Our work: English-Speaking Union

Encouraging young people to make their voices heard

Strategy: Coaching | Campaign: Content and experience management, Integration and bespoke development | Experience: Research and strategy

In 2018, the English-Speaking Union (ESU) celebrated 100 years of promoting better communication between people of all cultures and countries. Manifesto helped them use Agile methods for the first time to build a campaign website celebrating this achievement. The site helped engage their audiences, communicated both the illustrious history and ambitious future of this world-renowned organisation, and set the ESU on a path of making the most of digital technologies.


Communicating an impressive heritage and far-reaching ambitions

With a wealth of personal stories illustrating their impact and archive imagery which brings those stories to life, the ESU wanted to bring all this content together in a celebratory site which would link their rich history with their future focus: equipping young people with the oracy skills and confidence to engage with the world, discuss their ideas and share them with others.

Designing and building a storytelling platform

Following an in-depth discovery workshop to define the target audiences and their needs, we introduced the team at ESU to Agile methods for managing digital projects, helping them align the website goals with organisational objectives and devise a shared vision. A brave new design direction for the website made use of full-width imagery, bold use of colour and strong typography. Collaboratively designed page templates helped create an immersive storytelling experience across the site. We used WordPress as a content management system, with a customised page-builder to help editors use images, text and video to tell inspiring stories.

Catalysing digital transformation

The 100 ESU website launched on January 8th 2018, just three months after the project began. The site’s bold visual direction has since been rolled out to the wider campaign. As well as achieving its primary objectives, the project has been a catalyst for driving change across the whole organisation, helping the ESU explore how it can create the most value for its audiences with digital. See the results at #ESUSpeakOut


“We’re delighted with the impact that the website is having so far. It is enabling us to extend our reach further than ever before and to share both our relevance today and the importance of developing and harnessing oracy skills in young people to improve social mobility.

 For the first time, we are able to share our compelling alumni stories on a modern, eye-catching platform which reflects the direction we are moving in, as a forward-thinking charity and membership organisation.” – Sarah Matthews, Digital Marketing Manager, English-Speaking Union


How this helps us on your project

We’re adept at digging into the reasons and thinking behind a brief, helping you to challenge your previous assumptions and ensure that the goals of the project are aligned with those of the organisation. Wherever you are on your digital journey, we can help you build the teams, tools and creative assets you need to engage and inspire your audiences.

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