INTERVIEW: Switchboard Project’s Jordan Rossi

As part of such a big creative agency how did you get involve into the Safe Spacecampaign for Switchboard?

I work at Rankin as a Director & Producer making music videos, fashion films and branded content. At RANKIN we’ve always set out to change the world with the work we do. As soon as we heard about Switchboard and the work they do it was very much a no brainer that we could collaborate together to really help the LGBTQ community they are trying to reach.

What was it about the organization that draw your attention the most?

It is very much the fact that Switchboard pride themselves on being a safe space for everyone. With the recent closures of a lot of Queer venues and club nights (especially in London but up and down the UK) it is vital that we do everything to support places like Switchboard that are providing these safe spaces and resources for marginalised people. This combined with the fact that anti-LGBTQ hate crime has risen in recent years shows the work that Switchboard do is hugely important.

Similarly Switchboard doesn’t just focus on the big cities either – they are for everyone, no matter where you like in the UK. I myself have been very lucky living in the London LGBTQ community where there are multiple safe spaces but not everyone in the UK is quite as lucky. Switchboard are trying to reach those who feel isolated and alone. From those to who are questioning their identity, struggling coming out, need advice on their sexual health or a variety of other issues.

While building up and creating this campaign how deep into Switchboard history’s did you go into and study or did you rather focus on their mission itself?

Like with any project we do at RANKIN we do an incredible amount of research including insights and strategy (headed up by the amazing Laura Cooper) to really distill who the audience is and how we can best reach them. Switchboard actually has an amazing history having been operating for 45 years with a huge archive to its name. We started our journey here looking at the photographs they have on file and some older call logs to really understand the socio-economic and political history of the work that Switchboard do and how it has evolved into who they are now.

What would you say was the most challenging aspect about building up this campaign?

With this project we wanted to cut through the Pride campaigns from larger brands and corporations fronted by actors, musicians and influencers so we stripped it back to three bare essentials: Switchboard, their status as a Safe Space and the phone number. We then communicated this with a bold typographic-led design to really hammer home the message and provoke engagement in a clear way. It’s a simple but effective campaign.

What else is happening next in your world?

I can’t reveal everything right now but we’ve got two more parts of the Switchboard project lined up which is fantastic plus a variety of other projects at RANKIN which are super exciting. Watch this space – we’re about to change the world.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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