NEW YORK: Hill+Knowlton Strategies aided the PeaceJam Foundation when it launched the One Billion Acts of Peace campaign at the Social Innovation Summit at the United Nations on Thursday.
Through the effort, PeaceJam, a nonprofit focused on developing young activists and engaging them in their local and global communities, aims to "create a better future for all humanity" by encouraging "average citizens" to come up with 1 billion projects tackling 10 key issues.
These include advancing women and children; access to water and natural resources; global health and wellness; environmental sustainability; and conflict resolution, said Dawn Engle, PeaceJam’s co-founder and executive director.
The movement is being led by 13 Nobel Peace Prize laureates including the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. It will run through December 2018.
H+K signed on as a founding partner in May to guide the campaign’s communications and promotional efforts on a pro bono basis. The firm is responsible for global launch events, digital communications, and consumer activations.
The outreach strategy involves tapping into key influencers, such as supermodel Jessica Stam, who is an ambassador for PeaceJam. She has actively promoted the campaign on social media.
"We are looking at the missions of organizations, companies, and individuals who have a strong voice, asking them to leverage social channels to share our mission, goals, and messages with their audiences," said Courtney Quattrini, H+K’s VP of consumer marketing. "We are also approaching YouTube celebrities, asking them to get involved with the campaign."
To further promote the campaign, Google – another founding partner – created the One Billion Acts of Peace campaign website, which also launched on Thursday.
H+K’s goal is to ensure it is communicating a message of "think big, start small," according to Quattrini.
"You don’t have to start with a huge massive movement," she said. "An act of peace means different things to different people, so from a communications perspective, we want to make sure we are communicating what an act of peace looks like."
The campaign targets everyone, but Engle noted that the branding was created with Millennials in mind because they are most likely to spread the word on social media.
"Millennials are strong social media users; they are constantly sharing the amazing things they are doing for the world on social media, and that is a benefit for us [in this effort]," she added.
Unexpected campaign supporters emerged in the form of companies and corporations that are using it to engage employees.
"Another one of our founding partners is Wells Fargo, which is using this campaign to increase the number of volunteer hours their employees give," said Engle. "They are then going to aggregate the volunteer hours, and measure the impact of those hours."
H+K is also challenging its own employees, practices, and offices across the country to get involved by initiating and documenting their own acts of peace. Further, H+K US president and CEO Andy Weitz is asking the firm’s staffers to vote on what his own act peace will focus on.
"[H+K] hopes to be a part of this campaign for the long-term," said Quattrini.