See you in June!!
Lake Geneva, Switzerland via mujepa
Today is the first-ever International Day of Friendship! The Day is a celebration of how friendship between peoples, countries, cultures and individuals inspires peace efforts and builds bridges between communities.
The Day provides an opportunity to focus on involving young people in community activities that include different cultures and promoting international understanding and respect for diversity.
The Day is also intended to support the goals and objectives of the Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace and the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World (2001-2010).
(disclosure: originally posted in October 2010 to a blog belonging to DeVries PR, my former employer)
It’s now the end of October and I’m still thinking about the week of September 20th, 2010 – “UN Week” and the tenth year since the United Nation set its eight Millenium Development Goals. We PR media-hounds know as well as anyone that our 2010 world does not resemble the world of 2000 in which those “MDGs” were set. Our country has seen terrorist attacks, hurricanes and volatile economics that have made us all more focused on ourselves. But we’ve also seen the birth and rapid growth of social media, a tool which makes us exponentially more in tune with and knowledgeable about the rest of the world, specifically the third-world.
This year’s UN Week launched with “The Social Good Summit,” a conference hosted by Mashable and the 92nd Street Y. Speakers discussed innovative ways in which brands can harness social media to affect change and bring about social good (hashtag #socialgood), ultimately aimed at the MDGs. I wish I could have recorded the five hours packed full of compelling speakers. Instead, I’ll highlight the basics in the hopes of providing you with thought starters worth considering.
Partnerships and Social Media the RIGHT Way
Aaron Shernian of the UN Foundation opened the Summit by subtly challenging companies to “build brands, but (also) build change that matters.” To do so, corporations with big dollars and charities with the know-how to impact lives, must also rely on each other. Susan Smith Ellis of (RED) excels at creating partnerships between the private and non-profit sectors. Cause-branded consumer products and shared social media strategies offer easy shopping choices through campaign buzz. For example, through purchase of any PUR water filter (client), 10 liters of clean drinking water are donated to the developing world through Children’s Safe Drinking Water. The result is that consumers help advance two MDGs – child health and maternal health. Charity partners, like CARE and World Vision, reassure consumers that the program is trustworthy and provide marketing value through organic online activity. In many cases, social media followings are shared across brand and charity lines, allowing both parties to reach new audiences and increase awareness of world issues.
Let Consumers be the Voice:
Jack Leslie of Weber Shandwick and Bonin Bough of Pepsico discussed the importance of “ethical branding,” which they defined as brands thinking of consumers as activists. Adam Conner of Facebook pointed to the social web as the tool for brands to meaningfully enlist these activists to be part of a viral voice for the brand’s cause. According to Howard Buffett of the U.S. Department of Defense, the challenge becomes combating the transient nature of social media connections between brand supporters and the beneficiaries of cause programs. Innovative brands will be able to deepen these connections as technology continues to transform.
Ultimately, the success of responsible companies, like those we represent at DeVries PR, contribute to the fight against poverty, hunger and disease. Social-media-savvy programs like Tide Loads of Hope and Pantene Beautiful Lengths(clients) bolster the trend towards charitable spending that will ultimately guide how much we (the consumers and the brands) contribute to social progress through an ever-expanding hi-tech world. As advocates for our brands, as well as activists for global human rights, we would be wise to use the tools these past ten years have provided us to their full potential and mobilize social media for #socialgood.
Two fun or ridiculous ways to exist in a parallel universe this morning!
The first came from Gawker. Apparently, drinking absurdly high quantities of coffee OR playing mind games with ping-pong balls and the dying radio, will send you into an Alice Cooper fit of multiple personalities. Try both and you just might find yourself jumping down the rabbit hole, headfirst. Check it out…
For a slightly calmer ride, check out Google Earth and El Museo Prado’s latest joint effort, a chance to view some of the world’s most priceless art from a vantage point in outerspace! You can zoom in to see the Museum’s collection, even close enough to see King Philip IV and Queen Mariana in the mirror of Velazquez’s “Las Meninas.” I struggled to zoom in for a while, but once I did it was pretty cool. I hope they keep this going! See the WSJ’s article…
This weekend I was reminded of a few of the reasons I love my city and one of the reasons I dont…
Saturday started with an early 6.5 mile run down the East River to the Brooklyn Bridge and back. It was gray, but who really cares when you’re staring at that bridge and a rocky river the whole way.
Headed out for lunch and to meet some friends for golf or bowling at the Chelsea Piers, when the snow set in. After deciding to skip the bowling/golf idea we sat in a cozy West Village bar with three other patrons and a friendly bartender, watching the snow cover everyone’s favorite NYC neighborhood.
When a new work week rolled around (my first Monday in a new job!), I got a chance to see Central Park, still covered in white snow while the rest of the city’s snow was patchy and turning brown. Finished off a great NYC weekend with a mind-numbingly FANTASTIC episode of what else?… “The City”
Just as I was falling head over heels in love with New York and all its quirks again, I woke up this morning, to a friend in the kitchen and remembered that NOTHING is absolutely perfect! Oh well, close enough…
This beautiful image becomes a a heartstoppingly apocalyptic when you consider that it bears the names ”El Fin del Mundo” and “Tierra del Fuego” - “The End of the World” and “Firey Earth.”
I just completed On a Hoof and a Prayer, by Polly Evans, and find myself with a renewed since of restlessness. In the travel novel, the author treks across Argentina on horseback. While visiting some of the country’s most remote and proportionately rewarding sites, Evans chronicles Argnetina’s turbulent beauty. One of her final adventures takes her to the place pictured above, the furthest tip of South America, where she learns the elaborate history of fear and conflict in the colonialist days of the region.
Polly Evans’ lot in life - to travel the world in search of her next great novel - is one I wouldn’t hate to have.
Planning to check out Polly’s other books; Mad Dogs and an Englishwoman, Fried Eggs with Chopsticks, Kiwis Might Fly, and It’s Not About the Tapas.