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Ask Izzy campaign rolls out across Melbourne, showcasing the power of tech for NFPs

17 June 2022 at 5:00 pm
Danielle Kutchel
Australians will soon have access to real-time information about community support services close to them.

Danielle Kutchel | 17 June 2022 at 5:00 pm


Ask Izzy campaign rolls out across Melbourne, showcasing the power of tech for NFPs
17 June 2022 at 5:00 pm

Australians will soon have access to real-time information about community support services close to them.

A new community partnership between oOh! Media and Infoxchange will help connect Australians with the services they need, when they need them most.

On Thursday, the pair launched a partnership to drive awareness of Ask Izzy, a mobile website that allows vulnerable members of the community to search for support services for issues including homelessness, mental health and domestic violence within a few clicks.

Launched in 2016, Ask Izzy has seen a significant increase in demand with over 2.3 million searches for help recorded over the last year. Over 200,000 searches for help are made on the platform every month.

But Infoxchange Group CEO David Spriggs told Pro Bono News that the organisation was certain that there were more people out there who needed help and didn’t know where to turn, which led to the development of the campaign with oOh! Media.

“We often say it’s fantastic that so many people are using Ask Izzy, [but] it’s so sad that there’s that higher need in the community,” Spriggs said.

“Really we’ve seen, particularly through the course of the pandemic, a real increase in usage. So, raising awareness that Ask Izzy is there is absolutely critical even though we’ve got a large usage at the moment.”

Through the partnership with oOh! Media, Ask Izzy will be promoted across billboards and screens across Melbourne’s CBD and surrounds, in key areas like bus shelters, railway stations, tram stops and shopping centres.

The locations have been chosen due to their proximity to people who may need support.

And while the current campaign is static, it will evolve later this year to become more dynamic in a demonstration of the power of technology harnessed by not for profits to help vulnerable communities.

“The digital advertising networks that oOh! Media runs are fully interactive, so each of those digital billboards is aware of its location, the date and the time and the weather and a whole range of other variables,” Spriggs explained.

“What that means for us is we can customise the messaging based on the location of the device, the time of day, or things like the weather.”

For example, Spriggs said, a billboard in Fitzroy could be changed at a certain time to alert passers-by of food services in their area, or if there is an extreme weather event approaching, the billboard could display a message encouraging people to check in with Ask Izzy on nearby shelters.

The billboards could even link people with mobile services like Orange Sky laundry vans, with a map to their location at that particular point in time.

“[oOh! Media has] got this incredible capability in the digital network, but I don’t think there’s many people using it to that extent at the moment so that’s why we’re really excited about the partnership,” Spriggs explained.

The campaign will also be launched nationwide later in the year, across more than 35,000 oOh! Media locations.

Ask Izzy was designed with ease of use in mind, and specifically helps link people with services local to them. A product advisory group comprising people with lived experience of homelessness, family violence and mental health challenges helps lead Ask Izzy, and Spriggs said one of their requests was to raise more awareness of the tool to get it in front of those in need.

“It’s just so absolutely critical at this time with so many people experiencing hardship and rapidly rising cost of living pressures, for people to be able to get access to the services that they need,” Spriggs said.

oOh!media CEO Cathy O’Connor added, “Ask Izzy connects vulnerable Australians with vital support when they need it most and oOh! is delighted to be partnering with Infoxchange to drive awareness of this very important service for those in need across our key locations.

“We are at the start of our partnership with Ask Izzy and are excited about the opportunities to develop innovative new ways to engage with those in need.”

The Ask Izzy team will continue to be guided by the voices of the communities it serves as they further expand the platform and are looking forward to reaching more of those in need through the partnership with oOh! Media.

Service providers can add or update their details on the Ask Izzy website.

If you need assistance, you can reach out to:

1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732

Mensline Australia on 1300 789 978

Lifeline on 13 11 14 or online

Danielle Kutchel  |  @ProBonoNews

Danielle is a journalist specialising in disability and CALD issues, and social justice reporting.

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