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Journey to GCHQ


The challenge

GCHQ asked us to help with a recruitment campaign to attract more women and young people. Ordinary people work at GCHQ and you don’t need to be a spy. We had to break stereotypes and reach people from different walks of life to prove that every #JourneyToGCHQ is different.

Our solution

Our Instagram campaign celebrated the varied career paths of current GCHQ employees. Each person had their own friendly avatar to accompany their career milestones and personal highlights. We used cartoon graphics, lively animations and fun music to break stuffy stereotypes and motivate new people to apply.

A model with her face cropped is holding a GCHQ tote bag. It says 'great minds don't think alike' and features a character avatar.
The back of a Macbook with 5 GCHQ character avatar stickers applied to it. Two of them read 'Power up at GCHQ' and 'Unlock your next level at GCHQ'.

Project summary

Encourage a more diverse range of people to apply for roles at GCHQ
Women and young people
Instagram animations, static posts and stories, stickers, workbooks, tote bags
Digital Communication Award for Recruiting and Employer Branding

The results

Since the campaign went live:

  • GCHQ’s Instagram following has increased from 9,000 to 13,500 – well above the 10,000 target
  • the gender split between followers has levelled out from 70/30 male/female to 57/43, with a spike in the number of women aged 18–27 following the channel
  • 4,767 people clicked on the sponsored ads
  • the campaign was picked up by national news outlets

The next phase of the campaign will build on this success, with upcoming stories featuring LGBTQI+ and BAME staff, and staff with disabilities.

Great work starts with a conversation

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