Jobseekers – MSN

Social media storytelling about what it's really like looking for a job

MSN Jobseekers was a project about looking for a job. Over the course of this nine-week project, we followed the lives of six jobseekers as they looked for work.

Working as part of Devolve Communications, I was the editor on the project – planning, commissioning, editing and writing articles on a range of issues from finding out about how jobseekers spend their days to charting the rise of zero hours contracts.

In 2012 Devolve was asked by Microsoft News (MSN) to propose ideas for an interactive content strand which would focus on a pre-selected group from the general public and encourage interaction between them and MSN users. We came up with the idea of focusing on six Jobseekers from distinctly different backgrounds, parts of the UK and at different stages in life. Each faced particular hurdles to finding work whether it was the transition from military to civilian life, the ageist prejudices of employers or the additional challenges of disability. With a strong social media focus, and the involvement of experts able to advise the Jobseekers, this project was successful in gaining significant readership as well as helping those involved. The subject was serious but told in a compelling way and garnered 90,000 visits and 330,000 page views on the MSN website.

The Devolve team came to us with a number of ideas and we commissioned Jobseekers. Devolve worked well with MSN journalists and producers, keeping up a good level of communication to ensure this project’s success. While MSN provided the platforms, Devolve managed relationships with our staff, with the Jobseekers and the experts, and oversaw the delivery of quality content. They took the lead also in social media promotion. This was an innovative project with a strong social focus and I’d strongly recommend Devolve Communications - they had a professional approach, great ideas and they delivered what they promised.

– Duncan Hooper, MSN