Through the great team in EPR we launched the 2009 campaign for Red Cross in support of Refugee Week this week. The Red Cross is asking everyone to look beyond the label of “refugee” often placed on people,a label that’s so damaging and impersonal – and to see refugees for who they really are and what they contribute to the UK. Not content with resting on our 2008 award-winning laurels in terms of creating PR for the event, we’ve gone bigger and better this year. We’ve created a short film (in conjunction with the brilliant Agenda Collective) starring Mission Impossible 2 and Desperate Housewives star Dougray Scott, highlighting the plight of refugees in the UK and surfacing some of their stories. See it here: Look beyond the label from British Red Cross.
But the real meat of the campaign we’ve created is an online movement to allow individuals to show support for the cause by participating in grass-roots action: The idea couldn’t be simpler: we’re asking people to change their online status on the 15th June (the start of Refugee Week). To ‘look beyond the label’ by replacing their profile pictures and status, tweeting about it, blogging about it and adding the call to action to their email signatures to encourage the viral spread of the action. We’re hoping to create something a little like an Earth Hour movement here (not as big, but then Earth Hour started off small at first too). You can check out the site and all the ways you can help here: http://www.lookbeyondthelabel.org/ The success of the campaign depends on its viral reach, so we’re asking everyone we know to please contribute where you can. Changing your email signature over the next 3 weeks to incorporate the message is a good first step (full instructions here: http://www.lookbeyondthelabel.org/email.html); but please take a minute out of your day on the 15th or before to change your Facebook/Twitter profile pics, change your status, and make a visible show of support for the Red Cross through all your social networks. The video is on vimeo which you can link and embed into your blogs etc too. Its amazing what a little bit of seeding even just from friends will accomplish in getting it out there.