Graphic design, social media strategy, campaign & management

facebook banner for cork voices

Cork Voices!

Cork Voices! Ireland’s first participatory grant campaign for Cork’s vibrant communities!! Take part, tell a story, vote for your favourite local community project.

Cork Voices was a mad little project I got involved with. The project was being run by One Step Closer and StoryTracks in partnership with Cork City PPN, with a host of other Irish and European backing.

logos of organisations involved in Cork Voices

I was initial asked to create a graphic to explain the details of the project to Cork organisations. After much consultation we decided on a mixture of hand drawn and printed text, with bright fun colours reflecting the vibrant atmosphere that Cork City is famous for. (Red is a pretty significant colour, in the Rebel County).

graphic for Cork Voices, hand drawn icons with printed text

For this project, Ireland’s first participatory budgeting project, a number of local Cork City groups were selected to present their project. With the Cork Voices team, they created short videos to pitch to the public, who would then vote for their favourites. Each group who took part got a donation, and the three projects with the most votes would win the top prize.

With the project start date looming closely, I was asked at the last minute to also help with their social media campaign, which was still in pre-production mode. I took over the social media management of the project, and started by creating customized banners, avatars, and adverts, carefully tailored to each social media platform. We created accounts on different social platforms, but in the end our most popular were Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and managed the project through Sprout Social.

Over the course of a month, I promoted all the participating groups, created tons of social media posts and graphics, and managed the chatter around 2 rounds of Cork Voices, which included 2 rounds of voting. It was intense, but fun!

At first people were reluctant to participate, thinking it wasn’t right to make groups compete for grant money from the council, however, from feedback from participants and voters, they thoroughly enjoyed the project. Each group got a professionally edited video that they could keep and reuse to promote their project, as well as great publicity during the campaign.

Local community groups can tend to be insular by nature, the volunteers are passionate about their own project, and spend all their energy guiding and fundraising for it, but mightn’t venture into other areas or projects, such as refugees rights, wildlife, recycling, youth camps. Other projects just as important, with equally passionate volunteers. One of the best outcomes was the groups themselves, who began to talk together, began to network, and create spin off joint projects that can benefit themselves and the wider community audience.

Did you know Cork City is one of the few urban centers in Europe to have a thriving Otter population? Well, you do now! Cork Nature Network took the overall prize in the Cork Voices project. They used the funding to develop a four stops trail along the river Lee, a route of approximately 1.3 miles (2km) in length.

bright red graphic with an otter with hands in the air, and text saying Yeah, for Otters!