Case Study: Barnardos Children’s Referendum Graphic

Barnardos Infographic

Project Description

A graphic for the Children’s Referendum ‘Yes for Children’ campaign.

Barnardos Infographic

[Click image to open the complete graphic in a new window]


What was the problem?

The debate around the Children’s Referendum in November 2012 was often extremely unclear, and the issue had trouble keeping public and media attention.  As polling day approached, we saw a lot of comments on social media from people who wanted to cast their vote, but felt under-informed.

What was the solution?

Creating a concise overview of:

  1. the changes that the Referendum was proposing
  2. the need for these changes
  3. the support behind the Yes vote

This overview was created in a graphical format, that was easy to read and also easy to share on social media and websites.


In just four days, the graphic:

  • Was shared over 3,300 times from the Barnardos site to social media
  • Generated 1,500 stories on Facebook
  • Was viewed c. 15,000 times on the Barnardos website

These are just the results from the Barnardos website, and the graphic also got further traffic and shares on other websites.

Tweets about this graphic were consistently the top Tweets for the #crref hashtag on Twitter, in the days leading up to the vote.

#crref Top Tweets

A very large number of the people viewing the graphic did so on polling day, showing the importance of timely information.

What platforms did you use?

The graphic was hosted on the Barnardos website and also posted on many of the sites of allies in the campaign.  Sharing buttons for Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin etc were displayed with the graphic.  Facebook was by far the most significant social media platform, with over 90% of the shares.

Time and resources involved

The graphic took me just under a day to create and was supported by a few hours work from another staff member, who confirmed the various organisations listed, found logos, etc.  It was created in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, and incorporated a smaller graphic (‘Five reasons to vote yes’) that had been created by an agency earlier in the campaign.

Would you do it again?

Definitely!  It was a really effective way of getting information out. I would recommend to any charity to invest in an infographic if you have a timely issue that would benefit from being explained in a visual way.

Would you do anything differently next time?

Facebook is not good at handling large graphics so posting the complete infographic was not an option.  Preview graphics were created which worked well, but in future I would be sure to implement a thumbnail preview image that would appear alongside the link when shared.

I would also create a mobile-friendly version – see below.

Any other thoughts?

At the time, mobile traffic to the Barnardos site on average was at around 15% of the site total.  On polling day (Sat Nov 10th) 50% of all traffic came from mobiles.  Mobile traffic is really important when issues are time sensitive.  People still viewed the graphic on mobiles, but a mobile optimised version would have improved that experience.

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