Flow just loves doing positive, affirming work that makes a difference. And this is why we plunged into the #TenYearsOfGoodWork campaign for one of our favourite clients, Good Work Foundation, with even more gusto than usual.
Good news deserves to be trumpeted far and wide, does it not? Particularly when it comes to a go-getting education non-profit that was hardy and resilient enough to survive the Covid-19 funding crisis and emerge with many, many uplifting stories to tell of lives changed for the better.
So, to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Good Work Foundation’s (GWF) flagship Hazyview Digital Learning Campus, where rural Mpumalanga youth get inspired every day with supplementary education in digital, creative, conservation and job-readiness skills, we thought: why not partner with South Africa’s premier good-news media platform, Good Things Guy, to highlight this story of hope to its best advantage?
10 stories to uplift and inspire
GWF and Good Things Guy (GTG) founder Brent Lindeque loved the idea. So, the wheels were set in motion to come up with 10 good-news stories to be published on GTG’s website and be promoted via email newsletters, social media, digital billboards and a free app during August and September 2022.
Flow set about designing campaign artwork and interviewing GWF staff (many of whom were graduates of its Bridging Year Academy), as well as parents, beneficiaries, partners and donors, to paint a composite picture of how this tenacious non-profit out in the sticks has pioneered a model of wonder-filled learning.
The stories shared were uplifting, celebratory and often incredibly moving – painting a vivid picture of how GWF’s founders, armed with little more than an audacious vision to reimagine education to improve the lives of rural learners, ended up building six digital learning campuses that today transform tens of thousands of lives every year.
We were touched by the poignant accounts of how young people overcame incredible odds – from being orphaned to feeling the hopelessness of being turned away from job after job – to be afforded the dignity of being able to pursue their study or employment dreams.
GWF’s impact stories spread beyond Mpumalanga: we spoke to people such as American author and life coach Dr Martha Beck about her annual bush retreats at Londolozi, with proceeds going to GWF. We spoke to courageous Florida resident Beth Knopik, whose late daughter Leanna’s dream was to volunteer in Africa and in whose honour GWF’s All Heart Fund and awards are named.
We chatted with inspirational (and indefatigable) GWF founder Kate Groch about her unconventional education journey, and her enthusiasm for transforming rural learning was infectious. We interviewed the Varty family, whose names are as synonymous with wildlife conservation as they are with philanthropic deeds.
Good Things Guy’s featured posts linking to each article were amplified and shared by the social media team at Flow, who tailored unique captions, retweeted, used campaign-specific hashtags, got inventive with Facebook and Instagram stories, and tagged relevant accounts for extra reach and impact.
Great results show good news does sell
Thanks to the sincere and heartfelt nature of the articles and the voracious appetite of GTG’s followers for good news (a welcome antidote to all the doom-and-gloom news out there), the 10 published articles (including a timeline and a 10-year birthday video) were collectively read more than 100 000 times, with millions of people reached on social media.
Says Good Work Foundation’s Gemma Thompson, “I loved the depth that the partnership with GTG allowed us to go to, with each article highlighting different parts (and hearts) of our mission. Knowing that these stories impacted readers and gave them all the feels – hope, inspiration, joy, excitement – made me feel that our mission is not only to serve rural children and young adults, but all South Africans.
“What we do serves all, because it’s a source of inspiration, and shows people that this is an incredible country that has such a deep heart and joy that’s worth sticking around for!”
For Flow, this was a wonderful, heart-warming campaign for a much-cherished client. Says Flow project manager Ros Caboz, “I loved working on this project with the oh-so-positive Good Things Guy, just the right fit for GWF – showing South Africans how many positive things are happening in our country and how so many of us are investing in making life better for those who do not have equal opportunities.”
Flow social media strategist Kerry Robertson agrees: “It was fascinating to see the reach and uplifting engagement that the Good Things Guy team was able to garner and I’m glad we could collaborate with them, particularly on the social media front. In a country where we have so many worries staring us right in the face, this was a reminder that we have agency in our own narrative and that it is so important to share messages of hope and stories about good people.
“From a tactical perspective, we aligned with the GTG team straight away. As we always say at Flow, content is king – and when you are working with such generous and clever people as the Good Work Foundation team, who have a multitude of inspiring stories to tell, your job is that much easier, and it was so rewarding to see the loving feedback from the audiences.”