StillforJapan global campaign debuts in Times Square

NEW YORK: A global initiative to garner support for the people affected by March's earthquake and tsunami in Japan launched in Times Square today, with support from DiGennaro Communications.

NEW YORK: A global initiative to garner support for the people affected by March's earthquake and tsunami in Japan launched in Times Square today, with DiGennaro Communications providing PR and social media support.

The initiative, known as StillforJapan, arrives on the four-month anniversary of the disaster and is intended to keep the incident top-of-mind worldwide through a website asking people to observe a "moment of stillness."

"Our ultimate goal is to let Japanese people in distress know that they are not alone," Kaede Seville, a Japanese journalist spearheading the initiative, told PRWeek. "As proof, our website's first goal is to accumulate 180,000 one-minute pledges from people around the world. And, in order to achieve this, I needed to have help from a capable PR firm."

A digital billboard from Clear Channel Spectacolor debuted in New York City's Times Square today, and highlights messages and visuals once every hour to reflect on those affected by the incident, as well as direct visitors to the website. In addition, Clear Channel Radio New York has developed a 30-second spot to focus on the anniversary and the moment of stillness.

The initiative is also being supported via social media platforms and a number of blogs, said Samantha DiGennaro, CEO of DiGennaro Communications.

"We are also engaged in a large social media outreach through our network of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, flickr, the blogosphere, and more," she added. "We believe that helping to initiate conversation among bloggers and key influencers—and keeping the conversations alive—will be key for ongoing success. We anticipate another round of press outreach when we hit the initial goal of 180,000 minutes of stillness for Japan."

The initial campaign will conclude once the 180,000th minute has been pledged, but discussions are underway for the creation of a "Still for Japan" day on the first or second anniversary of the disaster, according to Seville.

In addition to DiGennaro's work, the StillforJapan pro-bono effort also involves collaboration from VCU Brandcenter, McKinney, Clear Channel Spectacolor, Clear Channel Radio New York, and Matt Miller, CEO of the Association of Independent Commercial Producers.

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