important to showcase diverse roles. As well as communicating the depth of the Council’s provision, this also demonstrated the inclusion at the centre of the project.

Employee Communications Award, Internal Events Promotional Tool and 1,200 Views on YouTube.

Creating the look

With a brief to deliver a film with an edge, we created a look drawn from the Punk era. Titles were presented in spray-can effect, and against panels of flat, bright colour.

By treating statistics and facts in the same way, a visually arresting piece began to emerge. A pastiche soundtrack, typical of the Punk era, was used, and this lent the film texture and tempo.

Rocking the roles

Vox-pop interviews were filmed at participants’ workplaces. We were careful to cover a range of roles including a Student Support Leader, a Head Chef and a Task Force Manager. Adding context we also filmed these interviewees working.

Reality stars

By having real people translate the project’s values in a pragmatic way, we helped present the activity as a genuine effort – a million miles from the danger of being dismissed as  ‘just another council initiative’.