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THE TSUNAMI – HUMANITARIAN RELIEF AND RECOVERY

Writing and Publications

Challenge:  How to respond to media, donors and the general public after a successful humanitarian and communications effort combined to help Save the Children raise more than $240 million in the first six weeks following the Asian Tsunami in support of its programs in that region.

Approach:  Plan and execute a targeted “stakeholders” campaign, centered on issuing 6-month progress reports detailing how money is being spent on relief and reconstruction efforts, the progress being made, and challenges that remain.   To make the report and associated efforts more relevant to the brand, and compelling to the donor, we decided to tell the story “through the eyes of children.”  Campaign featured paintings and drawings made by children separated from their parents, left homeless or otherwise affected by the tsunami.  We continued to increase visibility for children’s needs post-Tsunami through a special website and exhibit, featuring children’s stories and art, and by getting donated production and global placement for video, print and online public service ads.

Change Ignited: Campaign underscored Save the Children’s commitment to financial and program accountability, boosting confidence among donors and other influentials, and leading to increased support, particularly among major foundations and corporations. Media coverage, too, remained positive and supportive of Save the Children’s efforts and the media continued its own focus on children affected by this tragedy and the importance of US support. Staff were also called on several times to testify before Congress to advise on US support for emergency relief efforts, and how to best protect and serve children.