United Nations Promo, Case study PUT YOURSELF IN A REFUGEE´S SHOES by United Nations High Commissioner For Refugees

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Industry Charities, Foundations, Volunteers, Public Safety, Health & Hygiene, Human Rights
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market Colombia
Agency United Nations High Commissioner For Refugees
Released January 2011


One Show 2013
One Show Public Service / Promotional Items - Single or Campaign Merit

Credits & Description

Category: Best International PR Campaign
Regional Public Information Officer: Francesca Fontanini (UNHCR)
Public Information Assistant: Mauricio Godoy (UNHCR)
Public Information Assistant: Catalina Román (UNHCR)
Consultant: Johanna Reina (UNHCR)
Intern: Diana Dueñas (UNHCR)
Intern: Diana Díaz (UNHCR)
Media placement: Direct And Corporate Communication - Sending Refugees Shoes Box Invitations To Private Sectors And Governments In Brazil And Spain - 1-15/03/2011
Media placement: BTL - Shoes Campaigns Stands - 01/03/2011-15/12/2011
Media placement: Social Media - Social Network Facebook And Twitter Acnur Las Americas In All Americas - 01/ 03/2011
Media placement: Corporate Communication - Telemundo, NTN 24 International, Caracol International In Miami (USA) - 03/03/2011
Media placement: Event/strategic Alliance - Concert "40 Principales" Madrid (Spain) - 03/06/2011
Media placement: Event - CNN, TVE International, BBC Mundo, NTN 24 International In Venezuela Border - 20/06/2011
Media placement: Consumer PR - Video Spot In Cinemas And TV - 1/07/2011 - 30/11/2011
Media placement: Event/Strategic Alliance - Marathon Bogota In Colombia - 28/07/2011
Media placement: Corporate Communication - World Summit Of Afro Descendants In Honduras. - 17/08/2011
Media placement: Corporate Communication - Word Summit Of Latin AmericanYouth In Costa Rica - 5-7/10/2011
Summary of the Campaign
The main goal of the campaign is to promote tolerance and reduced stigma and discrimination towards refugees and displaced persons, for their better integration into society and access to their rights.
The project was first created for Colombia, having one of biggest displaced crises in the world, and then expanded to all Latin American countries, Spain and the USA, which experience the same phenomenon.
The initiative consists of various graphic pieces which show real refugees' shoes from different part of the world. A website, www.ensuszapatos.org, was created to support the campaign, with photos galleries and videos of the people and celebrities giving their support. A shoes-stand was also demonstrated in public sites and conferences as a way of putting people in the refugee’s shoes. On the site, by clicking on each box of shoes it shows a real refugee story. Posters, banners, postcards and T-shirts were produced in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish. The site was visited in the first 15 days by 7,500 people from 40 different countries; 900 students volunteered to help with the implementation of the campaign; massive media coverage was recorded; and in only 3 months the Agency social network duplicated its number of fans.
The Situation
The organisation is a United Nations Agency taking care of about 35m of uprooted people through 116 offices worldwide. The PR campaign was born of the need to reiterate and strengthen the awareness around the reality of refugees and displaced persons, and to promote respect and solidarity towards those who are forced to flee from violence and persecution to save their lives. At the same time, the initiative is trying to influence the development of a mutual supportive culture in the host countries that promotes integration and effective access to economic and human rights.
The Goal
The objectives of the campaign were to create awareness around the invisible situation of refugees and displaced people, especially in Latin America countries where they are not in a refugee-camp situation. The goal was to change people’s attitude towards these vulnerable groups and to be more tolerant. The target audience was the civic society and governments, which give the refugees status, media and donors. These targets are related to the agency, as they depend on its work to help refugees. The research undertaken was based on investigations done in Latin America and on constant media reports on discrimination towards refugees.
The Strategy
The most important goal of the campaign was to clarify to people the reality of a refugee and what it implies. From this point of view, we asked the civil society to find out the consumer insight, to reach a good creative concept, that was easy to disseminate. It is here that our insight into the refugees' shoes was put in place. A direct way to invite people within their own language, transferring the message from people to posters and to all pieces produced to give life and interaction to our communication strategy: awareness and call to action.
With only USD$100 budget, we initially created a simple piece, a box with refugees' shoes, with a low profile operation. Then this piece was circulated among high profile people from the media, corporates, actors, and diplomats to disseminate the message and encourage people to put themselves into a refugees' shoes.
The campaign was launched across November-December 2010, in Colombia, Mexico, Geneva and Brazil, followed the next year by Spain, USA, Cuba, Guatemala, Panama and Costa Rica. All these countries continue to reiterate the campaign strategy in various national and international events, organised by the agency or by external organisations such as the Governments and civic societies in the year 2011. Considering that the campaign message was clear, simple and easily captured the attention of the people, it was easy to gain suport in various forum.
The campaign went beyond expectations, as it was first thought that it would be for Colombia, being as it has one of the biggest displaced crises in the world. Then the concept was implemented in other countries, using a powerful and direct message embracing other refugees countries.
Documented Results
The campaign, through various kinds of events and public sites, reached about 500,00 people in 1 year in Colombia, and other countries 1,000,000 individuals. The results for the web site, TV and social network are much more higher. First of all the social network multiplied its number of fans and helped to re-direct people to the agency website to look for more information on refugees. Then, spots broadcast on both TV and cinema reached the largest audience across different ages. In addition, in every event the media coverage, through print, radio and TV was always high. Private sectors approached the agency to help out with the awareness program; the social network started to receive questions from refugees and displaced themselves, converting this channel into a protection tool; and media increases the attention towards refugees' issues and awareness support was received from schools.