Building a relationship with Network Rail

Network Rail own and operate the railway infrastructure in England, Wales and Scotland on behalf of the Nation. That’s no small feat as this includes 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges and viaducts and thousands of tunnels, signals, level crossings and points. If that is not a big enough job Network Rail also manages rail timetabling and 20 of the largest stations in England, Scotland and Wales.

As one of Network Rails five communication agencies, Guerilla is tasked with creating a wide range of internal and external targeted communication campaigns. One brief may involve an internal communication exercise about a key strategy, another may be a national and local campaign designed to advise the important people, the passenger about the railway upgrade plan. We cannot show you everything we have done, but here is a flavour of some of the work that we have completed.

An engaging, multi-channel campaign to address issues around raising awareness and keeping service users safe in a busy station environment. The campaign needed to address five main accident flashpoints: general slipping & tripping, inebriation, wearing high heels, falling over luggage and escalators.

We developed a simple and versatile campaign treatment that can be easily adapted and used tactically. Based on the use of onomatopoeic language that encourages our audience to ‘hear’ the sounds of an accident in their heads.

This everyday language creates empathy and gets our message across quickly in a warm, engaging way with charm and humour to communicate our campaign concept…

Nasty sounding accidents!

The Safety, Technical, and Engineering (STE) document was an internal brochure given out to employees – providing an overview of STE and its component parts and brings to life the work Network Rail do through a variety of case studies.

The primary focus of the STE document was to enable safety and performance across the whole of Network Rail and therefore we needed to create a clear and engaging design to help encourage and improve collaboration, buy-in and make clear the accountabilities within the organisation.

Working closely with the Network Rail team, Guerilla’s challenge was to turn the supplied text-heavy and dry content into something bitesize, engaging and inspiring! The end result was a 72 page brochure.

“The degree to which the original brief developed was significant and I very much appreciate the team’s flexibility and determination in accommodating our requests and instructions.”
David Rowe, Head of Strategy at Network Rail

Guerilla was asked to create a campaign to help prevent the misuse of the rail by targeting the following cause areas:

1. Fare evasion (trespassing to avoid paying the ticket fee by exiting via track/level crossing causing them to enter unsafe zones).

2. Retrieving lost objects (going onto the track to retrieve a lost personal item).

The brief set out by Network Rail was to ensure the creative did not centre on the worst-case scenario being death. But should be softened by conveying the value of audiences safety/time vs. possession and considering injury and delay.

Part of the brief was to ensure we followed the newly developed brand guidelines created for Network Rail that included a new colour palette and the use of simple illustration/graphic styles. This pushed us to focus on simplifying each message to be as direct as possible. 

For ‘Fare evasion’ via trespassing – we looked at creating a set of posters that focused on three core messages; risks to your health, delays to your journey and financial implications. The headline ‘Trespassing could cost you more than the price of a ticket’ helps to reinforce each core message in order to deter fare evaders.

‘Retrieving lost objects’ focuses on everyday objects that could accidentally fall onto the track with the headline ‘Is it really worth it?’ The main idea is that these items have little worth in comparison to the potential consequences they may face if attempting to retrieve the item themselves.

Posters, pop-up banners and leaflets were placed in stations across the country. The campaign also rolled out on Network Rails social media channels to help spread the message that safety in stations is paramount, and actions have consequences!

We needed to create a range of engaging, easy-to-understand, internal-facing collateral to act as general reference guides to the latest advice and best practice around the hot topics of Data Protection and Information Governance.

We created a ‘toolkit’ comprising of a visual identity and a series of templates to give the collateral a unified look and feel. Our visual approach and use of clear, jargon-free language made vital but potentially complex information like new data protection procedure, easier to navigate, understand and adopt.

“We are very impressed with the improvements to the layout. Our consultees were also very happy with the design, graphics and content.”
Clyde Murray, Policy Development Specialist at Network Rail

Over the Christmas period, as part of the Railway Upgrade Plan, a high amount of investment is being focused on the maintenance and renewal of the existing infrastructure to ensure that passengers are kept on the move with more punctuality and reliability. The campaign built on passenger awareness and understanding of the Railway Upgrade Plan objectives and investment.

We developed a creative concept, including messaging, which can be easily adapted by region to bring to life the benefits that the Railway Upgrade Plan is bringing to passengers and the lengths to which Network Rail are going to provide a faster, safer, more reliable railway.

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