Communications GPG

Developing a website (Spain)


Organized by the Council for the Promotion of Equal Treatment and Non-Discrimination of People on the Grounds of Racial & Ethnic Origin

[**(Read the text below or download the report by the Race and Ethnic Equality Council)*]

1) What was the context at that time?

The Spanish Ethnic & Racial Equality Body was created in 2007 and formally constituted in September 2009 which is currently ascribed to the Ministry of Health, Social Policy and Equality through the Secretary of State of Equality. This body currently has 28 members from a variety of organizations dealing with race & ethnic non-discrimination policies (national, regional and local public administrations; trade unions; enterprises associations; NGOs).

At that moment in time, the information available to us gave us the following picture:

  • According to the Eurobarometer “Discrimination in the EU 2009”, citizens in Spain consider discrimination based on ethnic origin to be the most widespread in their country. In fact, one third of the respondents of the survey consider that having a different ethnic background puts people at a disadvantage position when looking for a job. Several studies (National Barometer, Spanish Observatory on Racism and Xenophobia) confirm this: more than 50% of respondents of the National Barometer consider that discrimination based on ethnic and racial origin is frequent or very frequent.
  • Although Spain doesn’t consider itself a racist or xenophobic society, there has been a raise in the past years of xenophobic and racist attitudes from certain groups associated with sports, music and social networks on the internet, especially since the beginning of the financial crisis. In fact, the Raxen report 2010 reveals that groups, platforms or political parties close to far right movements are gaining relevance within society by organizing demonstrations and using internet as a means to disseminate propaganda against immigration and diversity and justifying hate, discrimination, violence, racism and intolerance. Some target people from a different ethnic or racial background, whereas others target the Roma community; it is difficult to know what is more frequent: racism, xenophobia, etc. The main issues the Council is facing are the lack of consistent data around discrimination and a lack of awareness from society, especially from vulnerable groups in regards to their rights in cases of being discriminated against.

According to the National Barometer 2008, two thirds of the population is unaware of their rights should they be victims of discrimination and have very little knowledge of the existence of equality bodies. In addition, according to the Eurobarometer 2009, only 18% of respondents would turn to an equality body after being discriminated against, preferring instead to turn to trade unions or associations (probably due to a lack of knowledge about EBs in Spain). As indicated by several NGOs, vulnerable groups are frequently sceptical about trusting public authorities and the judicial system as their experience with these institutions when making a claim has failed in many cases.

For this reason, our strategy to reach vulnerable groups and gaining their trust was to build an effective channel of communication based on:

[*1. Going digital:*] through the Council’s website we wanted to reach (potential) victims of discrimination as well as professionals working in this field (as mentioned above).

[*2. Going local and in partnership:*] through the network of assessment and advice offices created with eight NGOs with experience in either dealing with cases of discrimination or dealing with target groups, we aimed at achieving a double objective: working in partnership with organizations that were in contact with (potential) victims at the same time as reaching the target group at local level.

By combining a digital approach with a local partnership the Council expected to reach those (potential) victims that were familiar with new technologies at the same time as reaching people who prefer one-to-one contact, through local offices.

In January 2010, we therefore started implementing the first action plan 2010-2012, with a key focus on assistance to victims, data collection and new statistics, and information and awareness-raising. This led to the launch of:

  • The Network of Assessment and Advice offices throughout Spain (July 2010).
  • The website (November 2010):

The starting point

Before designing the website’s design, structure and content, we did a brief analysis to check whether we had selected the correct target audiences. According to this brief study:

  • The vast majority of stakeholders were not aware of the existence the Council:

– Education centres (schools/universities)
– Police forces
– Judges/prosecutors/lawyers
– National, regional and local government
– Media
– Medium and small NGOs
– Victims of discrimination
– General public

  • The organisations with more knowledge on the existence of the Council were people working or volunteering in:

– National, regional and local governments’ departments involved in equality, nondiscrimination and immigration/Roma policies
– Main national trade unions
– Main national NGOs especially involved in activities targeted at immigrants and Roma or social inclusion, particularly those that are members of the Council (10 NGOs)
– National NGOs working in the field of equality, non-discrimination and hate crimes (3-4 organisations)

This analysis led the Council to the conclusion that even if on the long-term the duty of the Council was to communicate with all stakeholders, the limited resources available did not make it possible. It was therefore necessary to prioritise the two most important:

  • Workers/volunteers dealing with equality and non-discrimination
  • Victims of discrimination

The reasons for choosing these two audiences were based on the idea that by reaching the organisations closer to you, one can multiply its communication impact:

  • Reaching workers/volunteers that are already aware of the existence of the Council would not need a lot of communication effort or resources as they already have an interest on the topic and on the activities and information delivered by the Council.
  • Workers/volunteers of national, regional, local authorities and NGOs dealing with equality and non-discrimination are more likely to be in contact with victims of discrimination or discriminators but also other key stakeholders.

