At the end of 2018 happened something new and special: the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) and TE Services Uusimaa joined forces for executing a communication-related experiment. We have done this work in the context of Experimentation Accelerator (Kokeilukiihdyttämö), and a Christmas-like Q&Alendar was published in the first of December.
The starting point for this collaboration relates to challenges in the information related to immigrants. Migri and TE Services receives both a lot of questions from immigrants that contain quite often assumptions or false information. The same challenge was noticed also when Inland Design did user research among immigrants. The findings of this research pointed that the circulation of rumours, so-called unofficial information, is a true problem. Joining forces was natural as we both have the same customers: immigrants.
- to get information about what kind of Migri and TE Services related rumours or questions immigrants have
- to answer to the most asked questions in a clear way,
- to serve customers of both organisations in one common digital platform, and
- to get experiences and learnings about the collaboration itself – what does it mean when two government agencies work together with a communication project.
In the picture you can see the detailed schedule. The green boxes at above are Experimentation Accelerator meetings, and others are process steps. All this experiment took place in 3 months, from its conception to its implementation.
Reflection and learnings
The project was challenging not only because of the timeframe but also because of doing work in relation to communication that our team has not done before. In addition, we had limited human resources. We were very flexible and could accommodate well to the challenge at hand. For example, the service designer had to (among other things) act as a project owner, copywriter, concept and visual designer.
This could be improved next time:
- more solid preplanning,
- ownership given to the appropriate unit (communication experts)
- more resources and suitable expertise to the core team
- more time for the content design and marketing phase
- customers/target group involved in the planning and testing phase
Calendar platform as a refreshing way to communicate with customers
Despite the challenges, the Q&Alendar was published on time, and it reached almost 1300 visitors during the campaign (1.-24.12.2018.). Based on the feedback that was received via immigrants and organisation personnel after the campaign, the digital calendar platform was considered as a new and refreshing way for government communication. Also, the idea of two government organisations joining forces in common communication service was received as positive and useful addition.
The Q&Alendar experiment can scaled up in the future, as here is an annualready-made digital platform that can be easily adjusted with new content. If the immigrants that were interviewed by Inland could decide what would happen next, this Q&Alendar would be used also next Christmas. This time the content would be consistent because we would focus on one theme: as for example employment or studying. We could also invite other public agencies or a municipipality to take part.