  • Planning Phase: content of the briefing

After selecting the audiences, the Council drafted a briefing, which identified the following content.

[*1. Objectives*]

  • Workers/volunteers:

– Increase their understanding/knowledge of anti-discrimination legislation and policies
– Create a section with practical tools on how to better deal with/prevent

  • (Potential) victims of discrimination:

– Increase their understanding/knowledge of their rights and where to go or
who to contact to receive assessment and advice.
– Encourage them to complaint.

[*2. Communication style and language*]

Taking into account the audiences selected, it was considered appropriate to use simple language as well as a direct tone (one to one) to give a sense of closeness. The idea was to keep institutional text to the minimum.

[*3. Key messages*]

The Council agreed 3 messages that would have to be taken into account when drafting the content:

1) Discrimination is illegal.

2) People have the right to complaint when discriminated against.

3) Diversity is an asset of our societies: managing it is enriching.

[*4. Content and structure*]

Taking into account the previous information, it was decided to develop a structure through which the target audiences could identify themselves through the content. We therefore created two boxes at the right part of the home site (as shown in the image): the first one targeted at (potential) victims of discrimination “Have you been discriminated?” and the second one targeted at professionals “Do you work in equality?”. In addition to these, we developed a structure based on relevant information for both audiences

The Council Discrimination Your rights Assessment offices Key tools News
*The Chair
*Our mission
*Working Plan
*What is
*What is equality?
*Where can we find discrimination
more commonly?
*Key statistics
*Who is who
*What to
do if you
have been discriminated?
*The law
*Map of
points with
contact details
*The law
*Who is who

[*5. Dissemination*]

In this section we unfortunately did not have enough budget to design a comprehensive dissemination strategy with an agency. However, we agreed a few actions based on our assets:

1) All press releases would include a reference to the website

2) All members were encouraged to add a link to the new website in their sites.

3) All NGOs part of the Assessment & Advice Offices were to include a link in their sites and encouraged to include news in their newsletters.

[*6. Outputs*]

1) 1 new content uploaded per month

2) 1,000 monthly visits the first year.

3) Increase of cases dealt through the website.

[*7. Indicators*]

  • Number of visits
  • Number of pages seen
  • Average of pages seen per visitor
  • Average time spent on the site
  • Origin of visits
  • Percentage of new visitors
  • Number of cases that have come through the website

[*8. Evaluation*]

1) Frequency of evaluation: it was decided to evaluate the results every three months in order to assess if the strategy needed reinforcement

2) Tools: google analytics and case forms (question: how did you know of the existence of this service + cases received by e-mail)

Note: unfortunately, we only have data until May 2011 as the Ministry decided it was not appropriate to use google analytics as it gave out information considered reserved. During the summer the site had a content manager upgrade which stopped data collection, which means there is a lack of information between June and September.

The data available shows the following results:

Indicator 2010
Trimester 4
Trimester 1
Number of news uploaded 4 4
Number of news uploaded 8.545 12.944 (increase of 66%)
Total number of visits 2.040 2.914 (increase of 47%)
Average time spent on the site 3min y 35sec 2min y 52sec
Origin of visits 67,70% direct
22,90% reference sites
(, twitter &
9,31% search sites
41,64% direct
27, 77% reference sites
(, twitter &
31,59% search sites
Percentage of new visitors 67,75% 72,3%
Number of cases through website Not available yet Not available yet

[*9. Management*]

Currently, the Council only has one full-time staff member dedicated to the implementation of the action plan. It was therefore decided to include this activity within her daily work. Taking this into account, the number of hours spent on this is very limited: an average of 2 hours per week. This of course has an impact on the outputs and results, which are kept to the minimum.


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